Just sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful fan film. Yes, someone has recreated an entire episode of Gilligan’s Island, give or take a mash up with another episode and some of their own creative ideas. Uploaded to Youtube in four parts of about 5-7 minutes each, you can find the first part here: Gilligan’s Island – Fan Remake (Part 1 of 4). Jason thought it would be fun to search for something as far from Star Trek as possible, tried Gilligan’s Island, and here we are.
Before I get into this, let me reiterate: I watch a lot of fan films of all types, good and bad. I’m fascinated by them. I love the work put into them — even the bad ones usually show sincere effort on the part of whoever made them. It’s up to the viewer to decide if that sincere effort is worth the time spent watching. I think this one is, if you like Gilligan.
Liking the original is the key here. If you don’t like the 60s show, don’t bother trying to slog through this. The people who made it use the scripts, word for word, from two episodes: “Little Island, Big Gun” (season 1, episode 17)and a few bits from “Music Hath Charm” (season 1, episode 26). (True fans, they listed the episode numbers. I didn’t have to look them up.) If you have a certain nostalgia for the show, then this fan film captures a lot of the old charm. They actually did a good job on the costuming, at least for the male characters. I kind of wish the Skipper had put a pillow under his shirt, though. The location is nice, even if the props are anachronistic and the single-walled hut is in danger of falling over. The whole thing is helped along, however, by the maker’s use of the incidental music and laugh track from the show. Unfortunately it keeps some of the bad from the original, too, such as stereotypes for Italian mafia goombahs and natives dressed in grass skirts and war paint. Points for authenticity in recreation, though?
The comedic timing of acting and editing is off, and some of the kids are definitely better than others, but we aren’t really watching this to see it exceed the original. In fact, if it did, I think the universe might implode in upon itself in a fit of illogic. And Bob Denver might sue. The film seems to be some kind of camp or school project. I’m so curious about this, I’m trying to contact the maker to see what prompted it and how they set everything up.
While I check into that, you can check out the movie and see if it brings any smirks or cringes, little buddy!