• Trip Owens

The Best Fan-Made YouTube Short Films

As nerds, we love our sci-fi. We love our superheroes. And at times, our expectations don't always line up with Hollywood's vision.

And so, I turn to the Youtubes. The internet has a rich vein of content made by fans, for fans, if you know where to look. So here’s a curated list of five for your viewing enjoyment. Bear in mind some of this content is NSFK (not safe for kids), but they absolutely nail the tone and voice of the properties it’s based on.


Vader: Shards of the Past

All I need to say is that this one opens with a Darth Vader revenge fantasy and it’s as epic as you would think. I love how Vader has evolved from a one note villain to a sympathetic tortured soul with the expansion of the Star Wars universe. This fan film from Star Wars Theory nails the haunting nature of what it is to be Vader and how he’s perpetually torn between who he is and who he was.

Code 8 (NSFK)

Green Arrow and Firestorm (Stephen and Robbie Amell) team up in an original script about people with Super Powers and how they try to make ends meet. The thing I love about this film (which later went on to become a feature) is its’ man on the street perspective. Meaning, just because a character has powers, doesn’t mean he’s super. Robbie Amell’s character works low paying construction and gets cash under the table. But the action is serviceable and it left me curious to find out more about the world the film created.

Gambit: Play For Keeps (NSFK)

This only came out a few choice weeks ago, at the time of writing this, and I really want more. Gambit is a character that oozes this skeevy charm and this film embraces that. The special effects are top notch, great comedic timing and the choreography is sharp. Also, Eric Roberts!

The Raven

This almost could have been a modern silent film. With very little spoken dialogue, it really functions more as a concept piece. But the CGI is great considering the budget AND when it was made. I didn’t know I needed a parkour sci-fi film until I saw this. The man-versus-machine vibe is awesome. I really love the idea of a dystopian world that’s been totally kitted out with big brother machinery, and a man with nothing but his mind and his body trying to overcome.

Batman: Dead End

This is an oldie but a goodie. If you know, you know. But if you don’t, just watch it. And enjoy the jaw drop towards the middle. Might be outrageous, but who cares? It’s awesome.


I can't be the only one out there with a list of faves! Drop a link in the comments below and share your favorite fan films out there!

Be sure to check out the Dadgum Nerds podcast released every Monday at 9am for more Family First Fanboy Fun! You can find Dadgum Nerds on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well!


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