Zak McKracken fan film feels alien in all the right ways

‘If you’ve recently been feeling stupid, trust me, you’re not the only one’

In my mind, Zak McKracken is the unsung hero of the classic LucasArt point-and-click line up. If the Monkey Island series is analogous to a crowd-pleaser like Back to the Future, then Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders is the equivalent to related-but-underrated film like Buckaroo Banzai. Fans of the game have kept it alive in their imaginations for over 20 years, and are still clamoring for a sequel to this day. David Fox, Zak’s creator, told us on Sup Holmes a few weeks ago that after he’s done collaborating with fellow LucasArts legends Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick on Thumbleweed Park, he may end up returning to a game like Zak. I hope he does. 

In the meantime, I’m going to soak in the this lovably earnest fan film a few more times. Like a lot of passion projects, it’s pretty uneven in quality. The music is amazing, the CGI character models are good, the little nods to the original game are heartfelt, and the dubbing is charmingly poor. Basically, it’s exactly like the new episode of Samus and Sagat.

Regardless, the film does a great job of summing up the premise of the game. If you’re a fan of the original source material, or are curious about Zak but don’t want to commit to giving it a play, this film will do your body good.

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes