Fan Film, Fan Films

See A 1936 Fan Film—And Meet The Filmmaker!

16-year-old Robbins Barstow made and starred as the title character in the 1936 fan film, "Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge."

16-year-old Robbins Barstow made the 1936 fan film, Tarzan & The Rocky Gorge.

Early fan films are hard to find—in part because many of the filmmakers who made ‘em are no longer around. So this Sunday, November 9, will be a real treat if you happen to attend the Third Annual Hartford International Film Festival in Hartford, CT. Not only will you get to see a classic fan film from 1936, but the star/writer/director will do a Q&A session with the audience afterwards!

Back when he was 16 years old, Dr. Robbins Barstow made Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge with his two brothers and a few girls in the neighborhood. It quickly became a family heirloom, getting shown at Thanksgiving and backyard BBQs. In fact, the flick became such an integral part of Barstow family history that 38 years later, in 1974, they made a sequel, Tarzan and the Lost, Last Whale.

Robbins Barstow lets loose a Tarzan yell in 2005.

Robbins Barstow lets loose a Tarzan yell in 2005.

There’s lot more to the story, so if you go see the flick in Hartford (or pick up Homemade Hollywood), you can find out the rest. I should add that Dr. Barstow, now 88 years old, is great fun to talk to; if you go to see his flick, you’re bound to enjoy his stories. Additionally, he’ll be screening Disneyland Dream, his unique home movie of his family winning a Scotch Tape contest for a trip to the just-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, CA in 1956.

The two films will be screened as part of a selection of Connecticut films starting at 11AM on Sunday, November 9, at the Hartford Children’s Theater, 360 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105. If you can’t make it there, click on the movie titles above, and you can watch them online!

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