The Best Half-Life Fan Films

Fan films are generally terrible. Search your feelings padawan, you know this to be true. The makers of the film are usually so obsessed with whatever property they’re adapting for their film that their reverence takes a front seat to whatever skills they may otherwise have, leading fan films to feel more like an act of religious devotion rather than an attempt to test your abilities as a filmmaker on a property you have a lot of familiarity with. See Batman: Dead End for a perfect example of the worst excesses of fan films. (It is for this reason that the good fan films tend to be the ones that poke fun of the franchise in some way, like Troops.)

Sometimes, however, whether or not the film contains shining examples of the things that make watching fan films so terrible, the otherwise exceptional high quality – particularly in the face of low budgets, unskilled actors or amateur production techniques – makes the film a delight, if only because you have to admire the love and skill that went into it. And for some reason, the Half-Life community is just The Best at this. In honor of that, we’d like to showcase 5 of the best Half-Life Fan Films.

1) Singularity Collapse

Created by an outfit called Super Punch, this clever video blew up last summer when it emerged seemingly from nowhere. It doesn’t have the best action, but it’s in first person, it definitely takes place in the HL universe, and the effects are surprisingly off the chain.

2) официальный трейлер фильма “Freeman`s days. Day One”

We flagged this one a couple of weeks back. официальный трейлер фильма, “Freeman`s days. Day One” is a pretty swank Russian-made Half-Life fan series slated for release sometime later this year. This is just the trailer. Even so, damn. Set during the Half-Life timeline and largely following the game‘s story, it’s likely to be a slow-going series. As you can see, they’re taking great care to make this thing look great. We’ll definitely be looking forward to watching.

3) Half-Life: Origins (Live Action)

Another video that blew up last year, Half-Life: Origins is a look at the series beginning with some smart live action and decent effects. As Game Bandits points out, this isn’t a substitute for HL3, but it’ll do in a pinch. And they’re right, it’s pretty amazing.

4) Beyond Black Mesa

This one’s a doozy, a good one. Set at the beginning of the Half-Life series, this one follows a group of survivors, including Adrian Shepherd, as they experience the disaster at Black Mesa and try to alert the world to the threat. SPOILER ALERT: The World kind of ends anyway.

5) Escape From City 17

Directed by The Purchase Brothers, Escape From City 17 is an amazing fan film series, now in two parts. Part one dropped back in 2009 and was created on a teeeny tiny budget, largely as a spec for the pair’s demo reel. It was widely acclaimed however, so, though it took nearly two years, and a lot of love, part 2 finally arrived in 2011. The series concerns the battle for City 17 (from half-Life 2), and it’s amazing. Enjoy.



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1 Comment on The Best Half-Life Fan Films

J. Ambrus

On October 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Hey there!

We just wanted to let you know that we have recently launched a new 100% independent Marvel fan film entitled The Punisher: No Mercy, starring Shawn Baichoo (Assassin’s Creed video game series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and Amber Goldfarb (AC3: Liberation, AC4), and directed by me, J. Ambrus.

Our film has already garnered an enthusiastic following on facebook (5000+ views in the first week)and twitter (over 1000 follows) with Q&A panels at this year’s Ottawa and Montreal Comiccon 2013, where No Mercy was met with great fanfare.

Here is the link to the finished film (Runtime:18mins)


An original short fan film based on the character created by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr, and Ross Andru, Frank Miller (Elektra), and property of MARVEL (Disney). Screenplay by Davila LeBlanc and Shawn Baichoo.

Expect no deals, no compromises and no mercy in this fan-adaptation of Marvel’s foremost anti-hero, The Punisher! In “The Punisher: No Mercy” Frank Castle pursues his dark crusade of brutal justice against criminals who prey on the innocent. They may think they’re above the law, and they may be right, but they’re not above punishment, they’re not above HIM.

Shawn Baichoo (Assassin’s Creed Series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Outlast) as Frank Castle/The Punisher
Amber Goldfarb (Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, Helix, Being Human, Lost Girl) as Elektra

Directed by J. Ambrus
Cinematography by Jean-Maxim Desjardins
Original Film Score by Shayne Gryn

Also Starring:
James Malloch
Giancarlo Caltabiano
Kristina San

Produced by:
Shawn Baichoo
Amber Goldfarb
Gregory Bowes

Enjoy the film and don’t hesitate to reach out if you want more information about this amazing indie project.

Best Regards,
J. Ambrus