Remember my disappointment about “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?”
I think I’ve found a way to beat those my-favorite-movie-won’t-come-out-til-next-year doldrums. It’s called “Wizard People, Dear Reader.”
To quote the YouTube blurb: “‘Wizard People, Dear Reader’ is an unauthorized re-envisioning of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ by Brad Neely.
After spreading rapidly among Neely’s friends in Austin, ‘Wizard People’ made its theatrical debut at the New York Underground Film Festival, to rapturous applause. We think Neely has crafted an as-of-yet-unnamed new art form, one everyone should experience for themselves.”
Narrated by Brad Neely in a froggy, raspy voice, “Wizard People” is a scene-for-scene retelling of “Sorcerer’s Stone” (based on J.K. Rowling’s book) liberally laced with cuss words, flights of fantasy and outright lies.
It’s brilliant and demented, “Harry Potter” as interpreted by someone who’s watched the movie repeatedly under a haze of marijuana and Molson.
In Neely’s hands, Harry Potter (or “H.P.”) becomes a swearing, cognac-swilling Greek god. His best mate Ron Weasley comes across as a fearsome warrior nicknamed “Ronnie the Bear.” And brainy Hermoine? She’s the hideous “Harmony.”
Some of the flubs seem natural — like confusing Hagrid, the half-giant gamekeeper, with cartoon viking Hagar the Horrible. (Seriously, who hasn’t done that before?) Others are just bizarre.
You can watch the entire series, all 35 glorious chapters — including the credits, during which Neely begs the filmmakers not to sue him — right here.
“Wizard People, Dear Reader” and Neely himself are also featured in the upcoming documentary “We Are Wizards,” which takes a bemused look at the burgeoning “wizard rock” scene.
This is a place where J.K. Rowling’s books and “Harry Potter” movies inspire imaginations, where bands like Harry and the Potters and The Hungarian Horntails command legions of gleefully nerdy fans.
“We Are Wizards” is currently making the festival circuit but I hope it hits local theaters soon.
“Wizard People, Dear Reader” is hardly the limit to Neely’s creativity.
He’s also created a series of kooky animated shorts, starring characters like Baby Cakes and The Professor Brothers. Funny and quirky to the extreme, the videos’ crazed charm comes from their musical numbers, herky-jerky animation (it’s a bit like a flipbook) and the simplicity of Neely’s drawings.
You can watch all of them at SuperDeluxe.com. As you’d expect, there are a few swear words and adult themes, so proceed with caution.
Photo courtesy of MovieWeb.com.
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