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'Beyond Black Mesa' Half-Life fan film released

“The best thing we could ever do would be to just not do this,” Gabe Newell told PC Gamer last year when the possibility of Hollywood making a Half-Life movie was raised. “Or we'd have to make it ourselves,” he added. Well, indie filmmakers Brian Curtin and Matthew Hall know Valve has plenty on its plate, so they went out and made their own film.

Titled Beyond Black Mesa, it went live this week, and you can view it below. We know this happened a few days ago, but if you haven't seen it yet... it's NEW TO YOU!

Like previous fan-generated shorts – Street Fighter Legacy springs to mind – Beyond Black Mesa has two things going in its favor. Firstly, it's made by people who know their shit and love the hell out of the source material. (You can't survive a day on a film set unless you're being paid well or you really love the subject matter – and Curtin/Hall haven't announced any day-job departures just yet).


Above: This flare-lit interlude is straight out of Aliens. If you're going to steal, steal from the best

Secondly, it's ten minutes long – meaning the stylistic showmanship, overdone orange/teal palette and and action-heavy plot don't have a chance to get on your wick. It's just 11 minutes of “how'd they do that?” moments and winking nods at everything from Portal to Naked Gun. If you like what you see here, show some love below. Then head to the pic's website and let them know what you thought – and how they might fit headcrabs into the sequel...

Jan 25, 2011

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32 comments

  • Baron164 - January 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.

    Awesome video, a few odd decisions in parts of the video but really cool.
  • zeetlock - January 26, 2011 1:57 a.m.

    FIRST! i hope...
  • 8bitBaby - January 26, 2011 2:03 a.m.

    finally, AWESOME!
  • ventanger - January 26, 2011 2:07 a.m.

    Sooooo.... why are the headcrab zombies just regular zombies? Not being nit picky... it's just that there weren't "zombies" in half-life... it's like adding vampires into a fanfilm about Halo.
  • 8bitBaby - January 26, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    it's good... but with those zombies looking like that i think it could be a L4D/L4D2 film if it weren't for the combine soldiers. C:
  • ricono - January 26, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    i loved everthing about the video except there were no Headcrabs! but other then that absolutly awesome
  • santaclouse37 - January 26, 2011 3:01 a.m.

    I actually understand and support the decision not to include head crabs. As independent filmmakers, they more than likely simply didn't have the funds to create realistic looking headcrab models or CGI, and any attempts to do so would've looked fake or cheap. It's incredibly hard to make realistic looking living things, and headcrabs would've completely broken the suspension of disbelief. Instead, they decided to nix them and do the best with what resources they had, and concentrate on marking up the quality of everything else, and for that I salute them.
  • BLOODmuffins - January 26, 2011 4:46 a.m.

    Great film, the camerwork was fantastic, the score rocked, and I loved how the sound effects were taken straight from the game. It would have been nice if there was more dialogue other than just voiceovers, though. But overall, it was awesome. Now we just need to wait for Half-Life 3...
  • dunker_dude - January 26, 2011 5:05 a.m.

    escape from city 17 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> beyond black mesa.
  • Fuzunga - January 26, 2011 5:12 a.m.

    You guys ought to post about Fallout Nuka Break before you get too behind.
  • Ultima - January 26, 2011 7:03 a.m.

    Very nicely produced but way too Americanized. Gordon is nothing whatsoever like Gordon Freeman and the bit where he turns into a ninja is just silly. He is supposed to be a scientist after all.
  • OD-Apache - January 26, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    The only thing I didn't like were the costumes and just aesthetic look of the resistance fighters. Clothes were too clean, characters themselves were too clean. The dude wouldn't have time to worry about his cool black jacket, cut-off gloves and Pumas, and the big dude wouldn't have time to straighten his hair, nor would the girl have her cute acid wash jeans that somehow managed to stay that clean. That being said, all else is fantastic. I know this might just be pish-posh to some, but being a Game-Arts major I can't help it.
  • Duke-Atreides - January 26, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    Ultima, thats not supposed to be Gordon.
  • Duke-Atreides - January 26, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    Also, Half Life is an American game. How can it be Americanized?
  • yonderTheGreat - January 26, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    "don't have a chance to get on your wick." And this is from GR US? Really?
  • MikeT - January 26, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    I think Edward Norton would be the perfect Gordon
  • KiLLc0R3 - January 26, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    honestly i say that was really quite good man now see what the real problem here is that there are film students out there like these guys making amazing nostalgia boner inducing greatness, but the fuckin suits at places like nbc would much rather hemorrhage millions on steamy disgusting herpes sore piles like the cape... theres no justice i tells ya none at all... -________-
  • infernox - January 26, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    also they used l4d zombies instead of headcrab zombies and combine use electric prods, not swords.
  • Ultima - January 26, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    @Duke-Atreides it is Americanized in the fact that everybody is good looking and clean cut, everybody knows martial arts, there is an excess of slowmotion and it is over stylised to the point of being cheesy. Basically it fits all the hollywood stereotypes rather than doing something original with the source material. This is in stark contrast to the game which is highly original, no frills and all about atmosphere, intelligent design and class without ever resorting to cheap gimmicks or cliches.
  • Imgema - January 26, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    I hate to be the only one negative about this but it was boring, unoriginal and predictable. Full with cliches from mainstream Hollywood movies (slow-motion and matrix style fights anyone?). Fan-made projects should, at least, be more original and more subtle. And i'm not going to talk about the actors at all (because it's fan made). Technically, it was kinda good though (for a fan-made) Also, if there was going to be a Halflife movie, i would like to be made from the same director who made Children of Men.

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