The Internet: a place of limitless possibilities, a digital land where information can be exchanged at incalculable speeds, a haven for the lonely and the forgotten, a potential warehouse for all of mankind's knowledge. It's also a place where people make silly videos and post pictures of their cat on message boards.
However, for every couple thousand slapdash YouTube videos, you'll find a serious creative endeavor well worth a few minutes of your valuable time. One of the more interesting phenomenons of recent years has been the emergence of fan-made movie trailers -- some made from scratch, some compiled entirely out of existing found footage -- that tease a movie that often doesn't even exist.
But which ones are the best? Don't answer that question. That's our job (it's also rhetorical). Join us after the jump for a look at our favorite fan-made movie trailers of 2010!
10. 'Mortal Kombat: Rebirth'
Most of the trailers on this list are small projects whipped together on home computers that are comprised entirely of found footage and enthusiasm. This extended look at a potential new 'Mortal Kombat' movie is a different beast altogether. Although made by fans of the property (which clearly makes it a fan-made trailer), it exists to entice investors and to help get a new film off the ground. It's a far cry from the previous films, eschewing silly martial arts combat in favor of gruesome, gritty action.
9. 'Frame 137'
This one may be bending the rules a little bit, but it's too cool to not include. It's technically a trailer for an upcoming short film based on a series by James O'Barr, who is most known for creating 'The Crow'. A fan trailer for a fan film? Certainly strange, but this nifty teaser promises an awesome little kid kicking a lot of asses across the post-apocalypse. Sold! Bring on the finished film.
8. 'Ender's Game'
Half of the fun of many fan-made trailers is trying to decipher which movies are being pilfered for footage. This trailer for a movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card's science fiction epic 'Ender's Game' opens with dialogue from 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' playing over footage from 'Serenity' and 'Starship Troopers', and only gets crazier and more eclectic from there. There has been talk of an 'Ender's Game' movie for years, but until one actually gains some real momentum, you can enjoy the brisk, light-on-story-but-heavy-on-action teaser.
7. Retro 'The Avengers'
Marvel's big-budget superhero team-up adventure 'The Avengers' is still two years away, but you can whet your appetite with this vintage trailer for the 1940s version ... if, ya know, one actually existed. Utilizing a ton of footage from older films (with a strong emphasis on serial adventure and science fiction movies from the 1930s and 1940s), this "premake" fan trailer gives us a stunningly effective look at what a superhero epic would have looked like in the golden age of Hollywood.
6. 'Rendezvous With Rama'
Like 'Ender's Game,' Arthur C. Clarke's 'Rendezvous With Rama' has almost become a film many times in recent years (at one point David Fincher was going to direct and Morgan Freeman was going to star), but this brainy science fiction tale has yet to see the silver screen. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this extended peek at a nonexistent adaptation, a final student project from the Vancouver Film School. Impressive visuals and sophisticated sound design make this video feel surprisingly professional and make us wish Hollywood would get off its butt and make this thing already!
5. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Matrix
Most "mash-up" trailers are a dime a dozen (seriously, just laying the soundtrack of the 'Dark Knight' trailer over the video of the 'Inception' trailer does not a good video make), but this one is something special. The creator of this video has painstakingly edited audio from 'The Matrix' over the trailer for 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,' even taking the time to match up dialogue with lip movements. The result is a surreal and often hilarious two and a half minutes that doesn't so much parody these films as much as examine how a little audio and video meddling can drastically change the context of a familiar scene.
4. The Expendables: Call to Arms
Those who labeled this silly trailer misogynistic were missing the point. By demanding that the viewer see the manly blood 'n guts action extravaganza 'The Expendables' instead of the "chick flick" 'Eat Pray Love,' this trailer (which is so well done that many sites reported it as actually being created by the studio) was simply riffing on the irony of a testosterone-infused '80s throwback opening against a Julia Roberts vehicle. The result is a humorously desperate plea to every man in the audience to support movies about men being men (i.e. movies about muscled guys blowing things up).
3. Ghostbusters 1954
What if 'Ghostbusers' was made 56 years ago instead of 26? What if the lead roles were played by Bob Hope, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis? Like the retro trailer for 'The Avengers,' this "premake" takes footage from dozens of older films and re-purposes it into a preview for a movie we truly wish actually existed. This one is a bit cleaner and more refined than the 'Avengers' video (and it hits the old timey trailer bits a little better), but the real brilliance comes from the use of quotes from the original 'Ghostbusters' as on-screen text. Cats and dogs living together, indeed!
In terms of style and structure, this fake trailer created by Jaron Pitts for a Hollywood adaptation of a Serbian anime called 'Technotise - Edit & I' bears many similarities to the fan- made preview for 'Ender's Game.' What makes this one special? Well, it was commissioned by a producer who was impressed by Pitts' fan-made 'Green Lantern' trailer and wanted something he could show to entice potential investors. The result? The project stirred the interest of 'Avatar' producer Laeta Kalogridis. And some people say these fan-made trailers are a waste of time!
1. Pokemon: Apokelypse
It's become vogue in recent years for goofy, children's franchises to get a "grim and gritty" makeover in an attempt to appeal to the original fanbase, who are now grown adults. Many fan trailers follow suit, creating fake movies that take a favorite childhood comic or cartoon character and make them dark and oh-so serious. Effectively parodying this trend is the simply amazing fan movie 'Pokemon: Apokelypse,' which takes the beloved videogame/cartoon series/collectible card game and transforms it into a violent, dark drama. Although the creators obviously know the 'Pokemon' franchise inside and out, it's the goofy, self aware "maturity" that elevates this fan trailer to the level of great satire.
And that's our list. Disagree with our selections? What did we leave off? Sound off in the comments below! And don't forget to check out Moviefone's list on the best (real) movie trailers of 2010.