Besides the juggernauts of Star Wars and Star Trek, it’s hard to think of a science fiction property that has amassed more fan-created content than Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future. It’s possible the film has inspired thousands more substandard mash-ups and parodies than we know about, but the embarrassed creators went back in time to stop them from being created. Well, the guys from CineFix — specifically Dustin McLean — have put together a rather outstanding musical scene titled “Great Scott.” It’s inspired by one of the film’s more pivotal moments: when Marty gives Doc Brown the letter revealing that he would be shot by terrorists. Save a friend and potentially disrupt space-time forever, or do nothing and maybe save a tree by not using paper to write a letter? I think we know which way Marty went.
This is precisely the conundrum considered in the song, which was performed by McLean as Marty and Piotr Michael, who quite possibly performs the greatest Christopher Lloyd vocal impression I’ve ever heard. (Even more impressive since he’s singing rather than just talking.) This is far from McClean’s first video, but it just might be his best yet.
From the DIY aesthetic (including the big cardboard clock face) to the fluid camera work, “Great Scott” could very well serve as a proof-of-concept video for how well a Back to the Future musical would work in an actual theater tour, or even as a direct-to-video release should the need to use outdoor locations prove too strong. The miniature effects used for the lightning strike were obviously low budget, but it’s definitely part of the overall appeal.
Even if the look of it doesn’t hit everyone in the same way, the song lyrics and performances are better than many little theater productions, and wouldn’t sound out of place on the big stage. I’m a sucker for non-harmonized vocals going back and forth like they do at the end of the video, and it really helps when they’re singing about subject matter than I care about.
I don’t really get into the musical genre all that often, though I’ve been to performances of Spamalot and Young Frankenstein, both of which were nearly as enjoyable as the films that spawned them. There is definitely room in the world for lavish productions of classic genre films, and Back to the Future will almost certainly reach that point before too much longer. And if McLean and Michael are on board, we’re all the better for it.
Interested to see how everything in the video was done? Check out the behind-the-scenes clip below. But only if you have more time.