Much of the movie's production design, music and effects were deliberately made to appear as if they were from a sub par video game.
Has more than 900 VFX shots, including composites, color enhancements and clean-ups. In spite of this, James Rolfe was insistent that the vast majority of the film's special effects were achieved through practical methods, including miniature models, animatronics, makeup, monster suits, and even rear-projection.
Doug Walker filmed his cameo for the movie when James Rolfe paid his friend a visit en route home from Los Angeles, and Rolfe in turn made a cameo in Walker's film To Boldly Flee (2012).
Unable to secure funding from traditional investors, James Rolfe decided to independently raise money for the film using donations from his fans through both PayPal and the fundraising website IndieGoGo. Though he had initially hoped to raise $75,000 this way, Rolfe managed to raise over $325,000 for the film's budget. Because the project was entirely fan supported, Rolfe was allowed complete creative control over the film.
On April 26, 2014, the New Mexico desert where the E.T. Atari games were allegedly buried was excavated by Microsoft as part of a documentary. What was once an urban legend was declared fact. The event was open to the public, designer Howard Scott Warshaw and director Zak Penn attended the event as part of a documentary about the burial, as did local residents such as Armando Ortega, a city official who is reportedly one of the original kids that raided the dump in 1983. Only 728,000 cartridges were buried at the site, and remnants of other Atari games were discovered in the early hours of the excavation, as reported by Microsoft's Larry Hyrb. James Rolfe's inbox was flooded with messages about the dig, and he was quoted as saying, "I've known about the project for a while, and I've been in talks with them. Why I have never posted anything is because I respect the secrecy of any project as much as my own. I was going to be involved at the excavation, but of all dates, it landed on my daughter's one year birthday, which is my priority. As I've expected, they've unearthed the motherload of shit, but think about how many people threw that game in the garbage. I'm sure you can dig up any landfill and find at least a few copies of that game. I bet there's some in my backyard. But anyway, I guess everyone's expecting a response from me, or some kind of reaction. Well it's strangely hilarious. It's weird. The kind of thing where the planets align by some mysterious stroke of fate. When I first heard about the plans to dig up the games, I was beyond shocked. Imagine if you were making a movie about the search for Nessie, and then all of a sudden, somebody drains Loch Ness. What were the chances?"
The plot of the film was inspired by the infamous history of the 1982 video game E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), an adaptation of the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) for the Atari 2600. Made purely to cash in on the success of the film, having been programmed in only five weeks by one man, the game is popularly regarded as one of the worst video games ever made. The game was one of the biggest commercial failures in video gaming history, and was a contributing factor to Atari's massive financial losses during 1983 and 1984, which in turn was a contributing factor to the video game industry stock market crash of 1983. As a result of overproduction and returns, millions of unsold cartridges were buried in an Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill in the desert. The infamous nature of the game caused it to be The Angry Video Game Nerds most requested game review, and Howard Scott Warshaw, the sole designer of the game, was given a cameo appearance in the film.
Ever since the Nerd series premiered on YouTube in 2006, James Rolfe was interested in somehow turning this concept into a movie. He and his good friend Kevin Finn, whom he used to make short films with in high school, had a draft of the script written up in 2008.
The reason Nerd wears thicker glasses is because James Rolfe wanted to differentiate the movie from the Angry Video Game Nerd series by altering the Nerd's outfit.
When Death Mwauthzyx is destroying Las Vegas, there are two Neon Billboards advertising 'Shit Pickle' and 'The Bullshit Man'. Both characters are inventions of James Rolfe and have both appeared separately in the AVGN web series.
Final film project of Justin Carmical. There was an improvised scene featuring him (without his Wario hat, due to copyright reasons) and other video game reviewers but it was reduced to him and other reviewers reacting hysterically to The Nerd's videos.
The real-life location for the video game store which The Nerd works at is Next-Gen Video Games, based in Los Angeles. The store's owner can be seen in the movie playing Asteroids at the bar arcade, fist-bumping The Nerd as he enters, and sporting a Next-Gen t-shirt.
James Rolfe and his wife April drove to California, all the way from their Philadelphia hometown.
The idea of the movie first came about back in 2006 when James Rolfe and his high school friend Kevin Finn discuss about a movie based on the then new Angry Nintendo Nerd series.
Most of the movie is filmed in L.A. because of the required locations needed and the unpredicted weather that often occurs in the east coast.
Robbie Rist enjoyed James Rolfe's review on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 so much that he personally contacted James that he's interested in being in any type of Cinemassacre film project if ever needed. Robbie got the role of the alien once production started on this movie.
All video game footage in the film was computer animated, particularly the fictional Atari and NES games. However, the sound effects used in the fictional games were taken from their real-life counterparts.
The scene where The Nerd dreams of an alien head breaking though his bedroom window is a recreation of a recurring nightmare James Rolfe had as a child, where after having seen E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) in theaters, Rolfe would have dreams that E.T. would come through his bedroom window.
The film's script was completed in 2008 after James Rolfe and Kevin Finn met on and off for two years to collaborate. It was quietly shelved for two years as James focused on the continuing production of the regular web series. In 2010, James reduced production of AVGN and announced the plans to finally produce the movie (although the public was unaware of these plans until then). 2011 saw the financing of the movie through crowd-funding and various investors. Pre-production began in early 2012, with the first unit of principle photography starting on April 1, 2012 in the Los Angeles area. LA unit production wrapped on May 12. The east coast unit (much of which was done solely by James himself) suffered an incredible number of delays due to James Rolfe's personal life as well as the return to his web series. It took over a year-and-a-half to finish, finally wrapping up on December 30, 2013. Fortunately, James had been working in elements of post-production during this lengthy production time and was able to expand many elements to other artists working in tandem. The visual effects production unit wrapped six months later on June 9, 2014. Post-production finally ended mere weeks prior to the July 21, 2014 premiere. When describing the film at the premiere, James said that what the audience was about to see is "eight years of [mine and Kevin's] lives in just two hours".
On October 2014, the E.T. review was released on YouTube, which uses real footage from the Atari 2600 game.
The last on-screen appearance of Justin Carmical, who committed suicide six months prior to the film's release.
"Xenophobe" was an arcade title by the defunct video game company, Midway Games. However, Sunsoft (developer of the NES version) has been renamed as Shitsoft and gameplay footage was computer-animated.
Howard Scott Warshaw's role was originally written as a mad scientist character but the former game designer requested his role to a cameo instead of an eccentric version of himself, which later became Dr. Zandor.
Although Mike Matei was instrumental in developing the Angry Video Game Nerd character, he had very little involvement with the film. His cameo along with Kyle Justin in the landfill were shot in front of a green screen in their Philadelphia hometown.
An idea for a sequel was going to be about the long lost Swordquest prizes. However because of how long it took to write, film, and edit this movie, James Rolfe decided to not make a sequel in favor of pursuing other film projects made at a smaller scale.
The face at the end of the phallic-shaped "Cockburn Industries" van logo is based on Angry Birds, particularly the character Red.
Wilhelm scream: when the three main characters are driving away from the antagonists, they cause mayhem through a small town. The scream is heard when a man jumps out of the way.
During production,James Rolfe,the director, had a miniature rocket ship that caught too much smoke and resulted in his security system calling the fire department all at three in the morning.
In las Vegas there is a sign advertising Munky Cheez, one of James Rolfe's earlier creations from college.
Louis Zandor is likely named for a combination of Louis Tully, and Ivo Shandor from the Ghostbusters franchise.
Doug Walker: The man who screams after seeing his own copy of the E.T. game float away.