"The curator wanted to thank us for helping with the new Da Vinci Gallery."
Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure is an Indiana Jones fan film created by Daniel and Andrew Bermudez in 2004. This film officially marks the beginning of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s existence, as it is one of the oldest films by the company.
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
The film opens with Indiana Jones receiving a note from Marcus Brody, which states that he is certain of the existence of the Treasure of the Leopard at Great Zimbabwe. Indy packs up and heads to the airport.
Later in Zimbabwe, Indy gets some sleep at a hotel, but a henchman working for Baron Von Stuka tries to kill him. Indy catches the henchman off-guard and shoots him. On his way to the location of Marcus' map, Baron Von Stuka spies on Indy. Indy grabs the map, goes back to the hotel, and translates.
While he is translating, Marcus charges in, escaping from the Nazi camp. He tells Indy that the Nazis are after the Leopard's Treasure because they believe that it will give them supernatural powers. Marcus supplies Indy with all of the information that he will need to find the treasure, then gets ready to head back to America, where he says that he can read more about the treasure at the Library of Congress. In the meantime, Indy heads out to find three stones that he will need to find the treasure.
Indy takes a taxi to Great Zimbabwe, but discovers that his driver is actually Braon Von Stuka. Indy hits his driver, causing the taxi to stop. Indy escapes as Baron Von Stuka vows revenge.
Climbing through several shrubs, Indy finds all three stones in quick succession. However, as Indy heads back to town, Baron Von Stuka follows him.
That night, Indy returns to Great Zimbabwe with the three stones, but Baron Von Stuka has already arrived at the ruins. The two engage in a gun and fist fight which ends with Indy shooting Baron Von Stuka dead. Afterwards, Indy lines up the three stones, causing the Leopard's Treasure to appear. Indy grabs it and leaves.
Two days later, Indy arrives back in the U.S. with the treasure. Marcus admires the treasure and congratulates Indy on the find.
Shortly after their first camera was acquired during Christmas 2003, Daniel and Andrew Bermudez created several Indiana Jones fan films in January and February 2004. However, during a tape pre-loading procedure, that camera was damaged beyond repair, so a replacement was sought out. The new camera, which filmed in full digital video (though it did still record to tape) was acquired in early April 2004.
With this new camera in hand, there were plenty of ways to test it out. This film was conceived as a way to play around with the camera's features, including night vision, fading, and direct computer importing. Because of this, no script, no storyboards, and no direction was ever created; this film was rather made on the fly, with only a very loose outline, in one day in April 2004.
This film was also seen as a way to play around with editing software. Pinnacle Studio 8 was used for this film, which was edited with a more experimental flow than a direct, planned one. Because of this, the film took some time to complete and release, which happened on June 4, 2004.
On February 21, 2014, this film was re-edited and re-released as part of the "Ten Years of Going Crazy!" promotional campaign. This re-edit added new sound effects, removed a pointless scene of a henchman dying, and cleaned up the video quality. However, because the film had fallen into obscurity and was seen as holding the YouTube Channel back due to its bad production qualities, this film was removed from the internet in 2017.
This film was fairly well-received in its initial release. In its re-release, the film was honored as a look back at the company's beginning, but was otherwise forgotten.
- Visual Error: Due to composition issues, Baron Von Stuka's head is cropped out of the frame when he is spying on Indy.
- Audio Error: When Marcus Brody first meets Indy at the hotel, Indy accidentally calls Marcus by the name of Daniel (the name of the actor).
- Audio Error: With the limitations of Pinnacle Studio, many of the sound effects do not align with the action on the screen. The punches are especially egregious in this regard.
- Continuity Error: At the hotel, Marcus says that he will call Indy before he heads out to find the treasure, but the phone call is never shown. This is because the phone call scene was cut out for being too dull.
- Visual Error: When Baron Von Stuka and Indy are fighting at Great Zimbabwe, Baron Von Stuka sticks a piece of gum back into his mouth before being shot.
- Indiana Jones (Andrew Bermudez)
- Marcus Brody (Daniel Bermudez)
- Baron Von Stuka (Daniel Bermudez)
- Henchman (Daniel Bermudez)
- Great Zimbabwe
- Andrew Bermudez - Assistant Director; Producer; Actor; Editor
- Daniel Bermudez - Director; Actor; Editor
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure contains examples of the following tropes.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Being an Indiana Jones fan film, this is a given.
- Adventurer Outfit: Being an Indiana Jones fan film, this is a given.
- Artistic License - Gun Safety: When the henchman tries to attack Indy while he sleeps, he pulls back and releases the hammer on his pistol. Anyone who has handled a pistol knows that this is a very bad idea, especially if there is a bullet in the chamber, since the hammer is what detonates the cap and fires the bullet.
- Canon Immigrant: Both Indiana Jones and Marcus Brody are this, even if they canonically aren't supposed to be their cinematic counterparts.
- Excuse Plot: The film's story was discussed less as an interesting adventure and more as a way to experiment with all of the new camera's settings. Most notable is the nighttime finale, which was conceived just to test the camera's night vision.
- MacGuffin: The Leopard's Treasure is this. It's never even explained what it is, though a deleted scene does reveal that it's just a rock.
- Mock Guffin: Subverted in that the reveal is in a deleted (though still canon) scene, but the Leopard's Treasure turns out to be a tiny rock.
- Mooks: Character-less henchmen appear throughout this film just so Indy can kill them.
- No Sneak Attacks: Averted by the first henchman, who tries to attack Indy while he's asleep. However, since he really wasn't asleep yet, the henchman is taken out with ease. Baron Von Stuka, however, plays this straight in Great Zimbabwe, where he announces his presence by evilly laughing.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: This was the start of Mustache Maniacs Film Co., so the sets and props were improvised around the house while on the fly. Even the treasure was just a rock from Daniel Bermudez's rock collection.
- Take Our Word for It: What is the Leopard's Treasure? What does it do? What powers do the Nazis think it has? None of these questions are ever answered in the film. Canonically, though, the treasure's true nature as revealed in a deleted scene is that it's...just a rock.
- Those Wacky Nazis: The villains are all Nazis.
- Treasure Map: Marcus hides one for Indy to find, which he does.
- Whip It Good: Indy's whip appears here, though it is not used often.
- The day that this film was shot, April 18, 2004, is officially recognized as the founding date of Mustache Maniacs Film Co., since that was the day that a film that was ready to be imported into a computer was created (technology for converting VHS to digital wasn't available at the studio yet).
- This film was envisioned as a sort-of remake of Indiana Jones and the Forbidden Mayan Temple, since the character of Baron Von Stuka was resurrected for this film.
- This is officially the first film created by Mustache Maniacs Film Co., since the pre-formation films wouldn't be released until 2009.