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Fan's creepily accurate live-action 'Futurama' disturbs and delights

"Fan-o-rama" gets an eye-popping trailer featuring eerie real-life renditions of the "Futurama" cast.

Professor Farnsworth
Professor Farnsworth in all his wrinkly glory.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Any trailer that rates itself "Q" for "Questionable" is onto something. The faux rating screen for the "Fan-o-rama" trailer reads, "Audiences will no doubt question the creator's motives, self-respect and sanity." You will definitely have some questions after viewing the video, the most likely being "What did I just see?"

"Fan-o-rama" is a lovingly bizarre live-action interpretation of the sci-fi animated cult favorite TV series "Futurama."

"Fan-o-rama" comes from the Cinema Relics team, which lists "food poisoning," "livestock ordinances" and "talent deficit" among its production challenges. This off-kilter humor is exactly the right sort of mindset needed to make a fan film about the quirky world of "Futurama," a series that hinges on the misadventures of a pizza guy who wakes up in the 31st century.

The trailer features all the main stars of the show, including pizza guy Fry, drunken robot Bender, tough one-eyed aviator Leela and wrinkly mad scientist Professor Farnsworth. It's unsettling and wonderful at the same time how their looks have been accurately translated from animation into live action.

The trailer makes you feel like you've been lifted into an Uncanny Valley in an alternate universe. Yes, these are the characters you know and love, but they're almost too real. The filmmakers put a lot of work into practical effects rather than doing everything in CGI, and it pays off by making the viewer feel a little weirded out, but in a good way.

The plot of "Fan-o-rama" appears to center around a quest described as a "single-minded mission for the sweet elixir of life." The video contains cameos from Richard Nixon's disembodied head, the crab-faced alien Doctor Zoidberg and bureaucrat Hermes Conrad. It seems like the fan film will be full of sassy robots, space adventure and at least one Hypnotoad. In short, it looks amazing.

The trailer may be out now, but there's no firm date for the release of the finished film. The trailer promises "this summer," so it should be close. There have been no new "Futurama" installments since the series finished in 2013 (excepting a "Simpsons" crossover). Fans are still hungry for continuing journeys of the crew of the Planet Express Ship, so "Fan-o-rama" will no doubt be welcomed in all its strange glory.