You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Racka Racka: Australian Brothers’ Gory Videos Lead to Film Deal

Racka Racka is one of our 2016 Famechanger honorees. For more, click here

From Down Under comes a disquieting blend of homemade slasher pics, gruesome film-and-video-game parodies, and a homicidal Ronald McDonald doppelgänger. Meet the Racka Racka, the wildly popular YouTube channel operated by 23-year-old identical twins Danny and Michael Philippou. “Wannabe Film-makers on a rampage!” reads their channel description.

They have racked up 2.7 million YouTube subs and more than 330 million views of their intense action videos featuring copious blood-spattering, head-shattering effects. “We try to have a moment in our videos where people say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that!’” says Danny. He describes himself as “the pussy behind the camera,” whereas his brother, Michael, a certified stuntman, is a featured player in many of their productions.

The Philippous, who have been making movies since they were nine, saw their three-minute “Harry Potter vs Star Wars” video go viral in 2014. The clip, a death match between boy wizard and jedi, vaulted them into YouTube stardom and has been viewed more than 21 million times. They’re affiliated with multiplatform network operator BroadbandTV, owned by RTL Group.

And now, the Racka Racka have a film deal: They are in development with Triptych Pictures and Screen Australia on a feature called “Concrete Kings,” based on their childhood spent performing backyard stunts. It’s a “coming-of-age film,” says Danny, which builds up to one big action sequence.

“The Racka Racka’s unique style of comedy fused with entertaining stunts has generated millions of views and a loyal fan base,” says Ali Adab, VP of content and partnerships at BroadbandTV. “They are an exciting duo that’s breaking boundaries and redefining a genre.” Their manager, L.A.-based Naomi Lennon, says the guys bring “sophistication and a sense of fun incorporating professional-level practical stunts, action, and comedy to a tired market of CGI-reliant competitors.”

Sure, if you consider the sight of Ronald McDonald slaughtering a group of kids in a fast-food restaurant using a chainsaw, hatchet, knife, and his bare hands a fresh new form of storytelling. “I think it’s the energy of it—people can relate to the energy,” says Danny Philippou. McDonald’s is aware of the sadistic parody of its mascot, he says, adding, “In a weird way, we’re promoting them.”

How 2016’s top digital stars are transforming entertainment

Their guerilla style carries risks: Michael once needed 26 stitches after a fall during a wrestling scene with an old man.

As for the name, “Racka” is the nickname of Pooraka, the suburb of Adelaide, South Australia, where they grew up and still live. They called the channel “The Racka Racka” because they’re twins. In creating their videos, Danny and Michael draw on a range of pop-culture influences, including the Jackass boys and the bloodlust and cheesy sound effects of “Xena: Warrior Princess.”

“I want to be in filmmaking 100% until I’m dead,” says Danny, “which will probably be pretty soon.”

More Digital

  • Mueller Report Books Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Print Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content