Review Detail

9.6 19 10
(Updated: August 31, 2012)
September 4, 2011

6.I became a Doc Savage fan in 1968…seven years before the movie was released. By the time it was released I had read dozens of the books multiple times….and I was pumped to finally see my favorite hero on the big screen. I cannot fully express the disappointment and embarassment as I left the theater. Being a fan and collector….I bought a VHS copy when it came out, and watched it a few times. Then I got the idea one day to try and cut out as much of the “camp” and stupidity as I could to make a better movie. There’s only so much that can be done by cutting things out on a tape…but it made the movie more watchable, but still bad.

When I first came to this site, I was reading through the descriptions of fanedits that had been made. Imagine my feeling when I read about slark’s previous edit Doc SaLvaged: the Fanedit of Bronze. The things I read that he had done on that were mindblowing to me. It sounded like there was finally hope for Doc fans to see a decent movie of their hero. I unfortuntly was unable to watch that edit, but would actually go and read all the specifics on it many times and play it in my head.

Then slark announced he would do a new more ambitious edit of it. I was exstatic and very happy and proud to be able to help with the making of it with some suggestions that he used. He was kind enough to send me a hard copy of the finished product (for which I can not thank him enough)…and here now is my review. I’m sure there will be spoilers in here.

This edit is fantastic. The DOC SAVAGE movie has gone from an embarassment to something I am happy to show to people. Removing the majority of the John Philip Sousa soundtrack (and especially the Doc Savage song) is the biggest improvement. The music set a tone of “goofy, campy, non seriousness” for the movie. While there is still some humor left in…the overall tone of the movie has been changed for the better. From the removal of the face-palming badness of the song to the knee jerking in sync with the music death of Borden…the tone and mood of the film is now played as a more serious film.

Visual special effects were improved upon (both by inserting new better effects or the simple removal of original ones). The twinkle in Docs eye at several points in the original were cheesy beyond words. They are now gone. The subtitles of the different martial arts styles that helped turn a serious hand to hand combat scene into a joke have also been removed. In the original movie there was an airplane explosion that I saw better done in the 30’s…slark redid it and it now looks much more realistic. There are many other small things like this done to improve the movie. A very good job was done on them. But the biggest and best special effect created by slark is the opening. When I had originally said that I always imagined an old time newsreel opening to the movie…I never thought it could actually be done. But he did it, and it is marvelous. Using deleted scenes, production pictures, scenes from other old movies, and someone doing a great job of mimicking the voice over artists of the 30’s…he created a feature film worthy newsreel. This feature and the way it segues from smallscreen B/W into widescreen color is beautiful.

There were around 20 minutes of footage removed to tighten the action and remove sillyness, campyness, and just bad acting and direction. This along with the musical score change and the less amaturish FX again helps change the whole tone and mood of the movie. I know I may sound repetitive…but I can’t express it enough, the great thing about this edit is that it manages to turn a piece of crap joke into a watchable more serious film. If the purpose of fanediting a film…is to make it a better one…then this edit succeeds enormously.
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