Review Detail

9.6 19 10
(Updated: August 31, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
10.0
September 6, 2011

CASE NUMBER 1975-2011
Doc Savage: The Man Of Bronze – Detarnished! fanedit.

ALL RISE
Judge imp_ardnfi presiding.

THE CHARGE
95% percent less camp?

OPENING STATEMENT
Holy hi-jinks, Batman! Fan editor slark takes the POW’s, BOFF’s, THWAP’s, and more, out of George Pal’s 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man Of Bronze!

FACTS OF THE CASE
Doc Savage was a 1930-40′s pulp-magazine character who’s worldwide adventures were written (initially and mostly) by Lester Dent (1904-1959) under the Street And Smith Publications house pen-name of Kenneth Robeson. Even though a few other writers filled in during looming deadlines of the 16 year run for Doc Savage Magazine, the self-made super-hero Doc Savage was mostly the heart and soul of Lester Dent’s prodigious writing output.

After the pulp publications, Doc Savage continued to live on:
* Radio serials during the 1930′s
* Comic books started in the 1940′s, revived in the 1970′s, and sporadic publication today
* Bantam Book reprints of the pulp series in the 1960′s, graced by dramatic and magnificent covers by legendary artist James Bama
* A 1960′s television series that never developed
* The 1970′s George Pal movie
* And a new movie by the makers of The Dark Knight (Batman) – presently in the works

Sometime in the late 1960′s or early 1970′s, movie producer George Pal obtained the Doc Savage rights from Lester Dent’s widow to begin a film & TV franchise. The novel “The Man Of Bronze” was to be the basis of the movie, with additional elements brought in from other of the Doc Savage stories. After filming and release of Doc Savage: The Man Of Bronze, it appeared the approach of the movie was inspired by the campy (“so bad it’s good”) Batman TV series. But whatever the reason, reaction of the movie-going public was similar to Daily Variety’s review: “execrable acting, dopey action sequences, and clumsy attempts at camp humor mark George Pal’s Doc Savage as the kind of kiddie film that gives the G rating a bad name”. It bombed at the box-office and any thought of making a franchise died with it.

Enter a fan editor who would not wait for Hollywood to do the George Pal movie justice. His first attempt to remove the most egregious camp elements was more like a dry run, a proof of concept. From that, he saw it needed to be taken further. With experience under his belt, he set out for a 2nd fan edit. His name? slark.

THE EVIDENCE
The can be no rebuttal here — Doc Savage: The Man Of Bronze is a movie that involves it’s audience, with moans and groans, at every heavy-handed shot, awkward scene, and disappointing sequence. It appeared unsalvageable. Still, the movie was made from the same metal of Lester Dent’s original tales. If cleaned of camp’s tarnish, something nobler yet might shine through.

Even viewing slark’s “before and after” Detarnished! trailers, you may cringe at the “before”, yet breath amazed relief at the “after”. They reflect only some of this fan-edit’s efforts — where absurd story elements were excised, hokey effects were replaced by believable and appropriate visuals and sounds, and individual shots were moved around or eliminated for better flow. Yes, every new edit, every new effect, every newly fixed bit, compounded the overall improvement of the movie! And slark, with his fabulous crew of helpers and advisers, proved their metal (bronze)!

For this fan edit, slark didn’t stop there. The complete package includes the re-made movie, a special introduction to Doc Savage (bypass able), subtitles, in-movie text commentary, chapters (and other) menus, original teaser and trailer, original “Making The Man Of Bronze” featurette, and “Fragments from the Faneditor’s Floor” (if you like to groan and laugh at the same time). For computer users, a “DVD ROM folder” contains artwork for DVD label and case cover, browser viewable fan-edit-text crawls, and a wide assortment of pictures and articles about the Man Of Bronze (comics, posters, lobby cards, pressbook, “next movie” script, original sheet music). Supply your own bronze-colored DVD case to finish the experience.

THE VERDICT
Holy cow! Guilty on all counts! However that’s a good thing for defendant slark — it’s what he set out to do. Court dismissed!
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