Review Detail

9.6 19 10
(Updated: November 14, 2012)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Visual Editing
Audio Editing
October 15, 2011

I have to admit that before reading all the positive reviews on Slark’s ambitious Doc Savage fanedit, I really didn’t know much about the adventures of the man of bronze. I actually thought he originated as a DC comic book character, so that’s my knowledge for you. Curious to see what all the fuss was about I soon realised this would be something which would tickle my fancy.

For a movie which is steeped very much in the camp comic book style of William Dozier’s Batman series, Doc Savage is no easy task for anybody to take on as a fanedit – particularly if the intention is to strip away the most ridiculous elements (of which there are many) and present a serious take on the character. Well, okay, not completely serious, as the footage just isn’t there for such an edit – but certainly a version of the Doc which at least draws you in with some degree of authenticity and believability.

Settling down with my girlfriend (who knew even less about Mr Savage and his Fabulous Five) to watch Slark’s 83 minute version, I was immediately impressed with the wonderful newsreel opening, neatly combining some scenes from the film which Slark had chose to cut with different stock photos to tell a little bit of the back story about our hero. Very nicely executed with a quite brilliant voiceover too. After this, it’s straight to Savage’s secret base in the Arctic which is mercifully free of Don Black’s “Doc Savage” theme song. Some very impressive sound effects replacement here and I knew from this moment on that I was in for one of those truly special fanedit experiences.

Indeed edits such as this do make me somewhat envious in that I wish I could afford some of the tools which were available to Slark. By that I mean software like After Effects (at least I assume it was AE or some similar programme!) which has helped remove things such as Doc’s cheesy twinkle in his eye, or most noticeably improve the scene of the man drenched in gold at the end of the film. The work involved here is quite staggering really and it’s easy to see why the edit has attracted such high acclaim.

Yet, with the risk of being shot down in flames, I would still have liked Slark to go even further and remove more of the ill fitting music score. Considering some of the impressive Foley work executed for the aforementioned Arctic scenes, it would not have been impossible to do, but hey that’s just a personal preference.
Editing. Very impressive and as natural as one could wish for from any fanedit 10/10

On the picture quality front, this is every bit as good as the commercially available DVD. Nice stable image and the newsreel footage placed into the film fitted in more or less seamlessly. 9/10

Audio – no harsh cuts at all and balance is about as perfect as one can get. 9/10

Overall then, this is certainly a contender for fanedit of the year and I must commend Slark for the passion and drive he had to make this edit as good as possible. I’m tempted to give it a 10/10, but because I feel some of the music score could have been altered to make it even better, I will give a 9/10.

Doc Savage has indeed been rescued. Mission accomplished :)
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