This was one of the first fan edits I watched. After the Massive disappointment that was the original film, this movie was a welcome relief.
This edited version is a good movie, in and of itself. It is a fun, rather lighthearted, adventure film. It ends up feeling a lot like the movie “The Princess Bride” or perhaps like a slightly more lighthearted Indiana Jones.
The original film was ridiculous. It was plagued by poor directing choices, a bizarre musical score, ridiculous special effects, and unfunny jokes. The secondary villain for some reason, sleeps in an overgrown crib and sucks his thumb. Wut? It was a bad movie, but it was made by some very talented actors, and (after having watched this edit) it appears that there was a lot of potential in it.
When compared to the original, this edit goes from being merely good and fun to being Great, Extraordinary, completely amazing, or whatever other superlative you’d care to throw at it. Yes, there is still some ‘Adam West-y’ dialogue, and there are a few moments of ridiculousness, but that is part of the charm. And, at this point, it is so secondary to the real story that it actually functions as a bit of comic relief. The pacing is good, and the movie is so much FUN to watch. Detarnished is funny, suspenseful, and enjoyable. This movie, by and large, is the epitome of the perfect geek movie.
If you balked at the original, watch this movie and be astounded. If you enjoyed the original, or see the whole concept of fan edits as blasphemy watch this movie anyway. I think you’ll be surprised. If you've never seen the original, go out and buy it so that you can watch this version and enjoy it with a clean conscience.
Had this been commercially released, it would be regarded as a classic. It would be one of those films that gets re-released every two years, and that everyone (EVERYONE) has seen a dozen times over. Sadly, it was not to be. My hat goes off to Slark for creating something so beautiful out of such dubious materials.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyOctober 14, 2012
I am humbled - yet gratified - by these words of high praise. Many thanks.
This edit is absolutely perfect! I had never heard of this movie before I heard of this edit. So I wanted to see the original, and man was it bad. It was so bad in fact that it's taken me almost a year to watch the fanedit.
And I am so glad I did. Slark has turned a bomb into a smashing success.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyNovember 14, 2012
Yeah, I do always try to impress upon my friends that they should watch the fanedit FIRST - for that very reason!
Amazing. That's all there is to it. The editor has retrieved a pretty decent film from the shell of a truly bad film: something watchable and enjoyable, rather than something you might own on a "completist impulse," or out of a sense of the macabre, or for masochistic reasons, or to torment your friends and family. The original version has some good bits but overall, its just awful. Too much is played for laughs, but without being very funny or cleverly camp or even enjoyable. Cutting away the dreadful (the villain who sleeps in a baby cot, the sequence of fighting in sumo, king fu etc. etc.) and the laboured (like the villains' tiresome evil-laugh-festival), and removing the silliest (the Sousa marches, the twinkle in Doc's eye near his fortress, the sparkles on the main villain's black coat etc.) makes a big difference. The movie is shorter, but less is very clearly better. The opening newsreel makes great framing device. Of course, there are problems that the faneditor cannot fix (Monk, for example, is woefully miscast: in the pulps he is a loud, ape-like, musclebound hulk who can bend coins and straighten horse shows with his bare hands in the pulps, not an affable, portly fellow who likes to cook, as the movie suggests), but within the material available, we have an absolutely astounding piece of work.
This fanedit is now a very nice old fashioned adventure movie.
As the title of the first version of this edit said: it is really Doc SaLvaged.
Being a faneditor myself, I rarely try to make a very bad movie better. I usualy prefer to change it into something else. Part because I find it fun. But also part because I know that turning a very bad movie into something good while staying somehow true to the original is VERY difficult.
This edit succeed in doing that. I know it was a hard labor of love to complete this work, but Slark stayed focused on his goal and the result is a surprising good old movie.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyNovember 22, 2012
Reviews from all quarters are, of course, always welcome. But there's a special feeling attached to getting a positive review from those who've sat - with distinction - in the editor's chair.
So thank you, TMBTM, and a special thanks to Neglify, LastSurvivor, and BionicBob for their reviews. And thanks to all of you for your own contributions to the world of fanediting!
"Mona, you're a brick."
That line really cracked me up. I am so glad I finally got to check this edit out. My history with Doc Savage consists solely of going to see this movie in the theater with my dad when I was 7 years old. I remember seeing glowing green snakes whenever I closed my eyes for hours afterwards. It is the only movie I ever saw in a theater with my dad.
You have really worked wonders on this. I hadn't seen the movie again since it was in theaters. I was excited when the dvd became available, until I actually tried to sit thru it. The camp aspect gets compared to the 60s Batman TV Show, but in general, I find this movie has what I call a Gilligan's Island sensibility--characters are not affected by climate or situation or common sense. If the bad guy likes wearing black turtle necks and sparkly sport coats, he'll wear them in the jungle, on a boat and possibly to bed. Removing the sequins from the sport coat in the one scene was genius, I thought, because it is just about impossible to improve a movie whose whole sensibility is so ridiculous. But you did improve it dramatically through so many smart editing choices.
Of course, I hate the Sousa marches, most of which you removed. Unfortunately, it made some of the remaining ones stand out more. The movie, for me, was really moving along well and then the first fight on the boat features the silly Stars n Stripes music. I'm not an editor, but if I were, I would not change a thing in your edit except changing the music in 3 scenes--none of which feature dialogue. --The fight on the boat, a driving scene and a horse-riding scene (the 3 scenes occur in that order). But then I guess the challenge becomes choosing the right music (on the bright side, you cannot do worse than the Sousa marches). It can't be as well known as the Indiana Jones theme, but if you could find something in that vein but much much more obscure, I think that might make things miles better. (I'm hoping your possible version 2 deals with this. Even in scenes where you have removed the terrible music might be improved by adding the right background music, while keeping the great foley work you did. The fight around the gold pit, I think, was a place that could have used this).
The other minor suggestion has to do with the film grain, or lack of it. Again I must mention that I am not an editor myself and therefore can't speak with any expertise. But one thing I didn't like about the movie was how it looked like it was shot on videotape. It looked like an episode of Gilligan's Island or the Brady Bunch. Is there a filter that could give it a more cinematic look? Or could it be letter-boxed without losing too much?
These are minor suggestions, not complaints. This is an absolutely great edit. You've detarnished not only the movie, but my memories of going to see the movie. An easy recommendation! :-)