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!
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.
I’ve been a fan of Doc since I was a kid in the 70′s, and still have an entire bookshelf collection of Doc paperbacks. Like everyone else here, I had previously taken the original film with gritted teeth and cursed the studio for missing the chance to make a truly genre-topping serial adventure film years before “Raiders”. I’ve now watched this version and it’s a jaw dropping experience by comparison with the original. Is “de-stupidified” a word? The transformation is amazing. Like the editor himself says, there are ultimately inescapable limitations built into the source material (until the day some crazy fan editor really goes nuts and replaces Monk completely with a CGI character), but he’s done astounding work with the material at hand. It’s hard to even believe the final big fight scene is made from the same footage. This was awesome. Thank you kindly, from another Doc fan!
Oh, and as others have said above, what it really feels like now is a good TV movie-of-the-week. Is it time to team up with Tranzor for one of his “TV Movie-ifications”? :D Personally, I would LOVE to see this edit start with a 1977 “ABC Friday Night Movie” intro and have some period commercial breaks. That would be some serious popcorn theater, there…
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 :)