Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Films that need a DVD release! (Another series)

A few years ago I decided to scratch an itch I’d had since childhood sightings of the big omnibus editions and finally read a Doc Savage novel. Encouraged in this by friends Jack Daves & Randy Fox I picked up a few in a used book store and have been reading them ever since. At first I read them as I could get them but at Randy’s suggestion I’m now going thought them in publication order. This is fascinating as you can watch the Doc Savage ethos slowly evolve. In the first few stories Doc was much less interested in rehabilitation with real bullets flying and necks being snapped! Later stories have him refusing to kill criminals and inventing a surgical ‘cure’ for the bad men he encounters.

The Savage books are wonderful Hero Pulps that exhibit all the strengths and weaknesses of that genre. I recommend them to curious readers with only one caveat- they are addictive and may lead to even more outrageous Pulp characters like WWI pilot/spy G-8 or the bloodthirsty vigilante The Spider! Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

As far as the George Pal film- I feel much kinder to it than I used to even though its second half feels impoverished and rushed. My first viewing of it in my teens resulted in shrugged shoulders with the only lingering after effect being the itch to read the books. The regrettable camp feel is always going to anger me but the cast is pretty good with Ely doing a fine job. I must admit that if a nice DVD was available I’d pick it up- especially if there were some nice extra goodies covering the history of the character.

I know, I know--- But I can dream.

1 comment:

Rhatfink said...

Doesn't Warner Brothers own the rights to this? You should email them the title as a suggestion for their "Vote for a DVD Release" thingy they do every year. I bet this would get a ton of votes.