March 24th, 2009

doc savage bust

oh, yay! wait.

Warner Brothers is going in for a "long tail" project: they're setting up DVDs on Demand for obscure or less popular titles. There's not enough interest, probably, for a big release, but if you want it they'll make it and ship it to you. They've put up an initial selection of 150 films.

Among them: the 1975 George Pal film of DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE.

You are doubtless saying, "Wow! I bet David ordered that instantly!" That is because you do not know anything about the movie. Lemme put it this way: in terms of doing right by its source material, George Pal's DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE makes Joel Schumacher's BATMAN AND ROBIN look like Christopher Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT. It was supposed to come out in '74, but got pushed to '75 because it was a *horrifying* stinker, and the studio wasn't interested in going bankrupt right away, thanks. The pieces were in place for it to be good: Ron Ely, who'd played Tarzan on TV, was a terrific choice for Doc, and the aides were well-cast, as I recall. (The guy who played Monk actually *looked* like Monk was supposed to look, and that's remarkable considering Monk looks like an ape that's been dressed and strategically shaved.) The filmmakers and studio, however, decided to camp it up. And -- there is good camp, and there is bad camp. Good camp would be the 60s BATMAN series. Bad camp would be Joel Shumacher, or the 1980s FLASH GORDON (Alex Ross's favorite movie in the world). DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE is not good camp. Nor is it bad camp. It actually falls into the category of "worse camp." It's one of the most terrible movie adaptations ever, and the heartbreak it caused fans is legendary. No internet then, of course, so next to nobody ever heard anything about advance screenings. There were no warnings, just an eager purchase of a ticket followed by the crushing of all fannish hopes and dreams. Played out over, and over, and over again, in theaters across the country.

...yes, I ordered it anyway.
cass groovy

APED: "riverboat gambler"

Skipping around in the requests some this week. Mainly because burger_eater requested "A riverboat gambler who is somewhere other than a riverboat."


Well, my friend, I'm a riverboat gambler.
And at gambling I sure ain't subpar.
No stranger to winnin', my pockets were brimmin'.
I had cheap women, cheaper cigars.
Then one day I met her -- I'll never forget her.
she sold me a map to the stars,
and so all these years
I've been stuck way out here,
a riverboat gambler on Mars.

Now on Mars there's no one to gamble.
But I lost the map, so I can't leave.
And Mars ain't got no water,
though you'd think that it oughtta,
and this thin air's a mite hard to breathe.
She said she came from here,
and that I should come here,
'cause the two moons are pretty to see.
But I can't forgive her,
'cause there ain't no rivers,
so what the hell does that make me?

I'm still a great riverboat gambler,
even though I'm stuck out here on Mars.
There's no riverboats,
but they say that hope floats,
so I'll ride on that under the stars.
Still, I'd trade something dear for a bottle of beer
and a couple of ten-cent cigars --
And I'd like to be known as
what I'll die alone as,
a riverboat gambler,
(just a riverboat gambler)
a riverboat gambler on Mars.