Comic Hero
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze
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Dir: Michael Anderson
Star: Ron Ely, Paul Gleason, Pamela Hensley, Paul Wexler
Cert / Year: U - G / 1975
Format: DVD R0
'

Intrepid, adventurer and all American hero, Clark Savage Jr AKA 'Doc Savage' (Ron Ely) is relaxing in his 'Fortress of Solitude' hidden in the frozen wastes of the Arctic circle when he is senses trouble at home. Rushing home to New York as fast as his gold / bronze snowmobile and private plane will get there, 'Doc' returns to his lofty penthouse apartment where he is greeted by his close friends, 'The Fabulous Five'. Doc learns that his father is dead and died mysteriously but before he died he mailed Doc a package, which is in his safe but more alarming is tha fact that someone is now trying to kill 'Doc'. Can Doc survive the fiendish, ghostly flourescent snakes and burly bad guys and discover the truth about his fathers death? And so the adventure begins.... But..... Never fear, Doc Savage is here!

A preposterous exercise in camp, cheesy tomfoolery but so endearingly amusing and entertaining with it. Yes, the script is groanworthy and pretty dire, and yes the action is truly absurd for the most part, but you don't care, as this shamelessly corny and silly escapade is jolly good fun. Admittedly this is unlikely to win any awards, and the acting is too over the top for words. Not quite as much fun as the 60s Batman which starred the excellent Adam West and the tongue isn't quite as firmly in cheek, but it does exhibit a good sense of fun. 6'4" television Tarzan, the statuesque, blond haired Ron Ely plays our eponymous all American hero Doc Savage, and hams it up quite suitably with shirt ripping ease.

Dumb as hell and no requiring a single iota of intelligence to watch it, this is too much at times and it is unlikely that this was intended to be so funny. There is some heroic posturing throughout and much of the direction is slack and unimpressive, so much so that it is hard to believe that this is the same director as The Dam Busters, Logan's Run and The Martian Chronicles. Michael Berryman appears in one of his early freaky roles as a coroner, inexplicably dressed as an undertaker, but is worth a mention even if it is for 'cult' fans. Paul Wexler plays the horrendously stereotypical evil genius and bad guy, complete with maniacal laughter and all. A young Pamela Hensley crops up here as Mona, a young native girl / love distraction who is apparently "a brick" in a pre Buck Rogers or Matt Houston performance.

Wooden acting and cheesy dialogue not to mention some pompous marching music and theme all add to make this is an over the top but mindless and fun watch, you can't help but laugh at the utter daftness of the whole affair. I'm not sure Lester Dent who wrote the original novel and 1930's comic would approve of this incarnation, but it works for some. There are some frighteningly cheesy and quotable lines, but not many and nothing quite as good as "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb" from Batman. You laugh, you cringe and even though much of the film is unintentionally funny you can't help liking it! It is almost a shame they never got to make the sequel advertised at the end of this film.

Quotes

An absolute absence of ambulation

Have no fear! Doc Savage is here!

Rating: 2 out of 5

DVD
Picture 4.3 Fullscreen Often grainy but not a terrible transfer
Audio Dolby 2.0 Passable but not great
Features Dull but musically accompanied menu
Small set of cast & crew biographies
Verdict Not a great presentation I'm afraid, but the image looks pretty good even in 4.3 and unsurprisingly no extras.

Rating: 0 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home