Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Movies That Should Be Remade: Doc Savage

Before comics there were the pulps and they like comic books became very specialized.  There were science fiction pulps, mystery pulps, horror pulps, and as a precursor to the modern comic book the adventure pulps.  Of these one of the best selling characters was Doc Savage, Man of Bronze.  His origin was fairly simple:  the son of a rich man who sought adventure and public service he was trained by his father in a regime that was tantamount to child abuse to become a paragon of humanity.  Gathering five men during the war to be his aides he begins his quest for adventure, to help the weak, and punish those who need it.

Now one doesn't have to squint too much to see where the creators of Superman got some of their inspiration.  After all, there's not that much difference between "The Man of Bronze," and "The Man of Steel."  He also shares one special problem with Superman; he's extremely hard to cast in a movie.  In 1975, they thought they found him in Ron "Don't Call Me Tarzan" Ely.  Thus was born the movie "Doc Savage."

The movie was a bomb.

The reasons are sadly easy to see.  While having the body Ron really didn't have the charisma to be the paragon of humanity.  The script wanted to be campy but came off more as dull.  The production just looked cheap and tired.

This will not do.

We need a new Doc Savage.  We need someone who's not afraid to seem corny in his heroism.  Besides one advantage that Doc has over Superman is that he has his five aides to play comic foils and easier targets for the bad guys to menance.  Say this folks Superman was never smart enough to cart his own personal criminal lawyer with him.  Oh and that lawyer happened to be a master swordsman with his sword cane that was laced with a tranquilizer drug.  Yeah, take that Gloria Allred.  The Lawyer is nicknamed "Ham" because his buddy "Monk" successfully framed him when they were in the army of stealing hams.  He did that because Ham had taught him some words to say in the language of a visiting foreign general that turned out to be less than flattering.  Monk is himself quite a character.  A genius level chemist but he looks almost like an ape with his long, hairy arms.  He also tends to act as the groups "Curly," he's never afraid to express himself in the most colorful of PG level manners.  That's just two of his aides, bring in the other three plus beautiful cousin Pat Savage and you have a rich host of characters to bounce off any plot.

So someone bring back the Doc.  Let's take home the Bronze!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I wish they would do this! While it's true that many people today don't know the character, it doesn't have to be a flop like the recent John Carter movie was. (Another semi-forgotten character by the author of the Conan the Barbarian stories.) The think about Doc Savage is that it lends itself perfectly not only to the current superhero movie rage, it is also perfect for a diesel punk type of aesthetic because the original stories were futuristic while being set in their time period (the 1930s and 40s.)