Columbia Pictures has announced that dubious talent Shane Black will direct a new movie version of Doc Savage. I hope it will be better than the first which was showered with Snifters and Jaffas at its Manurewa Cinecenta screening in 1975. The original pulp Doc Savage novels were reissued by Bantam with exotic Hammer Horror / Lost World-style covers in the 1960s and became my standard reading aged 11. Only later did I realise that "Kenneth Robeson" was a publisher's pen name for several in-house authors. We were unwitting connoisseurs of the alternative in those days, the cinema's bargain distribution deal having exposed us to westerns, Shaw Bros martial arts movies, blaxpoitation pics and classic 1970s SF. Doc Savage: The Man Of Bronze was as lame as its title. (The Man of Bronze or The Land of Terror: which would you rather see?) I and my fellow 11- and 12-year olds would have never sat through shit like Transformers.
The Cincenta also used to run the original Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon movie series as a curtain-up for the Saturday matinees, which went down a ton - the cheering and screaming was incredible. The 1980 Dino De Laurentiis remake was one of the most beautiful looking science fiction films ever. If you have difficulty appreciating it then chant "Italian cinema" over and over while watching, and then it makes more sense. It's been described as camp but is actually even more over the top than that. Now someone-or-other is developing a fourth Flash remake. How could it be better? Max von Sydow and Ornella Muti were astounding.
I have gone into bat for Dino in many after dinner conversations and always emerge bloodied but unbowed. His Kong was a dark, sarcastic and sexual -- a tone and feel not dissimilar to that of The Dark Knight -- and David Lynch's unevenly fantastic Dune created one of the two aesthetics which every subsequent SF movie would have to choose between for the next twenty years. (Other choice: Ridley Scott's Bladerunner.) And then he produced Blue Velvet. The man is a crazy god.
Does anyone remember Liquid Sky? That's a remake I'd like to see, especially if it was set in the Janowitz 80s. You could even use "I kill with my cunt" as a strapline...
Update: Final final final proofreading 20 per cent done. Breaking for the afternoon, as if you couldn't tell.