Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mickey Spillane/Mike Hammer RIP

You talking to me?Mickey Spillane is dead! To be honest, I thought he'd probably died years ago. Can't remember which of his books I've read - a handful of the Mike Hammer yarns though. Probably I the Jury (which also made a very sleazy movie with Armand Assante, Barbara Carrera, some spectacular looking chick who played Mike's secretary Velda, lots of violence, nudity & sex. Recommended, obviously.

I have never though, got around to seeing (nor possibly reading) Kiss Me deadly, which was apparently turned into one of the sleaziest movies ever made. Not in an explicit sense, more in a "you'll want a shower after viewing it" sense. SO also recommended!

What I do recall of the books though, is that Spillane, and his alter ego, Hammer, equated toughness with good detective work. Some guy I teased recently in a thread somewhere else, was talking about "crime scene protocols", Hammer's idea of a crime scene protocol would be to pistol whip the witnesses until they talked. And possibly shoot them for good measure.

Purely from memory, one of the books had Hammer saying something along the lines of:

"How good a detective am I? Listen honey, I once gave it to a guy in the stomach with a steak knife. That's how good a detective I am".

And can't we all be reassured by that? Give that man a taser!

Mike Hammer was a low rent Phillip Marlowe, a hard boiled private detective. Violent, misogynistic, angry...

Spillane himself, never really got the accolades afforded his detective author rivals like Dashiell Hammett & Raymond Chandler (and in my opinion, those two latter authors were somewhat more sophisticated writers), yet the few dozen books he wrote were phenomenally popular - something that Spillane never tired of rubbing his critics' noses in.

The Unofficial Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer Site - Home

And heh... ever seen the Japanese movies featuring private detective Mike Hama? There were 3 of them, and then a TV series apparently. The guy who played Hama (Masatoshi Nagase) was also in Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, and a very cool (literally) film set in Iceland, called Cold Fever.

All these are also recommended.