R.I.P. Mickey Spillane


Standing in the Sunlight, Laughing
She was sad to hear the news, yet suprised, as she'd thought Spillane was at least 30 years older, and now had to reevaluate the writer's genius for capturing the rhythms of a byegone era in that characteristicly samspadian ramble for which no one on earth had the lung capacity to read aloud.

Rest in peace, Mr Spillane.
Review: Cabin in the Woods 8/10

Movie-wise the only must-see film adapted from Spillane's Mike Hammer books is Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly (1955), which is one of the grittiest, coolest, most fu*ked-up, out there and most memorable B-movie Noirs ever made. Both versions of I, the Jury - the '53 that was filmed in gimmicky 3-D and the '82 with a miscast Armand Assante as Hammer, are pretty forgettable. The Girl Hunters (1963) has a memorable bit with a shotgun but is most noteable for Mickey Spillane playing his own creation. Unfortunately he's not much of an actor. But if you want to see the man himself in action, track this one down.

The Long Wait (1954) starring Anthony Quinn, is a damn good Noir adapted from a non-Hammer Spillane book, and is even better than Kiss Me Deadly. Unfortunately it isn't available on DVD or VHS and rarely shows on television.

As a kid I first became aware of Mickey long before I knew he was a novelist or that his books had been turned into movies. Spillane was the focal point of a series of Miller Lite beer commercials in the '70s and early '80s. Spillane, decked out in trench coat and fedora, was the referee over many a "Tastes Great/Less Filling" barroom debate with other celebrities and legendary sports figures like Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Martin, Bob Uecker, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith and others.

R.I.P., Mickey. Wherever you are I hope the whisky is flowing and the dames are leggy and dangerous.
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra