Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THE GIRL HUNTERS - Mickey Spillane IS Mike Hammer! (1963)

Well, some of us made it to 2015, now let's just see if we an get through it! Life ain't getting any easier so it's good to have tough guy, good guy around like Mikey Spillane when you're in a pinch!

This title card tells it all! It's a Colorama Feature, but "The Girl Hunters" is a black and white film! All future bets are off, and anything goes from here on out, and justifiably so! The snappy title theme was created by Phillip (Space Master X-7, Weasel While You Work) Green! Phillip also composed the music for 15 episodes of "The Huckleberry Hound Show, and 41 episodes of "Quick Draw McGraw!"

Indeed he is! Indeed he is! This is the reason I wanted to see "The Girl Hunters" so much! It's not often that you get to see a real writer, not an actor, acting out his own character the way he wrote it!

Frank Morrison Spillane was a rough and tumble guy, and his main character Mike Hammer was just as tough or tougher! Here's a couple of quick facts you might not know about Mickey Spillane!  He started his career writing super hero comic books before he starting writing novels! His books have sold over 200 million copies world wide! When he got out of the Army, Mickey worked with the Barnum and Baily circus as a trampoline artist, a knife thrower, and the guy who got shot out of a cannon! He worked undercover for the FBI! Later in life, he became a Jehovah's Witness!

"The Girl Hunters" starts off with private detective Mike Hammer just starting to come out of a seven year drinking binge caused by the mysterious disappearance of his secretary/lover Velda! Even after he stops drinking, he still always has time for a Pabst Blue Ribbon or two!

Mike Hammer's got good taste in cars! This T-Bird looks so perfect that it looks like a Matchbook toy car!

And what do you know? Here's the Barbie Doll! Shirley Eaton two years before "Goldfinger" as Laura Knapp, the wife of a recently murdered Senator! Mike Hammer has some hard questions for her!

A lot of the time he's delivering his lines, Mickey has a pained expression on his face like this!

A lot of the people that Mike Hammer knows start dying off....

....One at a time!

Great bar scene! So what are you doing here Gringo? You are not welcome here!

I'd like you to meet my little brother Ice-P!

Uh, No thanks, you answered my questions just fine!

There's always time to have another beer! In real life, Mickey Spillane didn't drink any hard liquor or smoke, but he would have an occasional beer! Mike Hammer, on the other hand, was a different story!

Mickey/Mike has a pensive moment!

Mike and Laura have been getting along pretty swell, but just before they are ready to go to dinner, Mike finds a shotgun with the barrel shoved down into the dirt of a large potted plant! He explains to Laura in no uncertain terms, that if the shotgun was plugged up with dirt, it would explode in her pretty face, and that would be it!

Well, I'm sorry, I'm just a girl!

Mike Hammer is so pissed off that he cancels their dinner date! He doesn't want to eat with somebody that stupid!

Down at the local news stand while picking up his favorite magazine, it hits Mike in the face like a mackerel, and he puts a whole bunch of pieces of the puzzle together in his mind!

After almost getting killed, it's time to head back and talk to Laura with a whole new set of questions!

Laura's got a different answer for Mike this time!

While it's not as good as "Kiss Me Deadly" by a long shot, no matter what, it's fun to see an author act out a character he created on his own terms! Mickey Spillane passed away in the year 2006 at the age of 88, and he'll never be replaced!  It's kind of hard to imagine him in this last shot, walking up to the door and offering up a copy of "The Watchtower!"


Grant said...

I didn't know those things about him. Somehow the not smoking part surprises me more than the no hard liquor part or the Jehovah's Witness part. Not because "It was the ' 50s and everyone smoked," it just surprises me in HIS case.

Not that I even know him as a writer, only from film versions of the books, and also as the huge pop culture figure he was. Oddly enough, I know him better as an actor, even though I've never seen this. For one thing, he played the victim in a COLUMBO episode. It was a small part but he made the most of it.

Eegah!! said...

I think you'll dig it Grant! When Netflix first decided to try and go all streaming, they had A LOT more titles! When that didn't work, Amazon Prime seems to have picked up the slack! I have found at least 9 or 10 movies that I was trying to find for years without luck that are now on Amazon Prime. The fact that "The Girls Hunters" was one of them just made the deal that much sweeter!

Richard S. said...

Also look for the Miller Lite beer commercials from the early 1980s starring Spillane...

Eegah!! said...

Oh, Yeah Richard! Another one of Mickey's many claims to fame!!

opticalguy said...

The film is one of the better Mike Hammer films (KISS ME DEADLY is better) and I think Spillane is the best Mike Hammer. He knows when to "throw away" a lurid line and when to underplay. The big fight near the end is the least choreographed-looking fights I've ever seen and feels very real. For a shot-in-England but set in America film it is acceptably American. I really liked it.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx opticalguy! I couldn't agree more!

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