Obit: Mickey Spillane, 88, creator of detective Mike Hammer, hence also the writer of film noir classic, Kiss Me Deadly

No Mickey Spillane, no Quentin Tarantino. Spillane’s writing had an edgy toughness, some might say sadism, that seemed to dovetail with the alternately explosive and nonchalant method acting of Marlon Brando, James Dean, Dennis Hopper, Lee Marvin, and Jack Nicholson to create a new anti-hero archetype.

A handful of his novels were made into movies though only Kiss Me Deadly (Media Services DVD 1058), like Spillane himself, achieved pop icon status. There is however a much lesser known Spillane film worthy of a cult of its own, The Girl Hunters, starring Spillane himself as Mike Hammer. His acting is stiff as a board but his no-nonsense tough-guy schtick probably embodies how he intended the detective to be. No subtleties, no ambiguities, no irony. Watch for it on Turner Classic Movies where it gets aired several times a year.


Posted in Obituaries.