All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Kiss Me Deadly
Blood red kisses! White hot thrills! Mickey Spillane's latest H-bomb...
One evening, Hammer gives a ride to Christina, an attractive hitchhiker on a lonely country road, who has escaped from the nearby lunatic asylum. Thugs waylay them and force his car to crash. When Hammer returns to semi-consciousness, he hears Christina being tortured until she dies. Hammer, both for vengeance and in hopes that "something big" is behind it all, decides to pursue the case.
This movie is so far above and beyond anything created by humans that it effectively qualifies as an alien transmission.
Fin de masculinity. Fin de femme fatale. Fin de violence e sexe. Fin de noir. Fin de cinema. Fin de le monde.
Kiss Me Deadly screams onto screen with an opening scene that immediately alerts audiences to its explosive intentions. Out of the blackness of the theater we see a woman emerge wearing nothing but a trench coat, standing in traffic risking her life desperately trying to hitch a ride. Beginning films with a "cold open" wasn't unheard of in 1955, but it was incredibly rare before the 1960's when TV serials standardized it. This opening would have been startling not only because of its content, but because audiences would not have been expecting it. Finally someone picks her up, and she sobs quietly over the opening credits—which scroll backwards, top to bottom. This creates a fundamentally unsettling atmosphere which tells us…
I did manage to finish it tonight without nodding off. No suspicions of being shot up with sodium pentothal this evening.
I've watched quite a few noirs in the last few months or so but I don't think I've watched any that are nearly as odd as Kiss Me Deadly. From what I've read about this film over the years, and it is a film that I've been meaning to watch for a very long time indeed, many of the references to its offbeat nature have been to the main plot itself - or at least how it ends up panning out in the last half an hour.
Actually, aside from the mysterious item that is much sought after, I…
The moment Mike Hammer realizes that he's made a huge mistake is when the movie reveals itself to be beamed in from a different planet, an ancient civilization's warning to humanity about the folly that led to their demise. We didn't listen.
Noir apocalypse and the neanderthal detective, "let him go to hell." A hundred bizarre, brilliant tremors in Aldrich's annihilating masterpiece, all building up to the revelation that the coveted, enchanted glow is really a mushroom cloud, pushing humanity back into the ocean.
Who would've thought that Raiders, Repo Man and Pulp Fiction would owe so much to Kiss Me Deadly. I won't reveal how - in case you've not seen it! Unfortunately I knew too much about the ending, it didn't spoil my overall enjoyment but I wish I didn't.
Last year I ticked two classic Noir films off my list, The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep (which I saw at your cinema) but neither compare to this. The problem I have with these old Noir films is that the stories tend to be told through dialogue rather than action. This has a bit of that but more than makes up for it with some truly great camerawork, some good set-pieces and a long line of interesting and quirky characters for Mike Hammer to interrogate.
There's a nice, crisp HD copy on YouTube - watch it before it gets taken down!
A sleazy private eye picks up a panicked hitchhiker who has apparently recently escaped from a mental hospital where she claims to have been wrongly imprisoned – after an unfortunate encounter with some unknown baddies, man and woman are left for dead. But the man survives, and goes to somewhat surprising lengths to discover what it was that the woman knew that got her into trouble. I had some trouble with the first couple thirds of this movie: the plot was hard to follow and none of the characters were likable. Which, I guess, was done on purpose – but it didn't exactly help me get engaged. It picked up steam, though, as it took a left turn in the…
A great, deeply weird movie. Even the modest exposition scenes have a weird lowlife bravura thing going on. There's a kind of pulpy hustle in the filmmaking aesthetic that matches the material perfectly. Perfect double feature with Kubrick's The Killing.
Raplh Meeker slaps people about in ludicrous but entertaining noir...
Into the trash it goes
Visually, it's probably as good as film-noirs get, and the mystery is so intriguing and bizarre that you can't help but be drawn in despite (or perhaps because of) its strangeness. The characters and acting and situations are all noir down to a tee, but it's the 'great whatsit' that really makes this film special. The ending is quite terrific. Overall, it's not perfect, but it's pretty damn close.
Σκληροτράχηλος ντετέκτιβ, μοιραίες γυναίκες, πυκνό σενάριο με αναπάντεχη τροπή σε ένα από τα τελευταία μεγάλα νουάρ της χρυσής εποχής του είδους.
The movie that the noir genre was made for. Bob Aldrich's often tawdry and insanely brilliant gangster-flick, centering on atomic warfare, Cold War paranoia, and the Great Whatsit, moves in a jittery curve that stretches up to infinite levels of madness.
It starts off with an image--an abstracted one, Cloris Leachman huffing up a highway with no shoes and a trenchcoat that signals a woman possessed--and slowly crawls along like a noir should, the detective detecting, the baddies lurking in the shadows, the lighting trenchant in its tension.
But somewhere between a shocking "car accident" at a garage and a sadomasochistic torturing of our Commie-fearing private dick (who turns the tables on his would-be assassins in a scene of utter…
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