Noir Alley and Dynamite Gift Ideas

December 1st, 2020 by Max Allan Collins

The experience of being a guest on Noir Alley with Eddie Muller was a very gratifying one. Eddie was generous in his praise of my work and supposed history-of-mystery acumen, and we had a blast talking over ZOOM. The reality of TCM’s needs meant our conversation was drastically (but well) cut/edited. We did a second intro and outro for another favorite of mine, Born to Kill. It airs sometime early next year – you’ll read about when right here.

Some of you may have missed this screening of Kiss Me Deadly, which Eddie and I introduced and, afterward, discussed. But you probably either own a copy of that movie or have seen it more than once (if you a regular reader of these updates).

So here are the intro and outro of the Noir Alley presentation of Kiss Me Deadly.

While we’re in a noir-ish mood, take a gander at this cool promo for the Johnny Dynamite collection that Terry Beatty and I edited. It’s a wonderful book and a things of beauty. Check this video out for proof.

This segues me into Gift Guide mode again. I hope that you diehard fans of my work will consider giving the Nate Heller novel Do No Harm, the Mike Hammer entry Masquerade for Murder, the Ms. Tree collection Skeleton in the Closet, the debut of John Sand in Come Spy With Me, and the new Nolan (due out any second now) Skim Deep as under-the-tree gifts and stocking stuffers. These can all be purchased from the various on-line and (usually) brick-and-mortar sources, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s a good way to utilize a gift card, too.

But if Johnny Dynamite is on your shopping list, I want to suggest a specific seller. Bud Plant has been a friend of mine for many years – I bought Underground Comics from him mail-order going back to the late ‘60s. For years he had a huge booth at San Diego Con, where I often spent the bulk of whatever disposable cash I’d set aside for that event.

Bud has a terrific on-line store that specializes in comics and illustration, and other popular culture. He has many lovely books – like, for example, Johnny Dynamite – that would make excellent gifts for those you love, including yourself. If you buy Johnny Dynamite, he has it at a good price; Ms. Tree: Skeleton in the Closet is there, too.

Take a look around here.

Last week I mentioned that Mike at Just for the Hell of it Video – who specializes in obscure B-movies otherwise unavailable – has Mickey Spillane’s The Delta Factor. Well, he has a lot more and it’s all listed on-line here.

Among other goodies Mike has are Elmore Leonard’s Cat Chaser, Alistair MacLean’s Bear Island and Fear Is the Key, Mongo’s Back in Town, and oddball Bond imitations like The 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World. J4HI is gray market, offering public domain or out-of-print material, and the quality is good of its kind. Particularly strong, though, is the packaging – DVDs in nice cases with colorful, well-designed art.

If you decide to order from Mike, put “Max Collins sent me!” in the message box during check-out and he will include a free DVD of an OOP trailer compilation. Any size order placed until the end of this year would qualify.

Finally, a recommendation for something worth watching that can be found on Blu-ray from Kino or on several streaming services – Babylon Berlin. This is period crime drama from a novel (whose author cites Road to Perdition as an influence) and it’s set in 1929, with all the turbulent politics of Germany as the backdrop against the solving of mysteries and crimes. It’s beautifully shot, staged, art-directed, and acted – kind of Cabaret Meets Chinatown. I have seen the first two seasons and, so far, it just gets better and better as it goes along.

It’s the show that HBO’s Perry Mason thinks it is.

I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Now stay indoors, would you? Buy a book and read it or something.


Tags: , , ,

11 Responses to “Noir Alley and Dynamite Gift Ideas”

  1. Bud Plant says:


    Many thanks for the kind words. My guy who posted it to our social media pages…notice how I love to delegate. Good to catch up with your projects, and miss seeing you at San Diego Con. Maybe next year, we can actually sit down and have lunch together? Fortunately with the boom in online business, we have weathered the pandemic and then some, with increased business this year, after the last couple years seeing things drop off a bit. And knock on wood, no covid problems in our work family. We’re fortunately small and in a rural area, so even though things are getting worse. we’re being careful and safe. Best to you, my friend. I can still picture those neatly typed orders of yours, that I would fill personally, back in the (choke) 1970s.

  2. Gary Bush says:

    I’ve been watching Babylon Berlin haven’t read the novels yet. Another great series of noir novels set in the same time in Germany are by the late Philip Kerr with protagonist, Bernie Gunther.

  3. Glen Davis says:

    I missed seeing Mr. Plant in Sacramento this year!

    JFTH video has a pretty good catalogue, but unfortunately, seems to have everything but what I’m looking for: Nick Adams’ last couple of films, Chinese Commandos with Christopher Mitchum, etc.

    I keep holding out hope that someday, somebody’s going to open a vault, or a file cabinet, and find Bobby Darin’s lost western.

  4. Great to hear from Bud Plant!

    Gary, I haven’t reader the novels, either, but I probably will. I don’t read much contemporary stuff, but source material for TV and movies I like is an exception.

    Glen, you should ask Mike if he has those — not everyone he has is on his list. If by Bobby Darin’s lost western you mean GUNFIGHT INABILENE, it’s available on DVD. probably has it. BD is fine in it, but keep in mind he always called it GUNFIGHT AT SHIT CREEK (which inspired my title SHOOT-OUT AT SUGAR CREEK).

  5. Stan says:

    As a reader of Shock Cinema I’ve been aware of JFTH for years, but never pulled the trigger on an order/found the catalog
    On the website intimidating…

    I’ve decided to grab your recommendations, minus Cat Chaser which I already own.

    Any other JFTH deep cuts you can throw at me?
    Anything action, adventure, or spy will do…basically anything you recommend fills me with excitement and will burn a hole in my bank account.

    I’d also like to add I’ve spent a fair amount of $ buying books from Bud Plant and I can attest to the quality of
    his site and its customer service being top notch! Good folks, good deals!

    Best wishes to all!

  6. Glen Davis says:

    I’ll certainly ask!

    I read in one of Darin’s biographies a couple of years ago, he made another western, but didn’t have the soundwork, and it was lost…somewhere.

    Gunfight in Abilene always seemed like an odd choice. Showdown in Abilene, with Jock Mahoney and Leslie Nielsen doesn’t exactly cry out for a remake. If one had to remake a Mahoney western, I’d probably go with Last of the Fast Guns.

  7. Darin made a film called THE VENDORS, a hippie-era thing he wrote and directed but didn’t star in. Apparently it was never assembled, but there are conflicting versions of that. But it wasn’t a western.

  8. Sumner says:

    Mate – that Noir Alley intro/outro combo is fantastic!
    Such a great viewing experience, Max.
    I could listen to you talk about Mickey, Meeker & Kiss Me Deadly all day.
    I wish that we got Eddie Miller’s show in the UK (or that they’d let me come back and present the UK edition).
    Just can’t wait to see you kill it again with Born to Kill.

  9. Stan, a lot of what I’ve bought from JFTH has been beyond quirky, but these are some that I feel comfortable recommending:

    Amsterdam Kill (Robert Mitchum)
    Born Wild (Patty McCormack)
    Glitter Dome (Waumbaugh novel; James Garner)
    Hell Drivers (Patrick McGoohan, Peggie Cummins)
    I Woke Up Early the Night I Died (Ed Wood script)
    Massacre at Central High (classic of its kind)
    Son of Hitler (Bud Cort)
    When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder (hippie era take on Petrified Forest; Candy Clark)
    Come Back Charleston Blue (underrated follow-up to Cotton Comes to Harlem)

    Some oddball comedy:

    Hardly Working (Jerry Lewis comeback — I was the source!)
    Hellzapoppin’/Crazy House (Olsen & Johnson double feature)

  10. Tim Field says:

    Son of Hitler? That’s one of those titles that cracks me up, like Hobo With A Shotgun. The star of Son of Hitler, Bud Cort, plays a not very flattering role as a deadbeat tenant in Steve Stoliar’s book about Groucho Marx’s final years.
    Thanks for the John Sand book – Hope to dig into it once I complete grading high school final essays for this trimester.

  11. Stan says:

    Son of Hitler is in my cart along with Massacre at Central High, Glitter Dome and several others…I own a shitty bootleg of Red Ryder….such a gem, but I am biased as I love both Marjoe and Hal Linden…We cut our wedding cake to the theme from Barney Miller.

    I could spend thousands on this site, but gonna try to resist the urge and see how this first order turns out…

    Thanks so much for the recommendations!!