Posts Tagged ‘Spillane: King of Pulp Fiction’

Upcoming Titles, A Recommendation & A Couple Warnings

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022
Spillane: King of Pulp Fiction cover

I have received a handful of ARCs of Spillane – King of Pulp Fiction, the upcoming biography of Mickey by Jim Traylor and me. It’s a thing of beauty! Mysterious Press did an outstanding job with the packaging. I will soon be doing a book giveaway for a few copies (possibly five) of this trade paperback version of what will be available in hardcover on (note new pub date) Feb. 7, 2023.

The new Nate Heller, The Big Bundle, is delayed, a fact that has dismayed some readers. But the book exists and is in fact a December 2022 title…it’s just held up at the UK docks by a strike. It will be available on Dec. 6 on e-book.

Better news for those dying to read something by yours truly – the first Kindle boxed set from Wolfpack of my work, Max Allan Collins Collection Vol. One: Eliot Ness is a Kindle Deal running from Wednesday, November 30 to Wednesday, December 7, 2022. The price will be dropping from $3.99 to $0.99 during that time period. That’s a quarter a book, which is what I used to pay for new paperbacks when I was in junior high. This is all four of the Eliot Ness in Cleveland novels (Nate Heller guests in two of ‘em).

A Big Bundle book giveaway is coming soon, too. Remember, if you get the novel prior to its publication date (some of you received it via NetGalley), your review can’t appear till we hit that date.

I am working now on the final chapters of the next Heller, Too Many Bullets, about the RFK assassination. It’s a big book, on the lines of True Detective, and in a sense it’s the bookend to that first Heller memoir. It’s been very difficult, in part because of my health issues (doing better, thanks) but also because it’s one of the most complicated cases I’ve dealt with. It has required more time compression and composite characters than I usually employ, and I spend a lot of time discussing with Barb what’s fair and what isn’t fair in an historical novel. I’ve been writing those since 1981 and I still wrestle with that question.

Also, there has been replotting, which is not unusual in the final section of a Heller as the need to tighten up the narrative frequently means a sub-plot gets jettisoned, particularly one that doesn’t rear its head till the last hundred pages.

But I’ll tell you what’s really unfair: using Barb as a sounding board when she’s working on her own draft of the next Antiques novel (Antiques Foe).

I am also wrestling with (and I’ve mentioned this before in these updates) how long I should to stay at it with Heller. The degree of difficulty (as I’ve also mentioned before) is tough at this age. Right now I am considering a kind of coda novel (much like Skim Deep for Nolan and Quarry’s Blood for Quarry) that would wrap things up. The Hoffa story still needs a complete telling.

Should I go that direction, and should my health and degree of interest continue on a positive course, I might do an occasional Heller in a somewhat shorter format. Of course, the problem with that is these crimes are always more complex than I think they’re going to be. I thought The Big Bundle would be an ideal lean-and-mean hardboiled PI novel, perfect for Heller’s debut at Hard Case Crime. But the complexities of a real crime like the Greenlease kidnapping tripped me up. On the other hand, the book – probably a third longer than I’d imagined – came out very well. In my view, anyway.

And with Too Many Bullets, I thought the RFK killing would make a kind of envelope around the Hoffa story, maybe a hundred, hundred-fifty pages of material.

Wrong.

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Last week I recorded (with Phil Dingeldein) the commentary of ClassicFlix’s upcoming widescreen release of The Long Wait, based on Mickey Spillane’s 1951 non-Hammer bestseller. I like the commentary better than my I, the Jury one and have been astonished by just how good I think both the film of I, the Jury and The Long Wait are, since I was used to seeing them in cropped, dubby VHS gray-market versions (and because Mickey himself hated them). Widescreen makes all the difference on Long Wait, and Anthony Quinn is a wonderful Spillane hardboiled hero.

I will report here on when the Blu-ray/4K release is scheduled. It won’t be as pricey as I, the Jury because the 3-D factor is absent.

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Millie Bobbie Brown in Enola Holmes 2

Living under a rock as I do, I had somehow missed the fact that the Enola Holmes movies (there are two, one quite recent, both on Netflix) starred the talented Millie Bobbie Brown of Stranger Things. I also got it into my head that these were kid movies. Wrong again!

These are two excellent, quirky Sherlock Holmes movies, with Henry Cavill excellent as the young Holmes, and very tough films despite a light-hearted touch manifested by Enola (Brown, absolutely wonderful) breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. It’s tricky and charming, and reminiscent – but actually kind of superior – to the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies.

Do not miss these.

Here’s one you can miss: Lou. A lesser Netflix flick, it stars the excellent Allison Janney and starts fairly well, but devolves into ridiculous plot twists and makes a bait-and-switch out of the entire movie.

Also, I have made it clear here that I am a fan of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, particularly starting with Inglorious Bastards – prior to that, the self-conscious references to his favorite films were too on the nose for my taste, although I revisited them after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (a masterpiece) and had less trouble.

I don’t usually criticize other writers, but after trying to read his new book I am convinced Tarantino needs to stick to film, where he colors wildly but within the lines.

His Cinema Speculation is opinionated blather about ‘70s and ‘80s films that reminds us that Tarantino once worked at a video store. This is absolutely the kind of stuff a motormouth, know-it-all video clerk used to put us through when we were just trying to rent the damn movie.

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This is a re-edit of an interview I gave to the Des Moines Register back in 2016 (I think). It’s not bad.

And here you can see a much younger me (and Chet Gould and Rick Fletcher) on the occasion of Dick Tracy’s 50th birthday.

M.A.C.

M.A.C. Collection From Wolfpack & A Spillane Rave

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

Another short update, I’m afraid.

My medical issues are coming to a head and I will be trying to deal with them this week. Good thoughts and crossed fingers are appreciated.

Here is the appearance by Barb and me on the Paula Sands Show recently, promoting Antiques Liquidation.

The first in a new series of e-book boxed sets from Wolfpack is available now – The Max Allan Collins Collection, Volume One: Eliot Ness. Works out to less than a buck a book!


E-Book:

There will be five e-book boxed sets in the overall Max Allan Collins Collection, plus a Mickey Spillane collection.

Come Spy With Me is set for a $.99 Kindle Countdown Deal Oct 19th – 25th.


E-Book:

The first review of the Spillane bio by Jim Traylor and me has just appeared, and it’s strong, despite being from the meanest, toughest reviewing service in the world: Kirkus.

SPILLANE King of Pulp Fiction
Author: Max Allan Collins
Author: James L. Traylor

Review Issue Date: November 15, 2022
Online Publish Date: October 20, 2022
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Pages: 400
Price ( Hardcover ): $26.95
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-61316-379-5
Section: NonFiction

A full-dress biography of the most polarizing practitioner of 20th-century crime fiction.

As Collins and Traylor note, nearly everyone deplored the sex and violence of Mickey Spillane’s (1918-2006) midcentury novels about private eye Mike Hammer—though that didn’t stop the millions of readers who catapulted him to the top of bestseller lists and kept him there. Delving into Spillane’s roots, the authors examine the evolution of comic-book hero Mike Lancer into Mike Hammer, cite contemporaneous reviewers who talked up or trash-talked Hammer’s adventures, and explore Spillane’s multimedia activities during the 10 years (1952-1962) of Hammer’s absence from the printed page. (Why the long silence? Collins and Traylor believe Spillane was waiting for his disadvantageous contract with film producer Victor Saville to expire). Warning in their opening chapter of spoilers ahead, the authors proceed to summarize the mysteries and solutions of all Hammer’s early novels. They’re at their best when mapping the Spillane metaverse, which includes novels, stories, articles, comic strips, radio broadcasts, TV programs, and movies, and weakest in their uncritical praise of their subject as a plotter, stylist, Jehovah’s Witness, and human being (a verdict his first two wives might have contested). “Mickey encouraged our best efforts, all the while sharing his humanity, generosity, and down-to-earth nature,” they write. “This book reflects not just our love for his work, but for the man, with thanks for his encouragement and friendship.” Spillane’s appealing directness provides an endless stream of anecdotes. The authors conclude with a formidable array of appendices, ranging from an autobiographical fragment that takes Spillane from birth to age 14 to an essay on “Ayn Rand and Mickey Spillane” to a brace of bibliographies and an account of some of their own extensive dealings with the author when he was alive and the work Collins has continued to complete since his death.

Fans who’ve been waiting for a life of Spillane will gobble this up.

A decent review of the new volume in the Titan archival Ms. Tree collections comes from the Slings and Arrows site.

M.A.C.

A Farewell and Several Unexpected Resonances

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

The unsung hero of my weekly update/blogs is my son Nathan. He does all the layout and catches (most of) my goofs in the text. Regular readers of these updates may be aware that Nate is a Japanese to English translator and has been doing manga, video games, and novel translations for well over ten years.

One of his claims to fame in his specialized field is translating the novel Battle Royale (which as Quentin Tarantino recently pointed out was the, shall we say, inspiration for Hunger Games) (and Quentin should know about such things).

Nate current ongoing gig is translating the popular manga Jo Jo’s Big Adventure for Viz. By way of demonstrating just what a big deal this is, take a gander at the accompanying photo taken at FYE in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Nate is a terrific writer in his own right (and write) and if you have any interest in manga, checking out JoJo would be a good idea. [Especially from Part 3 onward (where I took over).—Nate]

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My novels Girl Most Likely and Girl Can’t Help It are still 99-cents each on Kindle till the end of this (July) month. Give ‘em a try!

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I have mentioned here several times that my frequent assistant director on my indie film productions, the late Steve Henke, would always complain that my dark noir subject matter inevitably softens at the conclusion, where I betray a streak of sentimentality, and there was nothing anybody could do about it.

That’s true, and I am about to talk about the death of our family dog, and you can skip it but you can’t stop me.

Toaster Collins, a Blue Heeler, died last week at age 13 or so. Her name came from the robots on Battlestar Galatica (the reboot). She was Nate’s dog, but when he moved back to Muscatine from Chicago two weeks after he bought Toaster, she became the family dog. The two of them lived for a year or two with us before they set out for St. Louis (and a few years ago returned here). So Barb and I bonded early with the little dog.

And she was a little dog, for a Blue Heeler anyway, the runt of her litter. Not as little as the terriers we’d had previously, but small enough to be a lap dog, and I am proud to say my lap was apparently her favorite. Overall her master, Nathan, was her favorite human; but all of us loved her, man, woman and child, though she drove us absolutely crazy with her craziness.

And she was crazy. For the first eight years of her life (approximately), all you had to say was, “Tree,” and she scrambled half way up the nearest one – climbing up the bark before tumbling back down. She was a greedy little thing, begging at our house, and playing predator floor-cleaner at Nate’s. She was gentle with our two grandkids and loved both Nate and his wife Abby with that unconditional love humans can only aspire to. She was happiest when all of us were together, both households, and would position herself in a doorway to keep a herding dog’s eye on us.

I like to think that, after Nate, I ranked pretty high. That’s clearly delusional, as Barb in this house was Toaster’s source for food – it was a dog bone of contention that at Nate and Abby’s the animal got healthy kibble, and at ours she got turkey breast and whatever she could beg off of us, which was plenty.

She was every bit the family dog. We fell, a while back, into one week at Nate’s house and the next week at ours. For many years Toaster, relentlessly frisky with toys, was playful and could run you a merry chase around the interior of the house. She was shameless in her nearly sexual pursuit of me – no leg dancing, but she would roll on her back and spread her legs…at a distance that would require me to get out of my chair…as she would wave one paw in the air as if summoning me. She would stay on her back until I climbed from my throne and scratched her belly and nuzzled her neck. All I had to do to get a dog kiss was ask for one. No woman in my lifetime, including my wife, has ever been that generous.

Toaster became incredibly neurotic in her later years. Whether separation anxiety or just wanting to go along, she would furiously bark on our every exit. She began to anticipate such exits – all I would have to do was come down the stairs near lunch hour and she would begin to go nuts. Yet when I pointed to Barb’s empty office while she (Toaster, not Barb) was furiously barking, the little animal would obediently go in there to be shut away till Barb had slipped out and I was poised to follow.

Toaster could make a pattern out of a single instance. One morning, Barb – freshening up for the day and being bugged by the creature – gave the animal a treat that became an immediate ritual, the “make-up” bone. If the animal had to go out, she would jump onto my chair (a recliner of course) and march up to my face and stare at me, her wet nose turning mine similarly moist.

Like all dogs, she loved to go for walks. She also loved to bark at bigger animals from the safety of a window. As Barb worked at her computer, Toaster curled on the floor beside her. Sometimes she got up on Barb’s chair and took up most of the space, relegating her mistress to the edge of the seat. At bedtime Toaster managed to expand herself into crocodile length on our bed and assume an angle that left no real comfortable space for any human.

Toaster was nuttier than a Baby Ruth, and why wouldn’t she be? All dogs, house dogs particularly, reflect their owners. It’s more than just Best in Show physical resemblances of pets and masters – it’s personality. She was neurotic as hell. So are we.

She declined over one terrible but mercifully swift weekend. Her presence looked like forever (as Mark Harris said through Henry Wiggins) but of course it was just those thirteen years. And of course in our memories until we, too, are gone.

* * *

It may be because I am this old that resonances and coincidences keep popping up that seem surprising when you consider that Barb and I stayed in small-town Muscatine, Iowa, all these years.

I was watching True Romance (1993) on the Arrow Video 4K edition, as part of an ongoing attempt to reconsider the early Tarantino films I had disliked at the time, now that I’ve turned into a fan of his later films. He of course did not direct True Romance, but it was an early script.

If my memory serves me (and I admit it often does not), when I was working in 1993 on The Expert (1995) with director Bill Lustig and producer Andy Garoni, I was told that True Romance was nearly a Lustig/Garoni production. Tarantino – transitioning from video store clerk to auteur – was in their orbit, but then Reservoir Dogs (1992) got made and things began to happen for Quentin, who moved on and took True Romance with him. The script I was writing for them was apparently their next project.

Larry Cohen, who wrote and almost directed I, the Jury (1982), was a filmmaker I admired; he had written for Lustig/Garoni a screenplay for Brute Force (a remake of the Jules Dassin noir), which evolved into The Expert. Cohen had fulfilled his contract, but the director and producer did not like his screenplay (I never got through it).

So basically I was the third writer they’d been dealing with lately, the previous two being Quentin Tarantino (wooed away by bigger-time filmmakers) and Larry Cohen (who had dropped the ball on his script for them). It should be noted that previously Cohen had written Maniac Cop 1 and 2 for Lustig and later would do Uncle Sam (1996) with the director. Why Cohen’s script for Brute Force was so weak I have no idea, because he was usually an adept if quirky screenwriter.

All of that is a long preamble to something short. In watching True Romance (which I liked this time around), I was stunned as were most people revisiting that film by its incredible cast, filled with actors who would go on to famous, like James Gandolfini, Samuel Jackson, and Brad Pitt. I’d forgotten that Tom Sizemore and Chris Penn were in the film, let alone that they played a team of LAPD detectives in it.

So here’s the resonance. Sizemore played Quarry (as “Price”) in The Last Lullaby (2008) and Chris Penn was a guy Barb and I had dinner with once. Penn was a guest, as were we, at a Southern arts festival, the exact year and even place having fallen prey to my spotty memory. But we had a nice evening meal with him, though he seemed vaguely irritated by how in tune Barb and I were, which is not the usual reaction we invoke.

None of that is a big deal, but to be watching one of Quentin Tarantino’s break-out movies, with memories of following in his footsteps on my 1993 Hollywood adventure, and seeing the only actor to date who has played Quarry in a feature film and Sean Penn’s late brother, who Barb and I had a memorable but slightly odd dinner with once upon a time…well, it had me blinking.

This kind of thing happens to me more and more. Barb and I, over the weekend, watched an excellent six-part HBO documentary about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, The Last Movie Stars. Into the Newman/Woodward story, actor Ethan Hawke inserts himself – and the cast he recruited to play voiceovers of the participants based on a transcript of a destroyed documentary Newman began in the 1990s – in a manner that should come across as self-indulgent and intrusive; but isn’t. The approach provides a picture of how in post-WW 2 Hollywood movies evolved (and devolved) over time, but mostly a revelation into how gifted actors think. The Zooming participants included (but are not limited to) George Clooney (as Newman), Laura Linney (as Woodward), Sam Rockwell, Sally Field, and Vincent D’Onofrio, with Brooks Ashmanskas spot on as Gore Vidal. Not part of the recreation cast are interview subjects David Letterman, Martin Scorcese, and Mario Andretti, as well as Newman’s adult children and grandchildren.

The revelation for me was understanding that Newman had brought to his performance in Road to Perdition his warm relationship with his two male grandchildren. The two boys in Perdition are of course surrogate grandchildren of Rooney/Looney, and Newman’s tragic turbulent time with his late son Scott informs his relationship with troubled son Connor (Daniel Craig)

Both Newman and Woodward are fascinating artists. Newman, a limited one in his earlier phases, played off his natural charm and good looks and became a movie star. Woodward’s instinctive but unerring acting chops made her a movie star first, but also a major actress while Newman seemed a commanding screen presence…but no more. There’s a middle period for Newman, where he finds himself in the humor of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), and reveals himself in the political fervor of the unfortunate WUSA (1970) and the well-realized Slapshot (1977). He does occsionally retreat into movie star mode for the good Harper (1966) follow-up, The Drowning Pool (1975), and such hollow victories as The Towering Inferno (1974) and Absence of Malice (1981), the latter with its awkward, misjudged relationship with a stridently too young Sally Field. From this came the triumph of The Verdict (1982) and the beginnings of star character roles from his Hustler (1966) sequel, The Color of Money (1986), to a little thing I like to call Road to Perdition (2022).

Woodward, interestingly, resented the loss of her movie stardom to stay-at-home mother with occasional film forays, but quietly roared back with a succession of award-winning TV movies. She and her husband made 16 films together, and he directed several films she starred in.

As might be expected, this fine documentary included a clip from Road to Perdition (2022). What we did not expect was that the clip chosen would be the scene Barb and I had witnessed being shot on our day on set.

Another resonance came from Newman’s first starring film, The Silver Chalice (1954), being the Biblical turkey that producer Victor Saville cynically used Mickey Spillane box office to fund. This is a topic much explored in the forthcoming Spillane – King of Pulp Fiction….

* * *

Check out this lovely essay on the film version of Road to Perdition.

Here is a great write-up about my Dick Tracy novels on a Tracy film website.

Finally, back on the Road to Perdition, here’s an Entertainment Tonight piece I somehow missed; worth looking at.

M.A.C.

An Essential Noir Blu-Ray, A Spillane Update and Final Episodes

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022
The Guilty/High Tide Blu-Ray Cover from Flicker Alley

My pal Eddie Muller, the guru of all things noir, has outdone himself with the latest Flicker Alley home video release from the Film Noir Foundation. Beautifully restored as usual by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Eddie’s first double feature on Blu-ray/DVD is The Guilty/High Tide, both 1947 releases from (of all people) producer Jack Wrather of early TV’s Lone Ranger and Lassie (!) fame.

What makes the disc a noir fan’s feast are the special features, many of which are the work of film expert Alan K. Rode, including documentaries on Wrather (and his actress wife Bonita Granville, star of The Guilty), Cornell Woolrich, and director John Reinhardt. The standout special feature for me, however, is Lee Tracy: The Fastest Mouth in the West from charming, articulate noir historian Imogen Sara Smith.

Lee Tracy is a nearly forgotten movie (and stage) star of the 1930s who has long been a favorite of mine. He defined the Hildy Johnson character in The Front Page on Broadway. He didn’t play the role on screen (Pat O’Brien did) but he went on to be the prototypical fast-talking, rule-bending, hard-drinking, sleazy-but-winning media-man of pre-Code Hollywood. He is remembered, if at all, for his most enduring films, Doctor X, Dinner at Eight, and Bombshell. He made a late career comeback on Broadway and in the film version of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (1964), playing a Truman-esque ex-president turned power broker – he got an Academy Award nomination for that. A terrific film, by the way.

His career downfall in the mid-‘30s came when he supposedly urinated from a balcony onto a passing parade of Mexican soldiers (he was making Viva Villa!). He was apparently as hard-living and hard-drinking as the characters he portrayed. For me, he’s a unique figure, fast-talking and oddly charismatic despite a face that looks like a sack of potatoes wearing a sly smile. He is pre-Code Hollywood wrapped up in one balcony-pissing package.

Eddie Muller, who participates in several of the documentaries and delivers his usual fine introduction to the films, is more impressed with The Guilty than with the Lee Tracy-dominant High Tide. The Guilty is definitely worthwhile, an Ulmer-esque exercise in making something out of nothing, budget-wise.

The Guilty is also one of the best translations of the mood of writer Cornell Woolrich to the screen. Rear Window is obviously – I’m no genius pointing this out – superior; but then so is The Window with Ed Gorman’s first cousin Bobby Driscoll and Phantom Lady and on and on. What The Guilty has, besides cannily used shabby sets, is its doomed lead actor, Don Castle – who is also in the Woolrich-based I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes (1948) and of course High Tide. Castle rivals Tom Neal for sad irony in his real life, ending a suicide.

I will state, at risk of losing whatever noir credentials I have, that I am not in particular a fan of Woolrich’s writing. He was justifiably famed for his ability to come up with one resonant noir premise after another; but as a writer he did not do much for me. I once was hired to write a screenplay from a novel of his (never made) and was not impressed with the craftsmanship. This is a matter of taste and I acknowledge his importance on a very short list that includes Hammett, Chandler, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, Mickey Spillane, and Jim Thompson.

The sadness and threadbare nature of Woolrich’s life is well-served by The Guilty, but for this fan of actor Lee Tracy, High Tide (with which I was already familiar) is the gem of this rhinestone-glittering package. Like The Guilty (and I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes) it’s from Monogram. I once had Nate Heller say, “The night was as starless as a movie from Monogram.” But Lee Tracy must have slipped my mind. Typically, in both The Guilty and High Tide, Regis Toomey shows up as essentially the same plainclothes police inspector (he has that role in I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes, too, more centrally).

High Tide has a wraparound right out of Double Indemnity and a bigger budget than The Guilty (considering it’s Monogram, nothing to brag about) but it serves as a coda, or even valedictory, for Lee Tracy’s fast-talking, rule-breaking reporter, a figure recognizably American, at once admirable and shameful.

Tracy was no longer A-list in 1947 and hadn’t been for well over a decade; he was making the occasional B picture. He would soon gain a slight, tenuous hold on noir history by way of starring in the first really successful tough private eye series, Martin Kane. Surviving examples of this early ‘50s show are fascinating artifacts of live TV. But in High Tide the actor brings his trademark persona fully into the bleak world of film noir, where leads are played by the doomed likes of Castle and Neal. He fits in well but flies much higher on his way to High Tide’s splash landing.

Thank you, Eddie Muller, Alan Rode, Woolrich documentarian Steven Smith, and especially Imogan Sara Smith, for her wonderful career piece on Lee Tracy.

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In the meantime, I am preparing to do the commentary for ClassicFlix’s I, the Jury release this coming September. It’s going to be really something – a package including 4K, Blu-ray and 3-D. Preparing for my work, I have watched a 3-D advance disc of the 1953 film and was again blown away by John Alton’s cinematography.

I have always liked this film – it was my first introduction to Mike Hammer, seen on a very small black-and-white TV around 1955 – and I know that some people don’t accept Biff Elliot as Mike Hammer. Mickey didn’t, and he’s not alone. But I find Biff’s take on Hammer as a young, not terribly bright combat veteran, out to avenge the guy who lost an arm to a Japanese bayonet meant for him, both appropriate and effective – burly but not a bully. The flaws in the film mostly have to do with censorship issues – the truncated striptease at the conclusion particularly, but also the lengths the script has to go to, to avoid directly mentioning prostitution and dope dealing.

I will talk more about this later, but anyone interested in Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer…really, any film noir fan…will find the Classicflix I, the Jury on a short list of best Blu-rays of the year, including no doubt The Guilty/High Tide.

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Elsewhere on the Spillane front, I am working on the galley proofs of Spillane – King of Pulp Fiction, and find myself very pleased. It was a big, hard job – Jim Traylor and I have been seriously working on this project since shortly after Mickey’s passing in 2006 – and I am relieved to find that I like the result. Jim is working on the index of the 350-page book right now.

I am thrilled that Mysterious Press is the publisher. It’s a classy imprimatur that I think this book deserves.

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Our first post-Covid lockdown walk-out on a movie: Jurassic World: Dominion. The dinosaurs were believable, but the people were not. Just a dreadful, dull script with brain-numbing dialogue. I had thought this would be a nice melding of characters from the previous entries in the saga, but (for the hour-plus we witnessed) they rarely interacted.

We saw it in 3D that was barely noticeable (but for the upcharge). I was tempted to stay and watch at least some of the actors get eaten, but Barb was fed up.

I will say I thought the overhead sound conveying the prehistoric creatures grazing and grunting was effective until I realized it was just the other moviegoers.

On a more positive note, several of the limited-run TV series we’ve been watching have wrapped up satisfyingly, particularly Gaslit and (an episode to go) the delightful The Offer (I recommend supplementing the series with the behind-the-scenes Godfather book, Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli by Mark Seal). HBO’s The Staircase remained compelling viewing in its final episode, but as it’s credited with being based on the French documentary of the same name, one does wonder where material not seen in the doc came from. Some of it seems unfair to all concerned. Anyway, that owl did it.

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Finally, it’s another article about that Tom Hanks movie that you didn’t realize came from a graphic novel.

M.A.C.