Sunday, 16 August 2009


This one is a real guilty pleasure. Good film? Frankly, no. But I've always been a fan of writer Mickey Spillane whose talents I believe have been seriously undervalued by critics. Robert Aldrich famously quipped after reading the book KISS ME DEADLY which he was about to film "Between the fucking and the fighting I couldn't find the story". Aldrich went on to make the best film ever of a Spillane story but, near masterpiece the film maybe, it isn't faithful Mike Hammer or Mickey Spillane. So why is THE GIRL HUNTERS a must for Spillane fans? The acting is pretty poor, the script also and direction by Roy Rowland is routine (although it is nicely photographed) but it does have Mickey Spillane himself playing his famous creation, Mike Hammer. Physically, Mickey fits the bill perfectly and looks believable in the part and he growls some pretty awful dialogue with total conviction despite his very limited range as an actor (matched perfectly by Shirley Eaton) in what must be a unique performance - have any other writers played their own creations on screen? Interiors were filmed at MGM studios in England while for the exteriors Cape Town stood in for New York. At the time of the film's initial release one writer suggested that the was " for the psychiatrist rather than the film critic," and it is easy to see what he meant. Fun. Rating **

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