Kiss Me Deadly

Written by Joe D on August 11th, 2007


Stop , I’m naked under this trench coat!

Whenever I’m at my local video store and I see someone perplexed at what to rent , I ask if they like film noir. If they say yes I recommend Kiss Me Deadly. This is a film I saw many times as a kid , usually on Channel 5 late at night. I couldn’t believe how cool it was , from the opening crazy nighttime drive down the California coast , a sexy Cloris Leachman , naked under a trench coat , Ultra cool , amoral blockhead Ralph Meeker driving a sleek Jaguar roadster. Credits in reverse on the dark road. (The blacks are really black in this film, they seem blacker than normal) Torture , violence , a sadistic hero who uses his girl Friday/ girlfriend as man bait for married cheaters. Maxine Cooper is Velma.

Mike Hammer and his Voluptuous Velma

Then there’s Nick, his beboppin’ Greek mechanic. He keeps Mike’s cars zooming and he’s always yelling “Va va Voom” and ” Pow”! He’s like a walking , talking Batman comic. His Va Va Voom was sampled by Ry Cooder for his Chavez Ravine album, check out the opening of “Muy Fifi”..



Don’t forget Albert Dekker. He was Dr. Cyclops and was found dead, tied up, shot up, hanging and overdosed and it was ruled a suicide!

Albert Dekker plays Dr. Cyclops , only not in this film

Lazy Eye poster boy Jack Elam is here, he’s one of the gunslingers laying for Charles Bronson at the begining of Once Upon A Time In The West.

He started in the movies as an accountant

Strother Martin , the Southern Gothic slimy wierdo who had a failure to communicate with Paul Newman shows up here.


Strother, Baby

Great Los Angeles 1950’s locations ( I think this movie was one of the reasons I wanted to move here ), It even features Angel’s Flight , the super cool little funicular railway that went up Bunker Hill! This groovy trolley is in several excellent noirs , like Criss Cross for example.

A sure sign of a cool LA noir

This movie was shot by B-movie maven Robert Aldritch in 3 weeks! Due in no small part to the excellent screenplay by the legendary A.I. Bezzerides ( there’s a documentary about A. I. out , check it out).


Buzz Bezzerides at 90
The movie’s MacGuffin is a mysterious box that emits a blinding light and Banshee scream when opened, a direct antecedent to the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.

Aldrich directs Gaby Rodgers

Kiss Me Deadly, the chicks are hot, the gansters grotesque, the hero’s handsome, the cars Cool, and the locations are outstanding. So please, if you haven’t seen it, rent or buy or borrow a copy and check it out. Then stroll down to your nearest dive bar, drop a quater in the jukebox , play a Sinatra tune , order a whiskey and think about Velma.


Atom Age Pandora

Is this the end of Mike Hammer?