A Movie A Day #158: The Girl Hunters (1963, directed by Roy Rowland)


Private detective Mike Hammer (Mickey Spillane) has spent the last seven years in the gutter.  Ever since his secretary, Velda, disappeared, Hammer has stopped working cases and, instead, spends all of his time drinking and passing out in alleys.  That is where he is found by his old friend, Captain Pat Chambers (Scott Peters).  Pat tells Mike that there has been a shooting.  A man named Richie is dying in the hospital and want to speak to him.  According to Richie, he was shot by the Dragon, the same communist super villain that Velda is currently hiding from.  That sobers Hammer up.  In fact, Mike Hammer is so tough that it only takes him a few minutes to shake off seven years of alcoholism.  Mike discovers that Richie’s murder is also connected to the murder of a senator.  Mike’s investigation leads him to both the senator’s bikini-clad wife (Shirley Eaton) and a communist conspiracy to take over the world.  What is strange is that it never leads him to Velda.  Maybe he would have found her if The Girl Hunters had gotten a sequel.

Many films were based on Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels but The Girl Hunters is unique because it stars Mickey Spillane as Hammer.  Spillane was not much of an actor but he was a genuine tough guy who, even after he became a successful writer, still looked like he had gone a few rounds with the world so he was not necessarily miscast in the role of Hammer.  The main problem with The Girl Hunters is that the mystery is not that interesting.  Mike Hammer does not really investigate anything.  He just goes from fight to fight.  At the end of the movie, he does come up with a clever trick to catch the killer but since there is only one suspect, the killer’s identity is not a surprise.s   The Girl Hunter is worth seeing for Shirley Eaton in a bikini and the novelty of Mickey Spillane playing his most famous creation but Kiss Me Deadly is still the best Mike Hammer film.

The French poster leaves no doubt about The Girl Hunters’ main selling point.

Music Video of the Day: Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)


Back in the 1990s, I could recite the standard line-up: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, Green Day, and others. Live would always be the band I would recall after that–despite them being one of my favorites. For me, it’s Ed Kowalczyk’s voice. I’m sure it’s changed by now, but I recall during one of the SNL anniversary shows that they were the only band that received standing ovations during the two times that they played the show. According to Wikipedia, they played I Alone the first time and Lakini’s Juice the second time. There’s just something so powerful and uplifting about his voice.

Also, back in the 1990s, I saw a couple of Live music videos, but the only one I could definitively recall is Lightning Crashes. I had faint memories of something involving a tiny tub. It took me a bit to find out that was the video for Lakini’s Juice. I knew the song. I just never saw the video. Or, if I did, I had no memory of it.

There are several parts of this music video that I like a lot. Peter Guinness–the actor playing the guy who enters the nightclub. The ending is memorable because of its syncing with the music and because that’s when it gets really weird.

Finally, I love this shot below.

That doesn’t look like something Kowalczyk was told to do. That looks like he was smiling at something off-camera or thought the shot was done.

I looked around and couldn’t find anything on this video other than where it was in the playlist for MTV in 1997 according to Billboard magazine. I also still haven’t come across any books that cover music videos after the first ten years of MTV. In fact, it looks like it hasn’t been till the current decade that people have started writing bios and general history of that period of music videos and MTV.

The video was directed by Paul Cunningham.

It was produced by Niki Amos.

It was edited by Scot Crane.

I can find only a handful of music video credits for any of them.

Enjoy!

30 Days Of Surrealism:

  1. Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
  3. The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
  4. Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
  5. Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
  6. Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
  7. The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
  8. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
  9. Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
  10. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
  11. Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)