This Blu-ray review of Criterion’s new “Kiss Me Deadly” transfer appears on KTKA-49.
Criterion’s new Blu-ray issue of the classic 1955 hard-boiled film noir “Kiss Me Deadly” is out now and is a must-have for any serious film fan. Ralph Meeker plays Mike Hammer, the famous detective created by Mickey Spillane, in a movie that literally pulls no punches and is steeped in a huge amount of Cold War era paranoia.
The plot of the book—a mafia conspiracy—is jettisoned for something altogether more terrifying and mysterious: Possession of a box that glows from within every time it is opened, however briefly. If that sounds like “Pulp Fiction,” well, it is—only 40 years earlier.
This sadistic Mike Hammer gets great pleasure out of blackmailing adulterers who ask for his help, slamming people’s fingers in drawers, slapping people around, and throwing others down multiple flights of stairs. In short, subtlety is not his strong suit.
This new Criterion edition restores one minute to the film’s apocalyptic ending and features some informative commentary and a couple of fantastic essays about the film that will only deepen your appreciation for “Kiss Me Deadly”—one of noir’s more cynical and brutal movies.