A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
Private Investigator Mike Hammer gets involved in a murder case after he gives a lift to Christina Bailey. She is obviously on the run as she is barefoot and wearing nothing but a trench coat. Whoever was after her eventually catches up with them. She has information they want but dies while being questioned. They fake an accident by pushing Hammer's car off the road but he survives, waking up in the hospital two weeks later. As he investigates Christina's death he's told by the police to stay out of it but the hard-nosed PI proceeds anyways. Little did he know that Christina's secret would lead to death and destruction. Written by
Man, I saw this movie for the first time a few years ago and I still don't know what to think about it. Ralph Meeker as a fascistic Mike Hammer, a crazy hitch-hiker, an opera fan and a box that can destroy the world. I dunno.
From what I understand Alderitch (the director) hated Mikey Spillane's story (which was about a briefcase full of drugs or money or something else), thought Mike Hammer was an image of brutality and fascism and made a film that reflected it. He makes Hammer out to be some kind of sadist and makes the suitcase out be some kind of nuclear device. The movie turns from a simple detective story to some wierd-ass, sci-fi cold war parable.
It's sort of like the X-Files meets film-noir PI, or something to that effect.
All that being said, this is a GREAT film and is well worth watching by anyone who like apocalyptic film-noir (in fact, this may be the only film in that sub-genre). Anyone who is a fan of bizarre camera work, weird symbolism and a stranger storyline, should really check this out.
Observe the many bizarre inconsistencies (clocks that jump ahead and back, screams that don't jibe right with the soundtrack, camera angles that jump mysteriously) and keep in mind that these were INTENDED! When you get a feel for this film and start noticing what the director was attempting to do with this bizarre film I think that you will enjoy it even more. Truly a unique piece of film making.
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