Critirion Collection
Release Date: June 21, 2011
MSRP: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95

I have a confession: Prior to reviewing this set, I had never watched Kiss Me Deadly. I am aware that admitting this may get my hardboiled/Noir membership taken away. But the original DVD release was ten years ago and I did not have a DVD player at the time!

So I was pleased as punch have a chance to watch a film that I have been told is as mean as they come.

And I can now say that I would NEVER want to visit the lands created by Mickey Spillane. Mickey was a bad-ass, but director Robert Aldrich seemingly took it up a notch. Most of today’s cinematic heroes would run away, while crying for their mommies. One of the reasons that Mike Hammer can handle it all is that he is not all that heroic and is every bit as nasty as the bad guys.

Mike Hammer picks up a desperate female hitch-hiker. She confesses to having a terrible secret, but is killed before any more is revealed. Hammer decides to look into it. Now before anyone points out how kind it is of him to look to avenge her, he thinks there might be money to be had.

As with any release from Critirion, Kiss Me Deadly offers up decent bang for your buck. The picture itself has been restored and looks fantastic. Many films from the 50-70s were not taken care and the prints end up in poor condition. The print this came from must have been in good shape because this looks amazing for 50+ year old flick.

Extras include a booklet with writings from critic J Hoberman as well as the late Mr. Aldrich, a new video tribute, an audio commentary as well as a alternate ending and theatrical trailer.

Folks looking for the meanest of mean streets and the baddest of badasses should snag this set. It looks great and will tickle your dark heart.

Jeremy Lynch