Saturday, January 17, 2009

'Femur Thighs Bonely' - OR - 'Mike Hammers Terrorists! Much Blood Spill Layin' Around!'

Femur Thighs Bonely


Mike Hammers Terrorists! Much Blood Spill Layin’ Around!


by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins

Regrued by The Keeper of the Pit

If it were 1951, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, best selling private dick and man a gunbutt New York City, would be sitting minding his own business on a bar stool and some bed hot mama would walk over to him, her hips waving hello. And thigh naughty? By then he'd slam banged his unstoppable slay through four tough guy trendsetters, so he and the babes had been aROWLnd, and some of them had even survived to kiss and tell about it. And bedsides, Hammer never let the gals, hips waving any twitch lay, get him, um, behind in his work. Plus he wasn't the kinda guy ever hadda assk.

Butt no it's 2008, start of Goliath. Mike has a grandslambang 13 novels behind him now, his creator and enactor dead and gone to hard dick heaven, and he's sitting on yet another bar stool bemoaning the wicked weather without. For once it's snowing, although it does happen to Hammer in print or film time to time.. It ain't ev'ry day, say, that Stacey Keach gets to intone lines like "It was just another day in New York...cloudy with a chance of scattered hookers." Now maybe the line as I reekmember it ain't quite exact, but usually Mike's got a problem with rain like there's Noah tomorrow. And speaking of udder things double dehuge... in '51's The Big Kill Mike waves the gal off, watches a bundle-bearing guy walk in fright before his murder. Bundle turns out to be a baby of the burp and urp kind and so begins an adventure which brought new meaning to the term "babe and arms." Does too, I have it here on my crib shoot! Our times, there's no gal he gets to tell "Blow, sister," which modern readers might take for an oral exam. No, Hammer's not up for that, he leaves the joint for the street, double zeroes in on a guy acting suspicious in the back of a cab, a guy waiting for, looking for trouble. Odd, because, like Hammer sez, "Nothing was happening." Still, he's got a feeling something's gonna transpire soon, the feeling that readers know usually means scum one’s gonna expire soon. It's bonely, I SAID only page three, and Mike thinks his old cop buddy Pat Chambers would laugh, because "Guys like me weren't supposed to have those weird feelings, like having little people crawling up along your spine and making funny noises in your ears." Now, this little people thing could be why Hammer's still elf employed. But as anyone, such as myself who has read Spillane for like .45 years now, it could just mean streets mean Hammer ain't simply walking abutt with his gun half-cochlea'ed.

A young couple, college-aged, come out of a bar, the lad clutching a long package, maybe an instrument of some kind. He and his blond female companion scurry off toward the subway stairs, and the creep in the taxi gets out, takes after them. Hammer shadows the shifty sneak. By page 5 the kids have run back up to the street, their stalker behind them, armed and dangerous. Hammer aims for the bad guy's gunhand, nails it, and the guy takes a dive on the ice-beslimed subway steps. Sez Hammer, "His head smashed against the stairs," making "squishy sounds" on its way down, "the head pounding out drum notes until it split." After that, he's too far dead and gone for Hammer to "hear the blood dripping." Good thing Hammer always speaks hardboiled Egglish steada Latin, or here's the place where, subway train roaring by underneath him, Hammer coulda blown cold smoke from his piece maker and said "Slick transit gorier."

Ah, but maybe dead languages do in this Hammer have a scroll for him, sea? Turns out the young couple are the son and daughter of two university experts on matters as ancient as Hammer's own bones should be. As in, the son to the father is involved with his dad's second wife's daughter an old Biblical way naughty entirely brother and sisterly, all behind the parents' backs of course. Legal love matters notwithstanding, things soon get so Bibli-kill it isn't just Hammer doing a whole lotta beGATting.

The daughter's mother makes fur much torment of Hammer's old brain matter, as her lovely blonditude keeps shagging at his mam, I mean, memories. Who does this Charlene character remind him of? And true to Spillane form, why do such important to the puzzle thoughts always wind up, in true Hammer fashion, in italics? Old time readers, who no doubt read The Big Kill their first time and could see through the lil kid reaching for Hammer's rod, make that gun, all the time saw the big bang coming, should get quite a kick outta, how to say, Charlene’s denudement. Still, even wayback when Spillane was too much the master to leave plot holsters. And with her over shoulder boulders Charlene promises to be one big bad mama and a barrel of gun...

The on holy matter here? That instrument-sized package the kids unearthed Kongtained a reekscently discovered artifact, found in the very Valley of Elah. And I do mean Kongtained. Hammer herein makes various references to an old movie about a giant ape climbing the Empire State building, and it's not just Hammer having his Wray with words. There's this other piece of prime real estate in town that's no longer there, which was according to Spillane's collaborator, Max Allan Collins, what inspired the Mickster to put down one Hammer novel and start this one, around the day of infamous villainy called 9/11. And like Kong, who's a bigger New Yorker than Mike Hammer, another guy who'd rather the other fell low take the big fall? As for Kong, later on he gets his props, does his own bit fur the fall of the terrorist type of gorilla warfare.

And take the fall the fanatics do. Hard. As well they should, after 9/11 and their heinous act of plane murder. One takes the plunge from a roof rather than face Hammer, willingly plummets to his death unto a parked Thunderbird. Hammer looks down, his accomplice runs up, asks what happened. Hammer sez it's something terrible. Like what, the bud asks. Hammer sez, "Perfectly good ride got ruined." This despite the fact the feds and Chambers would rather have taken the perp down to their station for a good grille-ing. Sure Al Queda's put the hit on him, but when Hammer puts its agents down, it ain't like the next day will find that with guilt Hammer's been laden...

Hammer does make points on not being against ANY religion, just the fanatikillers who took out a good chunka the town he’s spent his professional life protecting. While warning scum one whom Hammer would prob'ly call an effendi offender, Mike threatens that when the terror thug's dead he'll hang a hunka meat around his neck so he doesn't get to heaven with all those virgins. Gee, and harem, I SAID here I thought Hammer was a WWII vet, not Korea. Doesn't matter, he sure knows how to deliver pure Porkchop Hell.

Collins, Spillane's biographer and friend, finisher of The Goliath Bone, pulls no pulsestopping punches here. Once Hammer, Chambers and the cops plus the feds defending our Homeland get in on it, there's no let up. Even if the danged high to the sky thigh didn't belong to the boy-to-be-King David knocked stone cold dead, what's to stop any side to warring factions in the Middle East wanting to either have it or destroy it, if not even start WW3 over it? When it comes to peoples who have been fighting since time immemorial, since before they invented friggin' rocks or maybe even human slinguage, does it even matter if the big bone in question is fake, or Israel? And trust Collins and Spillane to provide Hammer fisticuffly scrapes, not to mention all kindsa marrow.

Even though he’s the new man at the Hammer helm, it's not like Collins, movie maker, topnotch natterer of novelizations, creator of his own oldtime p.i. Nate Heller AND old-fashioned Quarry master, hasn't worked the Hammer beat before, as in his run with Spillane's comic book character, Mike Danger. Danger, in fact, being the original prototype for Hammer, even had his own succulent secretary in the far-flung future, a light on her features gal named Holly Graham. As to why she looked like Bettie Page, well, that's anudder Ms. Tree.

Which brings us to Velda, Hammer's, as Lenny Bruce would say, old lady butt firm secretary. Seems once again a Hammer book opens with Mike and his main triggerfinger squeezette are about to tie the knot, this time in three days in Vegas.By now, since say the end of The Snake in 1964, old Hammer fans can decide for themselves as to whether they wanna lay any beds. And how old ARE Hammer and Velda, any lay? At one point Hammer sez the young folks he rescued are about the age he and Velda first met. Yikes. Hammer, let's say, was in his gun oily '20's during WW2. Meaning Velda's about the same, quiver shake. Unless they were child sweethearts back in the old neighbor Me, Hood... Or maybe they diddle go to college together, and Mike joined up with Felta Velda Pi.

Like AARP-card carrying Hammer here, in incredible fine fighting and .45-firing form, Velda herself is lick thighs, I SAID likewise even more so. When young guys look at her and years of leers back Hammer woulda nailed 'em like a Commie rat to the floor, now he feels proud as, ahem, punch. And okay, so near the end she does manage to play damsel in distress, it's Velda who saves the day when Hammer is about done in by a character as tall and tough as the original Goliath AND toweringly deadly with killer giantics.

Bedsides, she still packs her .38. One can bonely letch, I SAID only guess if she's Keeps it in a P.I. vet place. I demean, ya gotta love her devotion to Mike, who has laid down his law at lust a few climbs, that’s just a few times with a willing wench tight before his supposed wedding. Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter maybe he served in Korea, either, he's still Velda’s straight shootin' Seoul mate. Velda's proven time and again, ‘specially after Mike turns down Charlene and hasta drag away with a big bone of his own, it's WW2 privates she's fondle. And here's where I won't go off The Deep end, letch it up to you, leer reader, to loin for yerself if Mike and Velda make the big mattress moanies, or haveta make the date for anudder Erection Set.

The bonely, dang it, only things I haveta say in Kongclusion? One, this is the first book I’ve read and immediately rebeGAT since Paul Malmont’s The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, another book wherein as soon as I started it I felt like a young pulp! Two, same death-dealin' deal here. I put this Hammer down and simply picked him up again, ready for a second round of gun fun and gore. Now I want more, and I’ve started Kongsidering all those left behind Hammers Collins promises to come. Hmm. Way before the end of his life Spillane mentioned a book called The Organ Grinders, and I fur one would love if it survives in some form fur Mr. Collins to monkey with. Kongsarn it, just thinking about it makes me wonder if I could wait should it come out this very fall. (Heck, I’d even spring for it this Ape-thrill!)

1 comment:

Max Allan Collins said...

Brilliant. My favorite review of all crime.