Monday, February 28, 2011

Kiss Me Deadly

Today we discover a great whatsit in Kiss Me Deadly!

This movie had a great use of light and shadow, look at that first shot! And also, a crazy lady opening the infamous 'great whatsit'.

I know what you're thinking. "Another noir Josh? Aren't you tired of these old black and white whodunits yet?" NEVER! I'm actually going to do a list of my favorites sometime in the near future, because this is a movie blog, and what's a movie blog with out lists in intervals of 10?

Anyways, back to the review. Kiss Me Deadly is about womanizing detective Mike Hammer(Ralph Meeker) trying to uncover a woman's murder and a mysterious "whatsit" that everyone is trying to get their hands on.

Let's go to the Noir Stats:
Light and Shadowness: 8/10
Bleakdepressibility: 9/10
Batmanitude: 6/10
Dialogue: 7/10
Creepiness: 5/10
Cthulhuocity: (:€/10

Ok, so it doesn't distinctly have the great tentacled Lord Cthulhu, but his has a creepy box with tentacles that has Something in it, so there's no saying it's not the dark tentacled lord either. But in all seriousness, it is quite creepy.

If you read any other review of this movie(or the back of the box even, thanks alot DVD case) it will tell you how it ends, which I never like to hear. So let me just say, it doesn't end well. In fact, it probably has the bleakest ending of any noir ever, tilting dreadfully over the edge of the supernatural. And that's really how any good noir should end, but this isn't a good noir, it's a great one.

It's dark, it's bleak, it's downcast, and downright disturbing. Everything about this from the tone to the story to the lighting to the characters screams noir. Not even the main hero, Mike Hammer, is a beacon of light; he's just a thug who can't remember what right is anymore. He does his job, and does what's necessary to get the job done. Oh and did I mention he's batman?

Let me lay it down for you:
Women flock to him
He can't be killed,
He's a loner and tragedy follows him everywhere,
What he does to thugs is so extreme and badass to show on screen. All you'll ever see is thugs cower away in fear. He is totally batman.
All the supporting characters are interesting and full of individuality. The villain's are menacing, the friends are jovial, the thugs are hard, and the dames are beautiful.

Let's get back to the dark creepiness. The first sign is the opening credits, which are going the wrong way, and feature a woman whimpering hysterically in the background. These are the most disturbing opening credits you'll ever see:

After that, it just gets weirder. There's the oddly calm voice of the villain, the female victims of the crazy ward, the horrified screams of Thugs after Mike gets done with them, and the strange whisperings from a box not to be opened.

The pacing is good and provides some great tension. The dialogue is top notch and thoroughly enjoyable; each character has their own distinct voice and the main characters have some great monologues.

For Noir fanatics, this is a must, but it's just a great creepy, actiony old movie for anyone. I highly recommend it. A top notch 12 out of 13.

"Kiss me, Mike. I want you to kiss me. Kiss me. The liar's kiss that says I love you, and means something else. You're good at those kisses, Mike. Kiss me."

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