New on DVD:
Kiss Me Deadly
For sheer brazen weirdness, it’s hard to top Robert Aldrich’s nervy noir 1955 adaptation of the skull-busting Mickey Spillane novel. It’s a mystery that never gets solved, and a thriller that creeps more than thrills. The closest one gets to an explanation of who’s behind everything is a cynical, tired reference by the hero’s gal Friday to “nameless ones who kill people for the great whatsit.” All the confusion could be a good example of why directors shouldn’t make films out of books they have no respect for, but then it’s hard to say that a greater fidelity to the source material would have improved matters much…
Kiss Me Deadly is available in a spiffy new edition from Criterion. You can read my full review at filmcritic.com.