As a Mike Hammer fan I hated every second of this. Newcomer Biff Elliot is completely miscast as Mickey Spillane’s hard boiled P.I. His voice over is bad and his “acting” is worse. If you’re a Hammer fan keep far away from this example of how not to make a movie about a popular series. It’s based on the first book published in 1947.
Mike’s friend Jack Williams is a former cop who is now an insurance investigator. One night after a Christmas party Jack is looking through a college yearbook. A present comes through the door. It’s a bullet. Mike tells his police pal Pat Chambers (Preston Foster) that he’s going to find out who did it and he doesn’t care how. Pat tells him to take it easy. Of course he won’t.
Mike’s first stop is Jack’s druggie girlfriend Myrna. She’s no help. Using the guest list Pat gave him Mike visits art dealer and fight promoter George Kalecki (Alan “Fred Flintsone” Reed). George’s live in college student Hal Kines tries to get tough with Mike, Bad mistake.
His next stop is psychoanalyst Charlotte Manning (Peggy Castle). No help there. Pat is waiting outside and tells him Kines has moved into a building where The Bellamy twins, Esther and Mary live. Mike bribes a bellhop to let him into Kines’ place. Mike finds a photo album with pictures of Klines and Kalecki during World War Two in Europe.
Next it’s The Bellamy place. Mary uses her feminine wiles on him to no avail. Back at the office an ex-pug is waiting there with Mike’s secretary Velda (Margaret Sheridan). He says Kalecki is also in the numbers racket.
In the course of his investigation he talks with numbers runner Bobo (Elisha Cook,Jr.). In a bar three thugs work Mike over. Then he sneaks into Jack’s apartment and finds his diary. Kalecki and Kinds, who is a lot older than he appears, were running a racket involving Kinds posing as a college student. It involves jewelry theft.
Mike goes to the frat house where Kinds stayed. Kalecki is in his room. He and Mike shoot it out. That ends Kalecki’s career. As things move along more bodies turn up and more bullets are fired Mike’s way. The ending is dragged out and Elliot’s “acting” gets even worse.
This is one of the absolute worst detective movies I’ve ever seen. The biggest mystery is who approved Elliot as Mike Hammer. It’s one of my favorite book series and this just trashed it.
After a few TV episodes this was Elliot’s movie debut.