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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Girl Hunters [Blu-ray]

 

(Roy Rowland, 1963)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Fellane

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:20.960

Disc Size: 23,512,673,724 bytes

Feature Size: 21,115,041,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.50 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 21st, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1685 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1685 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Spillane expert Max Allan Collins

Interview with Mickey Spillane (29:59)
Interview with Shirley Eaton (9:03)
Original Trailer (2:27)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Private Eye, Mike Hammer's sexy secretary Velda is missing... and Mike's hot on her trail. Mickey Spillane himself, the best-selling author of The Girl Hunters, turns in a "tremendous" performance (Time magazine) in the leading role. Count on some pulse-pounding action when Hammer tangles with a ruthless band of communist spies determined to see him dead. But even more dangerous might be the seductive, bikini-clad widow (Shirley Eaton, Goldfinger) who's caught Hammer's eye. Spillane's Mike Hammer murder mysteries have sold in the millions across the world. And The Girl Hunters is vintage Spillane - fast and furious. And now see it from a Brand New HD master loaded with extras!

 

 

The Film:

Novelist Mickey Spillane portrays his own creation, Mike Hammer, in The Girl Hunters. Hammer has spent seven years in an alcoholic funk after the supposed death of his secretary, Velda. He is brought back to the land of the living by his old friendly enemy, police lieutenant Pat Chambers (Scott Peters), who wants Hammer to extract some information out of a dying federal agent. This puts Mike on the trail of a subversive communist organization, the key to which seems to be sexy Laura Knapp (Shirley Eaton), the widow of a murdered senator. When Hammer determines that following this espionage trail may lead to relocating Velda, who might not be dead after all, he pursues matters with his usual fascistic tendency to pummel first and ask questions later. The Girl Hunters is the film in which Mike Hammer incapacitates an opponent by literally nailing the latter's hands to the floor. But that's kid stuff compared to the fate in store for the treacherous Laura Knapp. The Girl Hunters was filmed in its entirety in England

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Ian Fleming may have posed with a gun for a photograph, but he never got the chance to play his creation James Bond on the screen. Ernest Hemingway was a man of action, but he left the screen portrayals of Robert Jordan and Jake Barnes to professional actors. In fact, authors of popular literature have rarely appeared in more than cameo roles. Of those few who have left their typewriters to step before the camera, Mickey Spillane was the most daring. In The Girl Hunters (1963) he took over the role of his most famous creation, the violence-prone detective Mike Hammer. The results were as rough as Spillane's gumshoe.

Most people today, if they have heard of Mike Hammer, connect him to Robert Aldrich's classic film Kiss Me Deadly (1955) or the 1980's TV series starring Stacy Keach. However, during the 1950's, Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer were very big indeed. Capitalizing on the post-World War II publishing phenomenon of the pocket-sized pulp paperback, Spillane provided the raw goods for this new kind of fiction. With lurid titles like My Gun Is Quick (1950) and Vengeance Is Mine! (1950) and even more lurid covers heavy on the disheveled dames and blazing handguns, Spillane's books tapped into the desire for heroes who could play as nasty as the villains. In Mike Hammer's world, the code of the fair fight had been destroyed by the horrors of the World War and the new battle against the sneaky Reds.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Much to the delight of his fans, Mickey Spillane as Mike Hammer in The Girl Hunters has made it to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber (although it starts with a 'Scorpion Releasing' logo).  The image quality is quite good.  This is single-layered with a supportive bitrate and I expect this is as good as the film has ever looked on digital. There is a tightness and depth - and contrast shows some pleasing layers. Pretty solid. There may be a shade of Cinemascope 'mumps' with the 2.35:1 visuals marginally horizontally stretched. This Blu-ray seems to do its job but is slightly marred by some damage and heavy speckles in the final scene.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1685 kbps has some depth but the film is fairly restrained. We get a score from Philip Green (The Man Who Finally Died, Basil Dearden's Victim, The League of Gentlemen, Sapphire and All Night Long) There are some aggressive effects but I don't recall the audio being remarkable. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

There are some good extras - a commentary by Spillane expert, and my friend, Max Allan Collins. Max knows Spillane! In 1998 Mickey Spillane agreed to participate in a documentary about his life and career, directed by mystery writer and filmmaker Max Allan Collins (author of the book The Road to Perdition). Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane's debuted at a noir festival in Courmayeur, Italy and a condensed cut was prepared by Collins for Criterion's Kiss Me Deadly Blu-ray. Max also did an interesting commentary on VCI's DVD of Allan Dwan's Slightly Scarlet. There is also a keen 1/2 hour interview with Mickey Spillane (holding a piece!) and a 10-minute video with the lovely Shirley Eaton. There is also an original trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thought Spillane did a great job of playing Hammer. And Shirley Eaton is a pretty hot femme-fatale. It's an entertaining 'gumshoe' flic. Lloyd Nolan I always good in support and I like the way this was shot and Kino's 1080P Blu-ray appearance is very appealing. If this is 'up your alley' I'd encourage you to pick this up (58% OFF at Amazon at the writing of this review!

Gary Tooze

November 26th, 2014

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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