A Buck-Twenty-Five A Movie

March 12th, 2013 by Max Allan Collins

If any of you are interested, THE BLACK BOX, the boxed set DVD collection of my indie movies – MOMMY, MOMMY’S DAY, REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS STREET MARKET and SHADES OF NOIR (which includes the original, longer cut of MIKE HAMMER’S MICKEY SPILLANE as well as the Brian Keith “Mike Hammer” pilot from 1954) – is on sale at Oldies.com for $4.98. That’s a savings of $30.

I want to thank all of you who sent supportive comments (sometimes as private e-mails) after my post last week, complaining about various aspects of the writer’s life, now that I am officially old enough to be a complaining coot. I am considering putting a rocking chair on the porch and writing further updates there on a laptop.

For the record, it took four work days to put ASK NOT back together (also for the record, my editor at Forge was completely on my side and reinstated everything I requested). To give you an idea of how extreme the ASK NOT copy edit was, I also dealt this week with the copy-edited manuscript of the upcoming thriller WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU from Thomas & Mercer. It took one work day.

Dead Man Down

We saw an interesting crime movie that I am going to recommend, though it is not perfect: DEAD MAN DOWN. It’s directed by Niels Arden Oplev, of the original GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and stars the “girl” herself, the indelible Noomi Rapace, probably my favorite actress working today. I used to not care for Colin Ferrell, but as his star has faded somewhat, his acting has improved immeasurably – he’s terrific here in a subtle, understated performance as a guy who is anything but subtle and understated. It’s a revenge film, with a great premise, but I sometimes felt the foreign director didn’t entirely understand the English language script – it’s a little too long, and some things don’t quite track. But the central romance between two damaged souls and the outlandish shoot-‘em-up finale are well worth the time of anybody interested in crime movies. It has one of the great screen Mike Hammers, Armand Assante, in a small but pivotal role.


The reviews for SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT continue to roll in, in a very positive way. Let’s start with something I rarely do – customer reviews at Amazon, which includes one from Bookreporter. By the way, if you want to help out your favorite authors (including, I hope, me), a great, easy way is to post a brief four- or five-star review at Amazon, assuming you like what you’ve read. Those reviews really, really count.

Here’s a cool one from the International House of Geek (the fantastic blog names just keep coming).

And here’s a great one from Mystery People.

A somewhat horror-tinged positive review appears here, at The October Country (R.I.P., Ray Bradbury).

Here’s a patronizing but ultimately positive review from the UK’s Telegraph.

Here’s Comic Buzz on SEDUCTION. I’m very pleased that so many comics blogs have picked up on the book.

And what author doesn’t love getting an A+, as happens here at Fandom Post.

Publisher’s Weekly is getting cranky in its old age, but this review of the upcoming ANTIQUES CHOP is pretty good.

PW also isn’t much impressed with the upcoming Mike Hammer, COMPLEX 90, considering it more of the same. First of all, if somebody gives you a hot-fudge sundae when you order one, do you complain that it’s more of the same? Second of all, this is the book where Mike Hammer goes to Russia. Not more of the same – one of the most distinctive books in the series, in my opinion, one of Mickey’s most unusual, even unique plots.

Scroll down for a tardy but fantastic review of THE CONSUMMATA.

And finally Pop Cults weighs in with a late but lovely LADY, GO DIE! review.


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11 Responses to “A Buck-Twenty-Five A Movie”

  1. patrick foster says:

    Does Shades of Noir include the original short that kicked off ‘The Last Lullaby’/Last Quarry?

  2. Yes. I wrote the short (no co-screenwriter) and it’s pure Quarry. Much as I like the feature, I prefer the short. SHADES OF NOIR has me on camera with some history stuff about noir, plus the short ELIOT NESS film that was expanded into the play and feature, again with Mike Cornelison, my late great friend.

    If anybody has any interest in my work at all, this is five bucks worth risking.

  3. patrick foster says:

    Terrific, thanks! Off to buy…

  4. I’ll be picking up Seduction later this week, probably. I’m eager to read it.

    Back when the Black Box set came out, I reviewed it at Kevin Smith’s site, and it’s archived at my DVD Late Show site now:

    Max Allan Collins’ Black Box

  5. Paul.Griffith says:

    Max, Thanks for the heads-up on the Boxed set, I ordered it and tried to find “The Girl Hunters” DVD. Do you know where I might be able to order the DVD? By the way, I thought “Seduction…” was superb and now have all three Jack and Maggie Starr books. Still waiting for release of the “Mike Danger” collection, I have it pre-ordered through Amazon as well as “Complex 90.”

  6. Gerard Saylor says:

    The DEAD MAN DOWN flick looks good enough that I have avoided all reviews, including your one above.

    The advertising for DEAD MAN DOWN has been different with looooong commercials on both TV and the web.

  7. patrick_o says:

    That Telegraph review kind-of bothers me. It seems like any piece of purely enjoyable fiction is “hokum”, “bunkum”, or whatever other phrase meaning “un-literary” is in vogue. Perhaps your next book should examine the human condition more thoroughly. It can be a 700 page geopolitical thriller set in Uzbekistan, with no plot whatsoever.

    I don’t know, I’m of the admittedly old-fashioned opinion that an author is supposed to provide me with a few hours of entertainment. And your newest book definitely scores on that scale.

  8. I can just about guarantee you that any reviewer who uses the word “hokum” in his or her review is a jackass. The sooner the word appears — say in the lead — the jackassier.

  9. mike doran says:


    I wonder if you knew that Niels Arden Oplev directed the pilot and first several episodes of UNFORGETTABLE, the short-lived CBS cop series from last season about the lady cop with the perfect memory for dates.
    He also had a producer credit up to about episode five, then apparently left the series (don’t know why)..
    Anyway, Mr. Oplev has worked in English before (and on a TV filming schedule yet).
    So I guess I’ll be seeing this movie (if I can clear the time).
    Since I already paid full price for THE BLACK BOX back in the day, your announcement comes as no help to me at all.
    I just have to remain smug at having been smart enough to buy it new. :-}

    Waiting out the new ones …

  10. Joe Menta says:

    Just bought “The Black Box” set, Max– thanks for the tip. The only reason I didn’t buy it earlier was because I already owned about half the contents. But the cheap price made it worth the bit of double-dipping. Your readers should also know that Oldies.com threw in one free item (there are a bunch to choose from) because it was an online order. I selected a DVD about cold cases (my wife loves that stuff). So I’m getting a nice little shipment for my $4.98 plus shipping.