Annual M.A.C. Movie Awards and Gift Ideas!

November 27th, 2018 by Max Allan Collins

I know what you’re thinking. What can I give someone – a friend, a loved one – who hasn’t discovered the work of Max Allan Collins yet? I am here to solve that problem for you. As it happens, this self-serving holiday message includes a post-Thanksgiving thanks to Brash Books, who have brought out a number of my novels in new, improved editions.

Right now I’m their featured author and you can read about me and the books of mine they publish right here.

Now let’s reflect on that recalcitrant friend, family member or neighbor of yours who isn’t a fan of my work yet. Most of them have probably heard of Road to Perdition, thanks to the movie; they may even count it a favorite. So what they obviously need is a copy of the complete version of my prose novel, Road to Perdition: the New, Expanded Novel, published for the first time anywhere by Brash Books, who followed up with new editions of the prose sequels, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise. You can get these from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, for real books, and for e-books at those same places and many others.

Brash also recently brought out Black Hats, in which old Wyatt Earp meets young Al Capone, originally published under the byline Patrick Culhane. Soon (Feb. 1, 2019) Brash will be publishing USS Powderkeg, a revised edition of the book previously published as Red Sky in Morning, again under the Culhane pseudonym, now correctly bylined. These are the definitive editions of the Culhane novels (Patrick, we barely knew ye).

You will soon be wondering how to use those Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards you’ll be receiving from loved ones who didn’t bother buying you a real present. The above paragraph will tell you what to do with this bounty.

Now, books can be awkward stocking stuffers, but you know what stuffs a stocking just fine? A Blu-ray of Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life, available here for $15.69, an Amazon Choice.

If you need convincing, check out this review from DVD Beaver (a great site that has nothing to do with porn, instead referring to the Canadian location of the reviewer).

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Brad Schwartz and me speaking at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

Well, now that I’ve gone full-throttle into the spirit of an American Christmas (i.e., sheer hucksterism), I will mention that my Scarface and the Untouchable co-author, Brad Schwartz, and I made a most successful Chicago swing last week, starting with an appearance at the incredible American Writers Museum in Chicago. We had a lovely crowd who asked questions and then bought books, and the museum itself is wonderful – fun, interactive exhibits with the likes of Hammett, Chandler, James M. Cain and Chester Himes among the honored. (No Mickey Spillane…yet.)


Brad Schwartz, Kathy Glarner of Barnes & Noble, and me at Old Orchard mall, signing a ton of books.

Brad and I made a number of stops at Chicago-area bookstores to do “stock” signings, one of which had us autographing 100 copies of Scarface and the Untouchable. Thanks to the Barnes & Noble at Skokie’s Old Orchard mall!

Barb and I then bid Brad adieu, and headed to St. Louis for a family Thanksgiving with son Nate, daughter-in-law Abby, grandson Sam and new granddaughter Lucy. A lovely time was had by all, including some Black Friday madness involving a certain father and son going after Blu-ray and 4KHD discs in the true fashion of the holiday. Out of respect to our family, we did not go out until 8 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.

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And now comes that special time of year that all of you have been waiting for – the M.A.C. Movie Awards. While we don’t see everything – obviously – Barb and I go to far more movies than most sane people endure. Not every film we saw earned a much-sought-after place on this esteemed yearly list, but you can count on the ones we walked out of making it.

BEST HORROR FILM:
INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY
Runner-up: TRUTH OR DARE

SMARTEST DUMB MOVIE:
THE COMMUTER
Runner-up: THE MEG

DUMBEST SMART MOVIE:
THE HURRICANE HEIST

BEST COMEDY:
GAME NIGHT
Runner-up: THE DEATH OF STALIN

BEST SERIES ENTRY:
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
Runner-up: OCEAN’S EIGHT

WORST SERIES ENTRY:
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

MOST DISAPPOINTING REBOOT:
THE PREDATOR

MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL:
HALLOWEEN
runner-up: INCREDIBLES 2

BEST SEQUEL:
DEADPOOL 2
Runner-up: EQUALIZER 2

WORST SEQUEL:
PACIFIC RIM UPRISING
Runner-up: SUPER TROOPERS 2

MOST UNDERAPPRECIATED BUT VERY GOOD SEQUEL:
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB

SURPRISINGLY GOOD SEQUEL NOBODY ASKED FOR:
JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN

MOVIES BARB AND I WALKED OUT OF:
BLACK PANTHER
RED SPARROW
LIFE OF THE PARTY
THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS
WIDOWS

BEST MARVEL MOVIE THAT I’VE ALREADY COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN:
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Runner-up: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

MOVIE I HATE WITHOUT SEEING IT:
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Runner-up: BUMBLEBEE
Second runner-up: SHERLOCK GNOMES

BEST ACTION FILM:
TOMB RAIDER
Runner-up: HUNTER KILLER

WORST MOVIE STARRING THE ROCK:
RAMPAGE

BEST MOVIE STARRING THE ROCK:
SKYSCRAPER

MOVIE THAT LOTS OF PEOPLE LIKE THAT I REFUSE TO SEE:
A STAR IS BORN
Runner-up: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

BEST “STAR WARS STORY” MOVIE:
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR (HANDS DOWN):
ISLE OF DOGS

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7 Responses to “Annual M.A.C. Movie Awards and Gift Ideas!”

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    For a gift to a Mickey Spillane Fan : What might you suggest?
    What is a good gift for a Spillane newbie?

    Thank you. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Sincerely,
    Michael Reynolds

    Another long time Spillane and Collins Customer.

  2. I have two somewhat self-serving suggestions.

    First, the short story collection, A LONG TIME DEAD: A MIKE HAMMER CASEBOOK would make an excellent introduction to the character and his world.

    Second, the recent KILLING TOWN is chronologically the first Mike Hammer story. The beginning is always a good place to start.

  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    Thank you very much, Mr. Collins. I, like many others, look forward to your weekly posts. Thanks again.

  4. Is the Brash Books edition of Black Hats revised? I read and loved the original, but if this is different, I’m tempted to get the new one.

    Thanks!

  5. Thomas Zappe says:

    Amen on A STAR IS BORN & BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. At this time in my life I don’t need any more tragic love stories, especially ones that have been already done by the best in the business. As a 90% biased Jazz musician, I can find lots of other musicians whose lives I would much rather see on film; Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Peggy Lee [what a life she lead], Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie and Sidney Bechet just to name more people than most of your readers would care about. And God help us if someone tries to do Frank Sinatra’s life on film. It would take more sequels than ROCKY [but oh what a soundtrack].

    Best wishes for everyone’s survival of the upcoming holiday season.

  6. Ken Barber says:

    I have to admit I agree with everything in the movie rewards except for Black Panther. I thought it was a solid entry in the Marvel cinematic universe. That said, everything else is dead on. I agree wholeheartedly about A Star Is Born. I feel the same way about Lady Gaga as I do about the flu… I’ve seen enough of it in the ast that I actively avoid anything to do with it int the present.

  7. Andrew, BLACK HATS is not revised. But it has my byline on the cover, which means a lot to me. USS POWDERKEG is revised — not heavily, but in my view significantly.

    Ken, I know I’m in the minority on BLACK PANTHER. In my view, it pandered shamelessly and I found the young sister character incredibly annoying. My son Nate liked it but didn’t love it. SOUTH PARK did a funny episode not long ago about people (especially African Americans) being essentially required to like the movie.

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