In the mid-20th century, Mickey Spillane was the sensation of not just mystery fiction but publishing itself. The level of sex and violence in his Mike Hammer thrillers (starting with I, The Jury in 1947) broke down long-held taboos and engendered a near hysterical critical backlash. Nonetheless, Spillane’s influence has been felt—reflections of Hammer are visible in nearly every subsequent tough guy of fiction and film, including James Bond, Dirty Harry, Shaft, Billy Jack, and Jack Bauer. Spillane’s fiction came to the screen in a series of films that include Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and The Girl Hunters (1963) with the author himself playing his private eye. These films, and television series starring Darren McGavin and Stacy Keach respectively, are examined in a lively, knowledgeable fashion by Spillane experts. Included are cast and crew listings, brief biographical entries on key persons, and a lengthy interview with Spillane.
Ed Gorman Blog: "Collins and Traylor pack this book with fascinating stories and incidents about the men and women in front of and behind the cameras and microphones and drawing boards. This is much more than a simple history of Spillane (though the biography here is filled with things about him I never knew). It is also a decade by decade history of the culture Spillane operated in. And it's all as readable as a novel—say a Mickey Spillane novel. This book is a flat out treasure."
Bookgasm: "Collins and Traylor eschew mere plot descriptions; on each work, they dig in to get to the real meat, and deliver rich, chewy essays of honest criticism that are as well-written as Collins’ crackerjack-thrills fiction....MICKEY SPILLANE ON SCREEN comes strongly recommend for fans of Spillane, Hammer, Collins, Keach and/or crime cinema in general."
Pulp Fiction Reviews: "[Spillane on Screen is] a thoughtful examination of one of the greatest mystery writers in American history and the celluloid treatment of his works. It should have a place of honor in every film and mystery lovers’ library."