Ha ha ha. . .what a movie! And some critics take this thing seriously! And debate its *meaning!* This is Goofball Noir--and if you take it as that, and nothing more, you'll be mildly amused.
This Magnum Dopus begins with Cloris Leachman running down a highway nude, except for a trench coat. And the trench coat is probably the star of this flick, as even a young Cloris Leachman still looks like Cloris Leachman. Anyway, Mike Hammer, a tough-but-dim-witted private eye, just happens to come driving along, and a furiously huffing and puffing Leachman flags him down. Leachman jumps in the car, and like all the ugly actresses in this picture, she is instantly attracted to Hammer--even though she is also in what is frequently referred to as *grave danger.*
And even though she is running for her life, literally holding the key to unlock the secrets of the universe, she takes a timeout from her own personal nightmare to psychoanalyze her new friend:
You're one of those self-indulgent males who thinks about nothing but his clothes, his car, himself. Bet you do push-ups every morning just to keep your belly hard.
OK. But anyway, it turns out Leachman has just escaped from a loony bin, and she tells Hammer remember me if anything bad should happen to her.
Well, Kiss Me Deadly is only a mystery movie because Cloris Leachman is too much of an airhead to tell Mike Hammer exactly what the Hell she has gotten herself into. Listen, not to spoil the preposterous plot of this thing, but Leachman has a secret of apocalyptic dimensions, and yet the only info she gives up to help safeguard sunny southern California from a possible nasty dark mushroom cloud is her nearly useless enigmatic advice to remember me.
Of course, some wrong-doers soon appear and try to kill Leachman and Hammer. Hammer survives, and because Leachman has been kookily cryptic, he now has a mystery solve, instead of being able to just turn over the crime of the century to the government.
Hammer's investigative techniques consist of wandering around looking for people who knew Leachman, while coincidentally bumping into various women played by ugly actresses (one of them, who plays Hammer's girlfriend/prostitute employee, is the greasiest-looking chick I've ever seen. . .gobs of oil shine off her face. . .did somebody wipe her down with Turtle Wax or something?) who become instantly attracted to him. When he does find somebody who knew Leachman, Hammer asks one or two pointless questions, smirks, and then hurries off to an auto shop run by his annoying ethnic pal who loves to shout (for no known reason) VaVoom!
Hammer's peculiar *investigation* is interrupted by several half-hearted attempts on his life by the wrong-doers, some of whom Hammer dispatches off-screen with what one must assume to be his SuperHero powers.
Miraculously, Hammer gets one bright idea at the end of the movie and manages to figure everything out--but listen here, have you ever seen Repo Man? The pseudo-Punk Theater of the Absurd cult classic Repo Man has a similar mystery. . .but a much more cosmically grounded ending than this weirdo Noir entry.
PS: Dick Cheney must have seen this on a late show ten years ago, and plagiarized its insane plot for his Iraq/al-Qaeda disinformation.
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