Patty McCormack’s “Mommy” is psychotically obsessed with her 12-year-old daughter Jessica Ann — so much so that when she finds out Jessica didn’t get the “Student of the Year” award again, she solves the problem by murdering the teacher who didn’t recommend her for it. She dismisses the killing as inconsequential (“a minor accident”), but the homicide detective assigned to the case suspects her immediately, and an insurance investigator who also suspects her tries to get close to Jessica Ann to find out what really happened.
Mickey Spillane plays his own creation, street-thug-turned-PI Mike Hammer, in this 1963 adaptation of his novel. The film opens with Hammer on the downside of a years-long bender, scooped out of the gutter by a bitter cop intent on prying information from a dying man. Inspired to clean up his act by the secrets he hears, Hammer hits the streets on a personal crusade to find the love of his life. Future Bond girl Shirley Earton costars as a glamorous society widow who goes slumming with Hammer.–Sean Axmaker