I, The Jury

Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer" novels have been difficult to translate to the screen, and with the exception of Robert Aldrich's KISS ME DEADLY (still inexplicably unavailable on video cassette), all Hammer films have been disappointments. This version of I, THE JURY is no exception. Updated for the 1980s, the film follows hardboiled detective Armand Assante...read more

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Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer" novels have been difficult to translate to the screen, and with the exception of Robert Aldrich's KISS ME DEADLY (still inexplicably unavailable on video cassette), all Hammer films have been disappointments. This version of I, THE JURY is no exception.

Updated for the 1980s, the film follows hardboiled detective Armand Assante (playing Hammer) as he tracks down the killer of a Vietnam War buddy. The bloody trail leads Hammer to encounter a crazed slasher with an eye for redheads, a former CIA agent, and the slinky Barbara Carrera, who operates a

sex therapy clinic. Although he was the first actor to play Hammer since Spillane portrayed the character himself in THE GIRL HUNTERS (1963), Assante is not particularly effective in the role and would soon be overshadowed by Stacy Keach's portrayal of Hammer on television. Even with graphic

violence and nudity--main ingredients of Spillane's novels--the foreboding, violent, and urgent atmosphere of Spillane's books isn't present here. The handling is of a cartoonlike quality. Larry Cohen, who wrote the screenplay, was also going to direct the film but was fired just before

production. Richard T. Heffron, who replaced Cohen, didn't have a handle on the screenplay or on Spillane's character. The elements of parody that Cohen put into the script have been pushed back, and Heffron tries for a hardboiled detective movie but doesn't have the style to breathe life into it.

This was a remake of the 1953 United Artists version of I, THE JURY, which was filmed in 3-D.

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