Two women that work for a high priority courier service are returning some papers to the Vance Helicopter Company when they are run off the road and the car explodes. Part owner of the company is Chris Jameson (Michelle Phillips). Chris is called to testify in front of the grand jury concerning a bribery charge against the Helicopter company. She says the only way she’ll testify is if Mike Hammer (Stacy Keach) protects her.
Mike and Chris had been involved twenty years ago. Before she testifies she tells Mike that she has a daughter Michelle (Lisa Blount). She then tells Mike that he is the father. During her testimony Chris falls dead. Although it looks like a heart attack the cause is a poison that mimics heart failure. Mike vows that he will find who is responsible for Chris’ death and to find his daughter Michelle.
Also in the background is Jack Vance (Tom Atkins), the owner of the Helicopter company. Vance wants to hire Mike to find the briefcase that was supposed to be in the car that was pushed off the road. The case is full of money that Vance was going to use to pay off a Honduran General. When the General got ambushed before the payoff could happen, the briefcase returned to New York.
Mike’s search for his daughter brings him to some unsavory places. At one point she was a drug addict and then worked as a porn star for a slimy promoter named Saracen (Jonathan Banks). Mike’s gal Friday Velda, (Tanya Roberts) and his police friend Pat Chambers (Don Stroud) try to help in his investigation but keeping up with Mike proves to be a full time job. Mike finally finds out that Michelle has been working for her mother and was in the car that exploded. Mike may have to resign himself to the belief that his daughter may have died before he got a chance to meet her.
“Murder Me, Murder You” was released in 1983 and was directed by Gary Nelson. It is a made for TV mystery movie based on Mickey Spillane’s iconic detective Mike Hammer. This is the first of four movies with Stacy Keach as Hammer. The other movies were “More Than Murder” 1984, “Return of Mike Hammer” 1986 and “Murder Takes All” 1989. Hammer would reprise the character in a television series that ran from 1984 to 1987. This film and “More Than Murder” were both television pilots for the series.
I love Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer. His manner is as hardboiled as they come. He is good looking in a rough way that is appealing to all types of women and a thorn in the side of most men. He’s also really cool and smoothly snarky. He also looks suave in a suit and felt hat. Of course, the movie is full of beautiful women with big breasts, big hair and tiny waists. The music score is also really cool. The theme used for the films and the television series is “Harlem Nocturne” by Earle Hagen.
In 1984 Stacy Keach was arrested at Heathrow Airport for possession of cocaine. Customs found the cocaine in a hollowed-out shaving cream container. He was convicted of smuggling cocaine into the UK and was sentenced to six months in prison. Keach began his career on stage as a Shakespearian actor. He was born with a cleft palate.