The Killers

By John Saleeby
May 1, 2016


The best scene in “The Killers”(1964) is when Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager dangle Angie Dickinson upside down out of a Seventh Story Hotel Room Window. Remember the Time Suge Knight did that to Vanilla Ice? Oh, you were at the IRS watching them Audit MC Hammer that night. But “The Killers” was in the Spooky Early Sixties - What if Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager had hung Angie Dickinson out of a Hotel Room Window and Anthony Perkins was in the Hotel Room beneath em dressed up like his Mom? Lee and Clu haul Angie back up and she’s all chopped up and dead and bloody “What happened?” “Hhmm, looks like the Bates have moved up out of Motels and into Hotels.” “What are we gonna do?” “I dunno, this is ‘Psycho’ stuff and we’re only getting paid for ‘The Killers’ stuff.” “Let’s get out of here!”

“The Killers” was the first Movie in which Lee Marvin got Top Billing. Marvin had been knocking around for years but was suddenly a Big Star after his TV Cop Show “M Squad”. How come I never heard of “M Squad” just now? We’ve seen every episode of “Gunsmoke” and “Leave It To Beaver” Ten Million Times, how come we’ve never gotten to see a few Reruns of Lee Marvin in “M Squad”? Was it RACIST or something? Lee Marvin and his Partner Strother Martin are on Patrol . . . “Look at that one! Just standing on a Street Corner in the Middle of the Day while all the Decent People are at Work! Let’s dangle him upside down out of a Hotel Room Window!” “Hhhmmm, any Integrated Hotels in this part of Town?” “Nah.” “Let’s just shoot him.” “Yeah!” “M Squad” On Nick At Night!

“The Killers” is some Tense Early Sixties Stuff! “The Killers” is the last Movie Ronald Reagan made before he went into POLITICS! Mention that to any Nice Liberals and they will go completely out of their minds and trash the Place! So Be Careful and only mention “The Killers” to Nice Liberals when you are in THEIR Place. NEVER mention “The Killers” to Nice Liberals when they are in your . . . Why would you have one of those assholes in your Place? Are you up to something? I’m calling the FBI! Too bad Lee Marvin wasn’t the one to go into Politics. He campaigned for JFK! Really? Gee, maybe I don’t like Lee Marvin all that much after all. First Bill Murray makes a Movie where he plays FDR and now now Lee Marvin liked JFK? Shit! At least in “The Killers” Ronald Reagan turns out to be a Sniper Bad Ass! A Regular Lee Harvey Oswald! How could they have a Sniper in a Hollywood Movie so soon after Oswald shot JFK? BANG! RIGHT BETWEEN THE “J” AND THE “K”!!! PIECES OF “F” ALL OVER THE PLACE!!! Clint Eastwood should have hired him to Star in “American Sniper”. Reagan was Dead by then but the Real Life “American Sniper” guy Died before they made the Movie and anything’s better than Bradley Cooper. He might be Good when he’s Dead. Depends how you Cook him.

But forget Lee Marvin and Ronald Reagan, The Coolest Guy in “The Killers” is Clu Gulager! Everybody make a Great Big Fuss over how Great Clu Gulager is in “The Killers” because “The Killers” is the Only Movie Clu Gulager is Great in! You know, like Russell Brand in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Not that Clu Gulager is anywhere near as much of a Loser as Russell Brand - He was in “Return Of The Living Dead” and in “The Last Picture Show HE GETS TO HAVE SEX WITH CYBIL SHEPHERD!!! On a POOL TABLE!!! No, not a Pinball Machine! That’s a JODY FOSTER Movie! Oh, now I’m depressed . . .

What is “The Killers” about? Marvin and Gulager are Professional Hit Men but by the end of the Movie you might conclude that, if you really think about it, man, aren’t we all, if you really think about it, man, aren’t we all killers, man? Whoa! Marvin and Gulager execute a Race Car Driver named Johnny North (John Cassavettes) and Marvin is intrigued by how calmly North accepted hid Fate - He didn’t try to run away, beg for mercy, or perform “Purple Haze” as a Tribute to Wolf Blitzer. No, he just stood there without making a sound “Like my wife on our Honeymoon!” (No, that wasn’t Lee Marvin. That was Andrew Dice Clay! Don’t Miss The Dice Man’s Hilarious New Series On Showtime!) Cinematic Flashbacks into the Life of Johnny North, A Race Car Driver On Top Of The World! Until He Got On Top Of A Girl! Or Maybe He was Behind The World Until He Got Behind A Girl. I dunno, they don’t get that explicit in these Early Sixties Movies. All we need to know is that the Girl was Angie Dickinson, a Girl who is Private Property of . . . RONALD REAGAN!!! “You see, the only Man that’s not afraid to Die is a Man that’s Dead already.” Marvin explains to Dickinson “And you killed him Four Years Ago.”

“So what the Hell does that mean? The Race Car Driver was a ZOMBIE the whole Time?” No, Dice. Although that would be a good idea for another Movie - ZOMBIE RACE CAR DRIVERS!!! Starring Paul Walker, James Dean, Ernie Kovacs, and the Drummer from Hanoi Rocks!

“The Killers” was Directed By Don Siegel, the Man responsible for Clint Eastwood’s Directing Career. Let’s just blame everything on the guy he made all those Spaghetti Westerns with.



John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email -

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