Tag Archives: The Hunter

Thoughts on Point Blank at 50

Point Blank premiered in San Francisco on August 30 1967. Critically overlooked at the time, its launched John Boorman’s Hollywood directorial career, became a cult hit and has had an enduring influence on crime cinema. It is a film I have watched on numerous occasions and each time it yields new insights. The 50th anniversary is an opportune time for a few thoughts about its importance.

Point Blank was loosely based the 1962 novel, The Hunter, the first in the series of books by the late Donald Westlake, writing as Richard Stark, about the master thief, Parker. It opens with Walker, as the Parker character is called, played by Lee Marvin, double-crossed and left for dead by his friend, Mal (John Vernon), and wife, Lynne (Sharon Acker), with whom Mal was having an affair, after the three of them have heisted a regular money drop on the prison island of Alcatraz by a powerful criminal network, the Organisation. Walker, somehow, survives his wounds and manages to get off the island. He reappears and proceeds to tear Organisation apart to find Mal and get his share from the heist, the amount of $94,000. He is assisted by a mysterious man, Yorst (Keenan Wynn), who at first comes across as a cop, but is eventually revealed as a senior member of the Organisation, who sees in Walker a means to eliminate his internal competitors.… Read more

Pulp Friday: The Deadly Prey

Deadly Prey

“A sadistic maniac was developing a deadly virus by using children as guinea pigs.”

Vigilantes were one of the key themes of the muscular over the top world of seventies pulp fiction. And one of the biggest, meanest and weirdest of them was John Yard aka The Hunter.

Published in 1975, The Deadly Prey is one of four books I know of in The Hunter series, the other titles being Scavenger Kill, Track of the Beast and A Taste for Blood. All of them were released by New York pulp publisher, Leisure Books. You’ll find the covers to the other three books here on my Pinterest site.

Yard is a former African game hunter who has changed professions and, along with his side kick, Moses Ngala, now works as a gun for hire.

The subject of his attentions in The Deadly Prey is a mad scientist who is testing a lethal super virus on the inhabitants of an Appalachian hippy commune. Unfortunately for the scientists and his backers in the military industrial complex, one of the kids he kills happens to be the son of one of Yard’s former hunting partners and, of course, a former Green Beret.

Whatever, the back cover blurb does much more justice to the story than I ever could.… Read more