Monday, November 16, 2020

Mack Bolan, The Executioner #77: HOLLYWOOD HELL (1985)

It’s HARDCORE MEETS BOLAN as the drugged-out daughter of an up-and-coming politician gets sucked into Hollywood’s seamy underbelly of drugs, porn – and worse. When the politician finds himself being blackmailed he reaches out to The Executioner’s brother Johnny and enlists his help. 

Mack Bolan responds the only way he knows how, by conducting a one-man frontal assault on the pimps, snuff film purveyors and other lowlifes that populate the mean streets of LA. Tipped to the presence of a shadowy figure known as The Iceman, Bolan declares all-out war until he gets the info he needs to zero in on his target. 

Written by longtime Bolan series vet Mike Newton, HOLLYWOOD HELL features plenty of street level action as Bolan’s adventure takes him from a rescue of the Senator to a full-blown shootout with The Iceman and an adversary from a previous visit to The City of Angels. 

Newton’s old school prose effortlessly channels the beats of Bolan creator Don Pendelton’s influential books, balancing inner Bolan monologues on the savageness of man with talk of “parabellum manglers” and thoughts of how criminals ripped apart The Executioner’s own family, which makes this bout of urban warfare more personal than usual. 

The daylight raids and wholesale slaughter of the denizens of “Hotel Hell” might be tough to swallow at times, but Newton keeps things moving at a lightning pace over the course of 186 lean pages. 

If I had any complaint it’s that the tale builds to an epic clash between Bolan and The Iceman, only to have the latter swiftly dispatched in the book’s last few pages. That’s a minor quibble, though, and something I’ve gotten used to during this era of the series. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and he loves him some Mack Bolan. This review originally appeared in our monster 30th anniversary issue, still available at Amazon or direct from the publisher.

Hollywood Hell is available from Amazon.

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