Quarry

Created by Max Allan Collins
(1948–)

The first series I know of to be based on the exploits of a hired killer, predating both Loren Estleman’s Peter Macklin and Lawrence Block’s Keller, was the QUARRY series penned by baby boomer renaissance man Max Allan Collins, creator of Nate Heller, Ms. Tree, Mallory, Nolan, et al.

Written in the seventies, Quarry is a Vietnam vet (of course) who evidently learned his lessons all too well during his time overseas.

Now he’s home, earning a living as a cold, remorseless hitman, taking orders from a man called simply “The Broker,” coincidentally the name of the first book in this long-going and apparently indestructible series. And if it sounds like seventies era pulp, well, man, that’s what it is. Unapologetically so.

Of course, that “cold, remorseless” quality isn’t quite as as permanent as it seems — Quarry also has fleeting moments of morality and even * GASP! * empathy, but don’t worry, dear reader — they eventually pass, and someone will die.

Several years after the last novel in the series was supposedly published, Collins admitted that “I get as much mail on this character as Heller; truly a cult fave.”

So, after close to twenty year’s absence, Collins brought Quarry back in 2006 with the publication of The Last Quarry — which signaled the rebirth of the character. Since then there have been several more books in the series, a couple of films (one directed by Collins himself) and even, in September 2016, a short-lived but well received TV series from Cinemax.

NOVELS

 

SHORT STORIES

  • “A Matter of Principal” (1989, Stalkers)
  • “Quarry’s Luck” (1994, Blue Motel; also 2005, Greatest Hits)
  • “Guest Services” (1994, Murder Is My Business)

COLLECTIONS

  • Quarry’s Greatest Hits (2003; all the stories, plus “Primary Target”) | Buy this book

FILMS

  • A MATTER OF PRINCIPAL
    (2003, Another Level Inc.)
    17 minutes
    Based on the short story by Max Allan Collins
    Screenplay by Max Allan Collins
    Directed by Jeffrey Goodman
    Produced by John Buckley Gordon
    Starring William Makozak as QUARRY
    Also starring Randall Bosley, Jenna Bari, Nathan Osgood, Amanda Rogers
    A short but very effective film based on a short story that has incredible legs — it’s not only inspired this film, but a longer, feature length film and a novel.
  • THE LAST LULLABY
    aka “The Last Quarry”
    (2009, Chaillot Films/Timbergrove Entertainment)
    Screenplay by Peter Biegen and Max Allan Collins
    Based on the 1989 short story “A Matter of Principal” and the short film of the same name.
    Directed by Jeffrey Goodman
    Produced by David Koplan
    Associate Producer: Josh Beane, Rick Simpson
    Starring Tom Sizemore as PRICE (Quarry in the novels)
    Also starring Sasha Alexander, Bill Smitrovich, Sprague Grayden, Ray McKinnon, Omid Abtahi, Randall Batinkoff, Jerry Hardin
    Good stuff. There’s a real earthy, unsettlingly, almost dangerously quiet vibe to it. but the lack of big fuss dramatics actually makes this seem even harder and tougher. I miss the internal wise-ass voice of Collins’ Quarry, but Sizemore brings an Arctic-cold ruthless pragmatism to the role, showing that Mickey Rourke’s might not be the only trainwreck of a career about to make a U-turn. A classic B-film, in all the best damn good senses of the phrase.

TELEVISION

  • QUARRY
    (2016, Cinemax)
    Eight episodes
    Based on the character created by Max Allan Collins
    Developed for television by Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller
    Writers: Graham Gordy, Michael D. Fuller, Jennifer Schuur
    Director: Greg Yaitanesaka
    Starring Logan Marshall-Green as QUARRY
    and Peter Mullan as “The Broker”
    Also starring Jodi Balfour, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Damon Herriman, Jamie Hecto, Edoardo Ballerini, Skipp Sudduth

    • Season One | Buy on DVD | Buy on Blu-Ray
    • “You Don’t Miss Your Water”
    • “Figure Four”
    • “A Mouthfull of Splinters”
    • “Seldom Realized”
    • “Horia”
    • “His Deeds Were Scattered”
    • “Carnival of Souls”
    • “Nuoc Cha Da Mon”

COMICS

  • QUARRY’S WAR
    (2018, Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics)
    miniseries
    Written by Max Allan Collins
    Art by Szymon Kudranski, Edu Menna

    • “Partners in Crime” (December 2017)
    • “Love Hurts” (January 2018)
    • “Revenge is a Dish” (February 2018)
    • “Death by Delivery” (March 2018)

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • QUARRY’S WAR | Buy the graphic novel | Kindle it!
    (2018, Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics)
    Written by Max Allan Collins
    Art by Szymon Kudranski, Edu Menna
    Collects first story arc.

RELATED LINKS

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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