Monday, February 29, 2016

Sugar & Spice & Slaughter

Give a dame like me an evil child and you end up with one happy, happy dame. Give that happy happy dame an extra dose of William Katt and, well,

you get it.

Quick Plot: Jodi is a troubled 8-year-old who loves her toymaker daddy and little else. As you might guess, little Jody does not take kindly to anyone trying to get in between them. Considering Daddy is played by the luscious William Katt, you can almost understand her jealousy. 

No one is safe from Jody’s ire. Not her grandmother (Days of Our Lives matriarch Peggy McKay/Caroline Brady), who survives a near-Drano prune juice poisoning only to take a deadly tumble down the stairs. Not her social worker, who all-too-slowly starts to see the pattern of her Electra complex, and certainly not her mother's best friend/divorce attorney who happens to also be keen on lending advice that could drive Daddy away to a condo.

Jody doesn't quite have the charm of a Rhoda Penmark, but she's still a rather ridiculously over-the-top killer kid. With fire engine red hair that would make Chucky green with envy, little Gabrielle Boni gets to scrunch her face in fury and deliver stiff one-liners after each homicide with relish. It's a ridiculous performance from a ridiculous character in a ridiculous film. Naturally, I was thrilled.

Directed by Silent Night Deadly Night 5's Martin Kitrosser (more on that later), Daddy's Girl has the feel of a more daring Lifetime thriller. I can't seem to track down exactly what station it was made for (and IMDB doesn't give it the "TV Movie" tag, so it may have even been theatrical) but its quick 90 minute packaging leads me to believe this had to be seeking a televised audience, particularly since the violence doesn't come near a Bloody Birthday or Mikey. Even so, Daddy's Girl is a little meaner than your average No One Would Tell in just how relentless it goes about making its young antagonist. 

I am not complaining.

High Points
The score that plays over the opening credits might be the most aggressively ominous music to come out of the '90s. Bless you, Daddy's Girl

Low Points
I guess it would have been nice to have some actual resolution as to where the characters go from here, if you want to be all picky about it

Lessons Learned
Chekhov’s law of Drano states that anytime you start with a closeup of said plumbing product, you will most certainly have at least one attempted murder by said plumbing product

Murder is best rewarded with ice cream and soda

When parents get divorced, daddies move to Oregon

Director Trademark
Apparently, Martin Kitrosser is really interested in the men who design toys, at least if they're to be played by a savage Mickey Rooney or a smooth William Katt

Because You're Wondering...
First, the fantastic Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt made it impossible to drink Pinot Noir without breaking into song. Now I realize they've done the same with Daddy's Boy: The Musical. Damn you Tina Fey!

Daddy's Girl is exactly the kind of movie I look for when programming The Shortening, and thusly does it make a fine closing on another great year. Like many that have come before it, Daddy's Girl is fun, not good, ridiculous, not scary, and memorable for mostly the wrong reasons. 

It's a winner.


  1. Wow. Absolutely adored scary movies & books - Stephen King!💞 - as a kid. Geez. All i did was Google the little red headed girl on an episode of the Nanny. So is this like some sort of (?) offshoot genre of actual scary movies? “It’s actually soo bad that it’s really funny”? i mean, i can see that might be good, just didn’t know that it was a “thing”. Or isn’t it? i’m a recent widow & not so interested in being alone & terrified but something like “it’s truly so bad that’s it’s great sound kind of ok. So, what, IS IT a thing now?

    1. Oh, this will NOT scare you (also, I'm sorry for your loss). The majority of evil children movies tend to pretty bananas in a good way, so you should be okay :)