Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting (1969)

Article 2952 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-7-2009
Posting Date: 9-13-2009
Directed by Mark Robson
Featuring Carol White, Scott Hylands, Paul Burke
Country: USA

When a woman breaks up with her psychotic boyfriend and aborts their baby, the boyfriend plots an insidious revenge; once the woman marries and has a child, he plans to force her into killing that one as well.

Had I only watched the first half of this movie, I would have dismissed it as a misfired attempt at a Hitchcockian thriller marred by stridency and occasionally poor acting. However, once you know the boyfriend’s plot, the story starts the click, the screws start turning, and the movie becomes very suspenseful, even if you never do warm up to the female lead, who, to my mind, never really becomes a convincing character. Still, Scott Hylands proves to be quite effective as the psychotic boyfriend, and director Mark Robson does manage to tap into some Lewtonian ambiguity in the first half when you’re not quite sure whether the woman is being stalked or suffering from an overactive imagination. For those into sly references, take note of the theatrical offering that the woman tries to buy a ticket for. The story and script are from Larry Cohen, who would gain fame for another movie about a baby – namely, IT’S ALIVE.

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