Sunday, June 18, 2017

Holiday Flix: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1969)

It probably puts all of your Dads into perspective!  Today's Film is Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, a 1969 Thriller that I just kind of found.  I'm sure I'm by no means the first person to 'discover' it, but show of hands for those of you who remember it.  I thought so.  Hell, the Auto-Fill on IMDB requires me to put in half the Title and I *still* have to search for it a bit.  The Film comes to us from Mark Robson, a name that is not synonymous to me with much, but his Resume is pretty padded.  Most notably, he directed both Valley of the Dolls and Earthquake.  I also like that he made a Film called Phffft, even if I haven't seen it.  In addition, our Villain here is apparently still working, having 3 Credits on Fargo this year!  The Plot is all sorts of messed up, but interesting.  This woman falls for this man and gets pregnant.  He turns out to be crazy, so she dumps him and aborts their unborn child.  This makes him go crazy enough to stalk her after she marries a new man and gets pregnant with his kid.  Given her fertility rate, it is a good thing that she's not on The Handmaid's Tale!  I mostly picked this for the Title, but it does kind of work for the Holiday.  To see how crazy love (and mental illness) can make you, read on...
This is a Tale as old as Time.  Man meets Woman.
Man proves to be an insane person and Woman leaves Man.
Women has Abortion before leaving Man.  Woman meets new Man- gets pregnant again.

How cliché, right?
The creepy guy does two bad things early on.  One- he pretends to be someone else to get close to her and the soon-to-be-born baby.
Two- he stalks her.

Worse yet, he almost makes this a Christmas Film!!!
He keeps her from spilling the beans by threatening to out the Doctor who did the Abortion (as this is 4 years before Roe v. Wade) and ruin her new Husband's Senate Campaign.

Well, he takes care of the first part pretty quickly.
He eventually makes his big play: breaking in and stealing the baby!  He proves this by leaving the pictures he took of the baby in the house to taunt them.

He's crazy and evil, but that is good spacing!
This leads to the long Third Act where he taunts the Police and holds the baby.  Somehow, they never put his face up for people to spot, making this way too hard!
It all ends with a big confrontation on the roof.  Naturally, he falls to his death in front of a Theater playing Medea.  The End.
Considering how obscure this is, it is actually pretty darn good.  The Plot is simple enough, but they play with it nicely.  Our Stalker is subtle enough not to get caught and for them to just blame it on 'hysteria.'  Interestingly enough, the whole Third Act would not work just a few years later, as Roe V. Wade would make Abortion legal.  His whole plan involved keeping her from reporting a crime!  Aside from that accidental hilarity, the Film is quite tense and deadly serious.  It is actually Scored by John Williams!  I realize that he had to have worked pre-Spielberg, but it is still neat to see.  The Acting is good, though our Lead goes a bit hammy at times with her fright.  You can maybe excuse that as hormones (for the Character, you jerks!).  All in all, the Film is a bit long (nearly 2 hours) and a bit silly at times.  Credit for giving a Black Extra a line though (and making him an Authority Figure) in 1969.  Sadly, no matter how hard they tried, this Song never caught on...
Next up, some light-hearted Andy Sidaris nonsense.  Can they survive evil Pat Morita?  Stay tuned...

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