11 March 2018 | Hey_Sweden
An overlooked suspense flick.
Brit beauty Carol White ("Some Call It Loving") stars as Cathy Palmer, a newcomer to San Francisco. Almost immediately, a stranger named Kenneth Daly (Canadian actor Scott Hylands ("Death Hunt"), receiving an "introducing" credit) contrives a way to meet her. Initially, he seems quite charming, and they enter into a relationship for a while, until he starts revealing himself as a major league turd. She breaks it off with him, even aborting the baby that he had fathered. She moves on, and finds a new guy (Paul Burke ("Valley of the Dolls")), a rising politician, and gets pregnant by the new guy. Trouble is, Kenneth is not going to let her go unpunished. He begins to terrorize her, demanding that she kill her baby in order to atone for the death of his child.
"Daddy's Gone A-Hunting" may be best known for the theme song (with music by John Williams and lyrics by Dory Previn), but in fact this is a pretty decent movie, albeit with some flaws. It's kind of a mixed bag, with a lead character who's not terribly sympathetic, a script credited to Larry Cohen ("The Stuff") and Lorenzo Semple, Jr. ("Flash Gordon") that has lines both bad and good, a lack of complete credibility, and performances that are uneven. It does get better and better as it plays out, leading to a seven minute finale high above the city streets that will actually have people catching their breath. Director Mark Robson, who'd started out crafting some fine psychological black & white horror for producer Val Lewton, and graduated to bigger things like "Valley of the Dolls" and "Von Ryan's Express", handles things with a certain degree of style. The filmmakers don't seem too concerned with making viewers choose a side in the still-contentious "pro life" vs. "pro choice" debate, and mainly focus on making an entertaining, slick, tried-and-true revenge thriller.
Ms. White is lovely to look at, but doesn't make her character all that interesting. Hylands is fine, having a little more to work with; Kenneth supposedly was prepared to become a better man upon learning of impending fatherhood, so he takes the abortion thing VERY hard. Burke has little to do in the grand scheme of things. The very fine supporting cast includes such familiar faces as James Sikking ('Hill Street Blues') and Barry Cahill ("Coffy") as FBI agents, Mala Powers ("Cyrano de Bergerac") as Cathy's friend Meg, Walter Brooke ("The Graduate") as Jerry Wolfe, Mathilda Calnan ("Silver Streak") as Ilsa the maid, and Dennis Patrick ('Dark Shadows') as the abortion doctor.
Excellent location shooting and an effective pace help to make this reasonably engrossing, and worthy of another look from genre devotees.
Seven out of 10.