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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Thoroughly underrated

Author: Justin Stokes from Cleburne, TX
9 May 2010

After the man she's been seeing turns out to be mentally (and financially) unstable, Cathy aborts his baby and moves on with her life. She eventually marries a political hopeful and once again finds herself pregnant. While shopping for a crib, she sees her former flame, Kenneth, working as a department store Santa. He spots her too, but the real bad news for Cathy is that he notices she's carrying another child. Bad news for her and her baby, but would Kenneth resort to killing a child as vengeance for the death of his own?

Mark Robson (The Seventh Victim, Valley of the Dolls) directs this morbid little gem, a film with some rather potent subject matter, particularly for the time it was made. Melding the incredibly touchy subject of abortion with a psycho-suspense storyline, Robson crafts an effective film full of bizarre mood and situations. As Cathy becomes more and more guilty over what she did, we see how it works into her psyche, and images as simple as toys yapping on a table take on a rather perverse feeling that gets under the viewer's skin. Robson knows how to utilize such elements to their maximum effect, though never in an overly graphic manner. The use of subtlety and implied horror goes a long way here.

As Kenneth, Scott Hylands is one of the creepiest nutcases you'll see. He has the most unnerving eyes, and a rather blank glare that truly makes one feel uncomfortable. The scene where he learns of the abortion is downright chilling. He puts Cathy through some real psychological torment, one of the standout moments being a nasty surprise he leaves under her car. Carol White plays Cathy, and she's fine in the role, but I find her character to be quite unlikable due to her incessant bitchiness.

This is a great film, well acted, well directed... The climax is quite thrilling as well. This is not your typical psycho story, and it is really quite unique in it's storytelling. Disturbing and effective, I highly recommend this one.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Grim thriller...underrated.

Author: EyeAskance from fabulous Las Vega$!
13 October 2003

A surprisingly potent and strangely disregarded psycho-stalker picture marked by taut direction and capable performances, it is also benefited by its lovely San Francisco location filming. The story is uncomplicated, if somewhat derivative...girl aborts the child of her estranged lover, remarries, and becomes pregnant again. The first lover, now quite clearly a dangerously unbalanced nutcase, shows up to settle the score.

A briskly paced little nail-biter which occasionally goes a wee bit over-the-top, DADDY'S GONE A-HUNTING is ripe for a much-deserved reinvestigation.

6.5/10

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Top notch psycho-thriller with pinches of horror and social commentary.

8/10
Author: capkronos (capkronos00@hotmail.com) from Ohio, USA
2 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In my opinion, this is a much better film than some people on here are giving it credit for. Young Brit Cathy Palmer (Carol White) has just arrived stateside and is looking to make a fresh start in San Francisco. Almost immediately upon arriving, she runs across handsome Kenneth Daly (Scott Hylands), a charmer whose idea of making a good first impression involves nailing her in the back of the head with a snowball. Ken shows her around, takes her to dinner and uses his connections to help her land a good job at an ad agency. Eventually, the two are living together, but various red flags are making Cathy question their relationship. Ken is immature, aimless, can't seem to hold onto a job (and can't decide whether he wants to be an actor or a photographer) and is cruel to her pet cat. Aside from that, she senses there's something else not quite right about him. Fed up, Cathy decides to end the relationship. One problem; she's pregnant. Her co-worker Meg (Mala Powers) helps her arrange an abortion through gynecologist Dr. Parkington (Dennis Patrick). Things go off without a hitch, except Cathy decided to go through with the procedure without informing Ken.

After he slaps her across the face in a crowded restaurant, Cathy moves on with her life and wants to put the whole experience behind her. She meets and eventually marries Jack Byrnes (Paul Burke), a successful and wealthy lawyer who's well on his way to becoming a powerful (conservative) politician. Cathy becomes pregnant with Jack's child. Just when things are looking up for her, Ken comes back into the picture, a little unhinged and looking for revenge... He stalks her, blackmails her and weasels his way into her new home, kills the doctor who performed the abortion and otherwise makes her life a living hell. After she gives birth, he demands she kill her new baby to make up for the fact she "murdered" his. When this doesn't happen, he kidnaps the baby and tries to manipulate Cathy into killing it using various clever and sadistic methods than will startle even modern viewers.

Some people seem to think this film is pushing a certain agenda, and maybe it is to a degree. Oddly, some see it taking a Pro Life stance, while others see a Pro Choice stance, which is a testament to how well made the film actually is. Both sides of the abortion debate are touched on and they're covered in a realistic and matter-of-fact way thanks to the intriguing and non-preachy screenplay from horror master Larry Cohen (IT'S ALIVE) and Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (PRETTY POISON). When Cathy goes to get her abortion it's done secretly, but not in some grimy back alley like you usually see, but a brightly lit clinic by a respectable doctor. Cathy seems somewhat haunted by her decision and hesitant to tell the truth about it for fear of the social stigma surrounding her decision. She's also afraid of being thrown out by her politico husband, but her husband turns out to be completely supportive and non-judgmental about it when she's forced to reveal the truth. The only one coming down on her and labeling her a "murderer" is Ken himself, and he's out of his mind. Make what you want of that.

The film was made four years before the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision (in 1973), so the subject matter was probably quite risqué for the time. Some of the psychological torment Ken puts Cathy through is also pretty strong stuff for 1969, especially to people who hate seeing defenseless infants put in harm's way. Be forewarned that it's slow to get started, but when it finally picks up about half-an-hour in it's shocking, very suspenseful, somewhat horrific and even thought-provoking. In my opinion, it's good enough to deserve a decent DVD release from a respectable company and good enough to deserve a reevaluation from critics, mystery/thriller fans and horror film buffs. Many of its themes even pre-date the highly influential PLAY MISTY FOR ME (1971), which went on to influence such films as FATAL ATTACTION (1987) and BASIC INSTINCT (1992). If you can find it, I definitely recommend a watch.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A right-to-life endorsement?

7/10
Author: Srrurhino from United States
25 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hardly see how this qualifies as an endorsement of right-to-life politics. Apart from very superficial charm, the father (Kenneth) has no redeeming features whatsoever and, on top of that, he goes out of his way to menace the baby Cathy has with her husband. In fact, early in the picture (during the oh-so-mechanical exposition setting up the "thriller" part of the movie), she seems reluctant to have the abortion and willing to go home to London, presumably to have the baby there and raise him/her with the help of family. It's only AFTER Kenneth learns about the baby, proposes to Cathy, is rejected by her, slaps her across the face in public and threatens to stalk both her and his child-to-be that she decides to have the abortion, presumably to get Kenneth out of her life once and for all. The abortion sequence itself doesn't show much, but it's hardly glamorized as a "choice." If anything, the movie makes it clear why many women have abortions because that "choice" is the best one among a series of bad ones.

The abortion angle in the plot, however (pre Roe v. Wade), is one of the movie's few really interested angles (as well as the use of San Francisco as a backdrop).

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

That darn cat!

7/10
Author: brefane from United States
4 February 2007

Worthwhile B movie that fails to make the most of a good idea. And both Play Misty for Me(71) and Fatal Attraction(87) reworked its premise and plot. Mark Robson's direction is economical to a fault, and the film needs more detail and development;it feels perfunctory and thin like a made-for-TV film. And the supporting characters are cardboard.

The film has some effective scenes, generates interest and suspense, though the build-up is ultimately better than the payoff. Scott Hylands is very good and convincing but, Carol White is perhaps too stoic,and she doesn't garner much sympathy for her character. The rest of the cast goes through their paces without making an impression, except for an annoying housekeeper, and "Prissy",the cat. Ultimately, the subject matter and Scott Hylands' performance are what make it worthwhile. Hard to find film deserves a DVD release, hopefully with the trailer.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Very scary revenge movie

7/10
Author: marbleann from Houston
25 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I haven't seen this movie in years. It is rarely shown on cable. I was just a kid when I fist saw this movie. And even then I got the message. A very scary one. A young woman goes out with the Scott Hyland character. She soon finds out that he is not Mr Wonderful and in matter of fact he is a nut. She finds she is pregnant and she obtains a abortion. She moves on with her life and marries Paul Burke and she gets pregnant. The ex finds out about it and decides to kill everyone who has anything to do with her abortion and is after her to kill the baby she is carrying. This movie must of been the poster movie for the right to life movement, but it is scary. The message is do not have a abortion because in the end people are going to pay for it in a bad way. Well the message should of been watch out for psychopathic boyfriends and use birth control. I don't know what I would do if I was in her position but whatever I did I would hope people would not get killed over it. I loved this movie, even though it does political undertones. It is scary because I can see something like that really happening. Scott Hylands was excellent, he scared me. I just wish this movie would come out on DVD.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A gem of a thriller..if you overlook the main character

Author: Sugarbehr1967 from United States
26 November 2010

The premise of the movie is simple enough..Cathy, a young, beautiful girl arrives in America to find work, meets Kenneth, a handsome young photographer, they fall in love, but it turns out the young man isn't all he seems to be, and when she learns she's pregnant, she decides she doesn't want him-or the baby and has an abortion, and he decides to seek revenge.

The setting is San Francisco, and the visuals are well played out in the city, along with a taut, tense script by Lorenzo Semple and Larry Cohen, with sure footed direction by Mark Robson, fresh off of his smash hit 'Valley of the Dolls' two years earlier. The cast includes Mala Powers as a sympathetic coworker of Cathy's who talks her into the abortion, Paul Burke (fresh off of his work as Lyon Burke in 'Valley') as Cathy's new husband, a senator wanna be, and of course, Scott Hylands, who as Kenneth, brings a creepiness to his role, but at the same time, you do feel for him as the spurned lover who wants revenge for the abortion that Cathy decides to get.

The only weak link in this movie is Carol White as Cathy. Beautiful as the young Brit who arrives to seek work and becomes involved in a nightmare, is harsh, childish, and for most of the movie, a total bitch. You never feel how Paul Burke's character fell for her, suddenly they are wedded, and there is very little passion between them in their scenes. She comes across shrill, completely obnoxious, and downright hateful. You wonder if she really wanted to have a baby in the first place with the way she acts. For the most part, this movie is a fine addition to the 'damsel in distress' genre, but having a heroine that is more sympathetic might have worked much better.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A movie that leaves a lasting impression

Author: andynagy from United States
15 October 2010

The one and only time I saw this movie was with my mother and younger sister at a Drive In theater on Cape Cod when I was ten years old. That was forty years ago, yet the movie made such an impression on us that night, that I've never forgotten it. For years I tried to find it or see it again without success, and then once more made a search last night. At last, here it is, being talked about at least! The sense of creepy fierce tension, coupled with the child like theme song is what I remember most, aside from the closeness and talking that it inspired afterward in my little family as we drove back to our campground. If impressions that last for decades count, this movie is certainly worth tracking down, and I, for one, look forward to seeing it again!

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Good premise

Author: scottydog2 from USA
3 September 2001

It would've been better if the character,'catherine' had been more sympathetic.

I apologize,but I was rooting for 'ken' to get away with it all. The story is different,though.A boyfriend terrorizing his ex-girlfriend because she aborted his child...it really could've been done better.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chills and thrills

5/10
Author: nickrogers1969 from Sweden
25 December 2013

This film is like a fun bad TV movie. It has a thrilling story but the film is marred by the stale performances by the lead actors. If you've never heard of Carol White it's no wonder. She is sweet but gives her part no energy. Her line readings are flat and don't add any life at all to this thriller.

She looks like a bargain basement copy of Julie Christie but with out the charm. This seemed to be her big break in Hollywood after having had some success in England. Here she displays why there was no reason she would ever become a star. Why was she cast in this? There must have been countless other actresses who could have brought some fury to character. This part required a bit of madness and Carol was just too ordinary to deliver. But I suppose a film featuring abortion was a sensitive subject then and perhaps bigger stars did not dare take the part.

The early scenes of the film seem contrived and trite when the characters meet. The changes that show time progressing are quite corny and dated but the late sixties fashions are cool. Carol White, though, looks short with that heavy hair-do which gives the impression that she has no neck.

The film picks up after the dreary first half. There are some neat twists and turns that keep this film from being totally forgotten. The ending is exciting even though the lead actors don't show any tension in their performances. You can't tell if Carol White is terrified or ready to do anything to help her baby. Her character goes to great lengths plot wise but you could never tell by looking at her face.

So, over all it's fun and chilling thriller thanks to the plot but not the actors.

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