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DADDY'S DEADLY DARLING (DDD) may be better known as PIGS to some or LYNN HART to others or my favorite aka THE STRANGE LOVE EXORCIST, but no matter what you call it, I call it CRAP-TASTC!! From the gratingly addictive musical score to the above par acting of Marc Lawrence, who penned, produced and directed this nice but scarce little horror film to get his daughter Toni into the big screen biz, DDD puts a wide mouthed grin on my bald mug. And it may be the best performance of a payphone in a horror film ever.

Plot-wise DDD plays upon one of my favorite film devices: mental illness, the kookies, the crazies, the unwound, the INSANE. Now it is nothing new or different for tinsel-ville to spin the wheel and land on psycho, but this has a nice little exploitation caveat. Lynn Hart seems to be a victim of incestuous rape and as a product of that "relationship" she, in an act of vengeance, hacked Papa into pieces. And so our story begins, Lynn is socked away into what looks to be one of those scary-assed 13 story state "hospitals" that house the lunatic fringe and scare the hell out of a 8 year old kid who has to go on Sunday afternoon to visit his Aunt Wilma and some God-damned, crazed, coal-colored vet comes screaming down a hallway, engorged dick in hand hollering "wanna dance little white boy!" You know that kind I'm talking about, I am sure we've all been there. Right? HehHeh!? Right? But thank goodness those facilities are really secure, you never hear of anybody just walking off the grounds or of a doctor and nurse maybe getting it on and a murderous, delusional and gorgeous patient hocking a smock and hitting the road Golden Earring (Radar Love) style in a stolen Volkswagen. Of course, never happens, ever, well except this one time.

Lynn is out and on the loose and the thematic chorus of one of many great musical moments in DDD is unleashed. I mention the music here because it actually stands out, most "b-movies" (I am fucking sick of that term) have a tendency to skimp on tuneage, borrowing from lesser known films for the most part or choosing to go the Moog or bad Hammond route with a redundant BlehBlehBloop scare track. Well not DDD, the soundtrack is right where it needs to be, overwrought with heartfelt VelveetaTM.

Well as interesting as the plot possibilities of a killer rape victim dressed as a nubile nurse (Nurse Sherri Anyone?) in a VW are, the nurse costume is discarded just in time for us to be introduced to the great Zambrini (Marc Lawrence). Zambrini is dragging a corpse into a barn, talking to himself (really us) about his porcine babies and their love of the human flesh every since they accidentally got a taste of some haggard drunk who found the misfortune of becoming Purina Pig ChowTM after a night of drinking as the pigs had decided to go out for dinner. As Zambrini begins to "dress-out" our entrée we are treated to a shot of discarded slacks and white Florida shoes that help bring home the fact that our beloved Zambrini has done this all before. But his roadside cafe' sure serves the best pork product in 5 counties and Zambrini's "Pork Chop Special" really is a little "special." So is it cannibalism if you eat an animal that consumes human flesh? By definition, no, but probably not something you want to partake in, true? Mad-pig-human disease party of two, smoking or smoked?

As you watch Zambrini at work, the first thing that hits you is "it's that one guy!" You are right, it is that one guy, Marc Lawrence got his start in the motion picture business in the 1930s and after signing with Columbia Pictures managed to appear in over 100 pictures in the next 18 years. With the 50s Communist Witch Hunts, Lawrence was blacklisted and spent the next 9 years in Europe making films and doing stage work all the while receiving high marks from audiences and critics alike. Upon the advice of actor-friend Lee Marvin, Lawrence came back to the states in 1960 and took a gig directing for television. After a few small studio productions he directed episodes of someof America's now-classic TV shows: MAVERICK, THE LAW MAN, 77 SUNSET STRIP and many more. The penultimate, pock-marked, furrowed-browed "Heavy," Lawrence was still dishing the goon-styled charismo in the late 90s when he had roles in the ill-fated END OF DAYS and the perplexingly popular DUSK TIL DAWN, but for a man who has been in a wealth of material which has included everything from classics like THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, DILLINGER, and THE ASPHALT JUNGLE to obscurios like CATACLYSM (which would wind up as part of NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR) and HOT STUFF, I think can have you suck upon his high (but wrinkled) hard one if you choose to slam his work. Lawrence deserves the highest regard us knuckleheads can bestow, the praising of at least one of his works…not that there isn't plenty to love. By the way Mr. Lawrence is ninety-fucking-two years old so show some respect college boy.

Back to DDD, Lynn shows up just in time to find a "Help Wanted" sign at Zambrini's Place and wastes no time looking for the man in charge and as she just about stumbles upon Zambrini feeding parts and pieces to the pigs, Zambrini quickly gives her the vacant position, along with a room in the back and of course a strongly worded warning to "Stay Away From The Pigs!" You see these is funny-turned pigs and what with their weirdness they don't like strangers and all and well, you know, anyway, "STAY AWAY FROM MY FUCKING PIGS!' Ahem.

Well Lynn checks out the digs while we bebop a little more to the awesome soundtrack and Lynn finds not Gideon's Bible but a straight razor and we bebop until there is an edit and we are transferred into Mrs. Macy's humble abode as she has decided she has had enough of Zambrini's pig farming but it ain't the stench that has gotten her feathers ruffled it is something about him "turning dead people into pigs" or something, Mrs. Macy is brought to life by Katherine Ross, but before you get all giddy nerd-boy, it ain't Katharine Ross (note the spelling) from such great as THE GRADUATE and THE LEGACY it's just another Kate Ross who is clambering on about Zambrini to the very likable Sheriff Cole, who is played by the very likable Jesse Vint, who Psychotronic covered extensively and if you ain't reading Psychotronic then what the fuck are you doing here. Vint is studdly but less than compassionate to Mrs. Macy's plea as he tells her "There's no law against turning dead people into pigs." Jesse's a pretty good actor, obviously, because he delivers this line without bursting out laughing. If there is one problem with DDD it is this exchange, what in the hell does it mean? Does Mrs. Macy believe that folks are becoming pigs in a "supernatural" way, like Zambrini the Great (we are privy to some nice artwork depicting Zambrini as a Circus Performer) is transforming folks into pigs? Or are dead folks just being piggish when it comes to those fan-tab-ulous pork chops, in which case, there ain't no law against good eatings! Well of course, this don't make no sense if they are dead but hey, neither does this whole exchange but nonetheless it is time for a transition and on to the end of act one with Zambrini reclaiming his lost straight razor, but not before using it to slice up the purty face of Lynn…but only in a very effective dream sequence, as Lynn screams, the pigs scream, they all scream for….Act two. Man, the anticipation of the payphone showing up is intense.

And so it goes, Lynn is interested in her surroundings, Sheriff Cole is interested in Lynn, Zambrini is interested in his bizarre brand of pig farming, Mrs. Macy is interested in screwing up the plot with unexplained dialogue and thank goodness we get a new character, Ben, a regular at the diner who fills in some plot holes about Zambrini's circus career, asks Lynn out, etc. Lynn of course decides she should phone (Yes, Yes!) someone after discussing Ben's comments with Zambrini. She calls her "daddy" who I thought was dead, oh, he is dead, Lynn is screwed in the head, I almost forgot and here Mr. Lawrence effectively gives Ms. Lawrence some good dialogue to play with as she has a conversation with herself on the phone (do it phone, go, go!) begging her "daddy" to forgive her and to let her come home, this is some of that good new-fashioned sensitivity that the 70s gave us, Lynn has been victimized, it must have been her fault. What a gal this Lynn Hart, and good ol' Ben has decided to take her out, and out they go and when Ben decides that a little "parking" should take place and that Lynn ain't too damn shabby, he makes a move towards second base, Lynn springs to freedom and is rescued by our beloved Sheriff, who is just as horny, but you know in a good intentioned way. This is Jesse Vint's strong suit as an actor, the good-natured, handsomely chiseled, dumbkin. He works it well and it is hard to fathom why Vint is not as well known as Jan-Michael Vincent, Gil Gerard, Chest Hardcheese or any other good-looking male from the time period.

So, here's what we have got here, to summarize. A wacky, homicidal incestuous rape victim obsessed with a father she killed, a wacky, former tightrope walker who fell on his head, and owns a diner who is sort of fatherly, some wacky, human-flesh-ingesting pigs, a wacky, nosy neighbor, a handsome young hero-like Sheriff, a construction worker with a hard-on who frequents the diner and a payphone. Do we need anything else? How about a wacky, FRANKENSTEIN-like mob of construction workers that are searching for their buddy, who hasn't shown up for work for a few days, and of course a investigating "brain doctor" should come a snooping as well, right? And he should need to use the payphone, right? Ol' DDD gives us some of that action, some creepy, memorable stuff with Lunn, some protective father-figure stuff from Zambrini.

There quite a few nice twists and turns in the plot, a fair amount of severed limbs, blood and pig snorts to keep you happy and of course, the tasty undercurrent of insanity and incest that even the most hardened horror hound has a healthy hole in his heart for. This film has a rather dark and bitter tone which wallows in facets of betrayal and hurt, needless to say, me like those elements in a film. All in all DDD ain't perfect but neither are you asswipe and if I had a daughter and she wanted to become an actress then by God, I should hope I could write and direct such a fine film featuring her as a maniacal man-hating incest victim who has no problem feeding humans to pigs or using a telephone to help fill in the plot holes in my script…DADDY'S DEADLY DAUGHTER, dig it.
Mail Prof. Tread

Purina Pig ChowTM

"There you go there's a good pig."

Man, if her Dad wasn't directing I bet we would have been in for a treat.

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She's Daddy's Deadly Darling...Mommy's Little Monster!

Daddy is delivering the "love" the wrong way.

But his baby gets her revenge the right way.

Nurses panty hose, you know what they say about nurses.

marc Lawrence's psuedonym.

"Smells like Pig Shit!"

Sherrif Ccle, he's studly, yes? Jesse Vint, Ladies, Jesse Vint.

Daddy's Deadly Double Ds.

Shaving victim #1. Foam or Edge?

For the record this is the face you make when your dick is cutting cut off.


Growing up with out a female role model cheated Lynn out of the all important lipstick lesson.

"Daddy, I'm calling to ask why we use the payphone for plot exposition so much?"

"Because it ws cheaper than having to shoot all teh stuff in flashback, why?"

"Here you fill in this plot hole."

"Okay enough with the phone jokes"

Meow. Is that the phone?

Daddy's Deadly Darling does it from behind.
Brains On Film 2003