Daddy’s Girl (1996, directed by Martin Kitrosser)

Daddy’s Girl is a forgotten film today but I swear that there was a two-month period in 1997 when it showed up every weekend on late night Cinemax and Showtime.  Like many former late night cable mainstays, Daddy’s Girl never developed enough of a cult following to justify getting a DVD release so, if you want to see it, you either have to have a working VCR or the ability to search YouTube.

I’m surprised this film doesn’t have a following because it features two thing that were every popular on cable in the 90s, William Katt and an evil child.  This time, William Katt plays Don, a toy designer who can’t get anyone to buy his creations.  Because he’s struggling, his wife (Michele Greene) is having to support the family.  Despite the fact that they’re not in great financial shape, they still decided to adopt 11 year-old Jodi (Gabrielle Boni).  Jodi loves Don and he spoils her every chance that he gets.  Jodi hates everyone else and tries to kill all of them.

What sets Daddy’s Girl apart from other crazy kid movies is just how far Jodi will go to kill anyone who might get between her and her adopted father.  Don’t even think about recommending that Jodi go to a special school because Jodi will knock you off a ladder and then push over a bookcase so that it lands on top you!  Don’t try to investigate her past because Jodi knows how to use a meat tenderizer as a deadly weapon!  Even if you’re at the hospital as a result of Jodi’s actions, she’ll just go down there and pull the plug herself!  And Jodie won’t just kill you.  She’ll make a joke about it after she does it!  Jodi is full of one liners.  Is this kid a comedian or a killer?  You’ll die laughing!

It’s hard to believe that no one would catch on to what Jodi is doing and I think the movie overestimates the physical strength of a typical 11 year-old girl but Daddy’s Girl isn’t bad.  William Katt was one of the better actors to regularly appear in direct-to-video thrillers like this one and Gabrielle Boni is a trip as the clingy and crazy Jodi.  Direct-to-video mainstays Mimi Craven and Whip Hubley also make welcome appearances.  Daddy’s Girl is an enjoyable take on The Bad Seed.

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