“What a nice ranch!” I thought as I watched the opening scenes of Killer Daddy Issues.
Listen, I live in Texas. I’ve grown up all over the Southwest. I’ve seen a lot of really nice ranches and I’ve seen a lot of really mediocre ranches and the ranch in Killer Daddy Issues is definitely a nice one. The scenery is green and bountiful. The hills are covered with beautiful trees. There’s a big river nearby. Majestic horses run across the fields. This is the type of ranch that you definitely want to visit. Unfortunately, even the best ranches have their issues.
This ranch is currently owned by Grace (Carolyn McCormick) and her daughter, Carrie (Jillian Murray). They inherited it and a good deal of money after the death of Grace’s husband. However, a new man has entered Grace’s life. Carrie is shocked when Grace returns from a five-day cruise with a new husband! Reed (Chris Riggi) is handsome and charming and young enough to be Carrie’s brother. Carrie takes an immediate distrust to Reed. Despite Reed assuring her that he’s already independently wealthy and that he doesn’t have a criminal record, Carrie is convinced that Reed is only after her mother’s money. Carrie’s suspicions are not eased when Grace is seriously injured during a riding accident.
Meanwhile, Sofia (Kristina Reyes) has made a shocking discovery. She and her mother both work at the ranch and, while Carrie treats them with superficial respect, it’s still obvious that there’s a world of difference between their lives and the lives of Grace and Carrie. When Sofia discovers that her father was Grace’s husband and that she’s actually Carrie’s half-sister, she’s not happy at all. She’s been cheated out of the ranch that she views as her birthright.
Meanwhile, someone is wandering around the ranch with a rifle, taking shots at people. Hmmm …. I wonder if that could have anything to do with all the other stuff that’s going on at the ranch?
Needless to say, there’s a lot going on in this movie. Not only do you have a mysterious new husband who might be a murderous gold digger but you also have the issue of Sofia’s paternity. One thing that really struck me about this film was just how unlikable Carrie and Grace are. Even though they’re the main characters, both of them seem to be a bit too secure in their positions. In the beginning, at least, Sofia is a far more sympathetic character because she does have a legitimate complaint. She had been denied what rightfully should belong to her. It’s a bit subversive actually. Even though Carrie and Grace are presented as being the protagonists, it’s clear that the audience’s sympathy is meant to go to Sofia.
Anyway, this one is okay. It crams three hours worth of plot into a 90-minute runtime and, as a result, the film does occasionally seem to be a bit overstuffed. There’s a lot to keep up with. But the ranch is gorgeous and Kristina Reyes gives an excellent performance as Sofia. This is a good movie to watch on a weekend afternoon.