This bizarre vanity project is the work of veteran character actor/tough guy Marc Lawrence, a familiar face to fans of films like The Man With The Golden Gun, Key Largo and dozens more over an eighty year career. Lawrence directed, produced, wrote and starred in Daddy's Deadly Darling, casting his own daughter Toni in the central role of Lynn, the beautiful but demented girl who graduates from patricide to serial murder. Co-star Jesse Vint has alleged that the film wasn't originally intended for public release, but rather as a test run for the Lawrence girl's acting career, footage to use for future auditions, and she is afforded plenty of chances to show off her range. Alternately angry, distraught, confused, seductive and afraid, Ms. Lawrence pushes every emotion into the red in a performance that is appropriately schizophrenic but unlikely to win further work. Perhaps her inability to follow in her hard-working father's footsteps is the reason the picture found its way into the home video market, repeatedly released under a score of different titles (though best known as Pigs, it has also turned up as Horror Farm, The Killer and Lynn Hart, The Strange Love Exorcist). Daddy's Deadly Darling is a confused, turgid tale that even hardcore horror devotees might lose patience with, but the peculiar rhythms that drive the dialogue make the film a unique experience. Lawrence has directed his actors to deliver their lines in an overwrought, repetitious manner, continuously echoing themselves in an apparent effort to communicate intensity ("Don't tell me that! Don't tell me that! Don't lie to me! Don't you lie to me! Don't!"); the effect is unsettlingly hypnotic, though never convincing. Half of the film seems to take place in phone booths, advancing the plot with one-sided conversations in the cheapest, most transparent attempt at exposition. It's a lost cause, since the story is utterly befuddling. Luckily, the frequent shock inserts of snorting pig snouts and severe squealing are effectively disorienting, and the horror scenes are shrill and gory. As a result, Daddy's Deadly Darling might satisfy those seeking the freakish, and it's doubtful that anyone seeking anything else would give it a second glance.
by Fred Beldin review