The sole directorial effort of playwright/screenwriter/producer George Axelrod, Lord Love a Duck offers an odd mix of pointed comedy and inexplicable strangeness. Not particularly skilled behind the camera -- the shadow of a boom mike makes an uncredited guest appearance in at least one scene -- Axelrod makes for a pit bull of a satirist, tearing with abandon into the California youth culture that had become the center of the pop culture universe by 1966. The direct inspiration for Heathers and other high school-set black comedies, it features a strangely intense performance by Roddy McDowall as a charming, if cryptic, high school student who might also be a dangerous nihilist. His attempt to help transfer student Tuesday Weld make the transition to her new home allow the film to explore numerous aspects of '60s California, and Axlerod clearly delights in sending up his target of choice. He has less success finding a consistent tone or pace for the film, which is about as disjointed as they come, dipping from light comedy to high seriousness with little warning. Forgettable it's not, however, and fans of offbeat comedies owe it to themselves to give this one a chance.
by Keith Phipps review