Last night Lifetime aired a new movie called Killing Daddy, in which they indulged in their favorite pastime — portraying mentally ill people as evil cliches, but then at the end declaring, “But wait! This is a serious matter. We need to get them help.” In this case the evil cliche is a girl who kills her father. So it would seem the title wasn’t just picked out of a hat. It is a bit misleading, though, since the girl doesn’t do the daddy-killing directly. She does, however, do it to the tune of the most literal soundtrack in Lifetime movie history. You’ll see what I mean as we go along on this (spoilery) journey.
We start the movie with the opening credits, as often happens. We hear some some bluesy song about a troubled woman being haunted by her past or something equally on-the-nose. I wonder what this move with be about. It’s then that we’re introduced to Callie (Elizabeth Gillies, the hammiest ham to ever ham), our main crazy lady. She has one of those typical Lifetime movie names where it takes hearing it approximately fifty times to understand what people are saying. Kelly? Allie? Gilly? Once someone called her Calista, a name I was barely aware existed outside the Flockhart family, that cleared things up a bit. Callie’s a bad seed, as evidenced by her skinny eyebrows and dark makeup against pale skin.
Callie gets fired from her job at “Family Restaurant” in Missouri for stealing money, then narrowly escapes both her angry landlord and her angry ex-boyfriend Jake (Sebastian Pigott), both of whom she owes money. This is where we get the next literal song, which, based on how many times the singer says “great escape,” must be titled “Great Escape.” Get it? Because she’s making a great escape. I can see how you might miss that, since it was such a subtle choice of song.
When the truck Callie stole from Jake (which is the quintessential dirtbag boyfriend name, by the way) breaks down, she decides to call home, in Philadelphia, where a woman named Emma (Cynthia Stevenson, whom I’ve seen in approximately everything, yet nothing on her IMDb page rings a bell) tells her that her father had a stroke. Emma is her father’s housekeeper, who practically raised Callie. Yet I spent the first 45 minutes of the movie going, “Who is this? The dad’s new wife? His ex-wife? His sister? His wife’s sister?” Nope, just the live-in housekeeper, with whom the father also happened to be hooking up.
Callie heads home, because she doesn’t really have anywhere else to go, and also she’s in the mood for a little revenge. See, she blames her mother’s suicide on her father (William R. Moses). We learn through flashbacks that Callie became troubled as well, and her father sent her to an institution. So now that her daddy’s suffered a stroke and is unable to move or talk, it’s time to get back at him. She does this by giving evil speeches to him when no one else is around, kissing him malevolently on the cheek, and practically screaming “MUAHAHAHA” at the top of her lungs. Even though her dad is incapacitated, he’s still able to give her WTF face after WTF face. Same, Daddy. Same.
Callie does some snooping and finds her father’s new will, which leaves most of his assets to both Emma and Callie’s goody two shoes half-sister Laura (Tori Anderson). That simply will not do, so Callie finds his old will, from before they had their falling out and before he and the housekeeper were getting it on. Now all she has to do is get the family lawyer (Tom Barnett) drunk, sleep with him, record herself sleeping with him, and use that as blackmail to get him to use the old will once her father’s dead.