Evil and much malign are the machinations of the dreaded Mole People, those subterranean villains who -- lacking the eye-sight that we above-dwellers enjoy -- cannot take pleasure in classic, well-made films and thus, out of jealousy, take out their frustration on us by creating purposefully awful movies in hopes of destroying the art of cinema forever, and forcing us to endure a life without classic or critically-acclaimed films, much like the existence that was forced upon the Mole People themselves.
The Mole People, having amassed a great wealth of gold and other mineral riches from the earth in which they live, use their vast fortune to fund and employ a number of "human puppets" to create and produce their terrible films for them, including director Lou Place, whose cinematic debut, 'Daddy-O' (1958) displays all of the tell-tale signs of being a Mole People production.
The film stars famed-accordionist (yes, you read that right) Dick Contino as Phil "Daddy-O" Sandifer, a truck-driver with a penchant for racing and singing a few of those "rock and/or roll" songs that the "hip cat teenagers" are so into, whose life is turned unutterably upside-down after he is accused of murdering his best/superfluous friend, Sonny (Robert Banas), in a hit-and-run. Though ultimately found innocent of the crime, Phil, accompanied by Jana (Sandra Giles), a young blonde he had raced with at the time of Sonny's death, sets out to solve Sonny's brutal murder, and maybe sing a few songs along the way as he does it.
Words alone can only capture a paltry description of the lunacy that is Lou Place's 'Daddy-O'. Perhaps the most glaring sign that this film was assembled by the Mole People is the films' complete and total lack of continuity -- an obvious result of the film being edited by one of the blind Mole men! Time and time again, actors' cloths change from shot-to-shot, while the lackluster racing scenes featured in the film display a number of a recycled shots and haphazard editing that has a rather dizzying effect on its audience, trying desperately to enthrall them but succeeding only at annoying them.
Even more glaring and noticeable, however, are the film's "musical" interludes, wherein human puppet Dick Contino's lip-synching in no way, shape or form matches the words being sung on the film's soundtrack. Not that it matters much since the "lyrics" to the "songs" "sung" by Contino are so repetitive and dull that the musical numbers closer resemble white-noise than actual music.
The film's acting -- or lack thereof -- only further proves that 'Daddy-O' is nothing more than an abominable attempt by the dreaded Mole People to destroy cinema: Contino's "acting" is a bi-polar performance, his mood and countenance switching back-and-forth rapidly between brooding vigilante and song-&-dance hipster so that one is never sure whether Contino's 'Daddy-O' is going to throw a punch or burst out into a song, creating a strange and uncanny mood in the picture that is neither suspenseful nor entertaining, but only confusing and weird.
Costar Sandra Giles is hardly any better than Contino, her "performance" (or more accurately, "the scenes wherein her body occupies the scene") consisting of her giving Contino 'doe-eyed' glances and speaking in slang so dated and cornball that it becomes immediately obvious that the Mole People only employed Giles for her appearance rather than any acting ability. Equally abhorrent and terrible are the films' supposed antagonists, with Bruce "Coke-Glasses" Green (Jack McClure) and Sidney "Mountain o' Fat" Chillas (Bruno VeSota) proving to be the most incompetent and unthreatening of cinematic villains, the two men looking more like grotesque caricatures of the human race instead of dangerous, dope-running criminals.
Be warned: Lou Place's 'Daddy-O' is a not a film to be watched by those who have little personal experience in dealing with the dark and twisted schemes of the dreaded Mole People. Though it is possible (not to mention fun) for one to take "ironic pleasure" in the film's "so-bad-its-good" qualities (of which it has many), it would be dangerous to do so without prior experience or at least the help of some equally minded friends. For those looking for a film to mock or riff on, one would be hard-pressed to find a better source of material than Place's 'Daddy-O'; for those seeking actual entertainment, however, stay away from this film. Far, far away.
Find the nearest Blockbuster (assuming they still exist) near your home so you can rent this film almost immediately. Or, if you prefer that movies came to you instead, set up a Netflix account and start your ordering as soon as possible.