The Kidnapper (1996)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on March 31, 2018 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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The Kidnapper (1996)
The Kidnapper (1996)

Main cast: Steve Coogan (Danny Skeggs), Julia Sawalha (Teresa), Tim Stern (Baby Broker), Serena Gordon (Mother in the Park), Matthew Scurfield (The Detective), Gerry Crampton (Snaps), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: James Spencer

Danny Skeggs is a socially inept and awkward fellow who works at a pawn shop. That’s how he meets Teresa, a pregnant woman who comes in to pawn off a piece of jewelry. She falls into a faint right in front of him, and this is how he gets a girlfriend. She’s homeless, with child, and in pain – so she’s not in any position to run away from him, heh. Okay, she does seem to like him, but she tells him that she was badly hurt by the baby’s father, so all she wants from him is friendship. And to be fair to her, she never leads him on, and it is only his delusions that lead him to believe that she really wants him, and all he needs is time.

So all is fine… until the baby is born, and Danny begins to feel jealous when she spends a lot of time coddling her baby. She actually has to care for the baby – how dare she! Because of his constant neediness, a wedge begins to form between them. Thus, Danny realizes that baby has to go, so that Teresa will once again belong to him, and only him! He arranges for the baby to be kidnapped and sold off, only to discover that Teresa has even less interest in hooking up with him. Instead, she’s too busy being all depressed and distraught. Imagine that!

The Kidnapper plays out like a dark comedy, but this episode is memorable in that it has a genuinely monstrous protagonist who is so delusional to the point that he has completely zero self awareness and an utterly broken moral compass. Everything is about him, and he can’t deal when he doesn’t get his way. Unfortunately, he is also isn’t a very interesting protagonist because, despite his amorality, he’s completely inept. Hence, when he gets what is coming to him, the moment isn’t as satisfying as it could and should have been. As a villain, he’s like Skeletor losing to He-Man – it feels right, but it’s also a predictable resolution that can be seen coming early on as the villain is clearly too dumb to hang out with the big league.

At any rate, this is a watchable episode that is worth a look, if only to see that even socially awkward goons can be chillingly evil in their own way, but it could also be made more… I don’t know. Teresa is a forgettable character, Danny is a weak protagonist, and I find myself feeling lukewarm about the entire episode.

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