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The Stepfather (1987)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,159 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 83 critic

After murdering his entire family, a man remarries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.

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Title: The Stepfather (1987)

The Stepfather (1987) on IMDb 6.8/10

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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Stephanie
...
Charles Lanyer ...
Dr. Bondurant
...
Jim Ogilvie
...
Al Brennan
Robyn Stevan ...
Karen
...
Paul Baker
Lindsay Bourne ...
Art Teacher
...
Mrs. Leitner
...
Annie Barnes
...
Lt. Jack Wall
Jackson Davies ...
Mr. Chesterton
Sandra Head ...
Receptionist
...
Dorothy Rinehard
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Storyline

A family-values man named Jerry Blake marries widows and divorcées with children in search of the perfect family. As soon as his new family members show signs of being human and not robots who will march unquestioningly to his tune, his dreams of domestic bliss begin to crumble, and he kills them. Then he alters his appearance, assumes a new identity, and skips to another town to begin the deadly ritual all over again. He marries Susan Maine, who sees him as the ideal surrogate father for her teenage daughter Stephanie, and he is soon up to his old tricks when she proves to be too much of a troublesome teen to handle. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Jerry Blake loves taking care of the family. Any family. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1987 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Stepfather I  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,488,740 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jill Schoelen did almost all of her own stunts for the film's climax. See more »

Goofs

Stephanie picks up the U2 cassette "Wide Awake In America" and puts it in her player. When she presses play, we hear Pat Benatar's "Run Between The Raindrops". See more »

Quotes

Jerry Blake: You're a very bad girl.
See more »

Connections

References Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Run Between the Raindrops
(1985)
Performed by Pat Benatar
Music and Lyrics by Myron Grombacher (as M. Grombacher) and Neil Giraldo (as N. Geraldo)
Published by Tyreach Music/Neil Geraldo Music Co./Rare Blue Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Stepfather: A Good, Old-Fashioned 80s Thriller
20 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After two sequels and a remake, "The Stepfather" still holds up to this day as a very cool and creepy thriller. When I first saw it, for me, it was just decent. Then I watched it a second time, and it had gotten so much better. This movie is one of the best sleeper hits of the 80s.

Jerry Blake is the perfect family man. He has a great job in American Eagle realty, has a wonderful new wife, Susan, and a misunderstood daughter, Stephanie. Susan adores Jerry, but Stephanie is extremely awkward and weirded out around him. Right now, Jerry is close to having his perfect vision of "family." Until Stephanie catches wind of the man who murdered his family in another town. And other people begin to catch on to the fact that Jerry isn't at all what he seems to be. That's when Jerry really begins to snap. And if he can't have the American Dream, then he's going to make sure that he gets it, at all costs.

"The Stepfather" works very well as a thriller, and not a horror movie. It is extremely well-written, and the acting is perfection. This movie could have been an epic failure, but it has tons of energy and when it's supposed to be scary, it is.

But the main attraction of the movie is Terry O' Quinn's show-stopping performance as Jerry, before he went on to star in the hit TV series "Lost." He makes this character so believable and frightening. And when he has his first meltdown, in the iconic "basement" scene, you are on the edge of your seat, wondering when this guy is going to completely lose it.

The film was inspired by the real murders of John List, who had killed his family, and left his town in search of another one. He had disappeared for 18 years until he was discovered on "America's Most Wanted." This is a very interesting and original idea for a thriller, and Donald E. Westlake provides a very suspenseful script.

Despite some extremely cheesy music and some unnecessary but inevitable nude scenes, "The Stepfather" is an 80s thriller that I enjoy very much. When the remake came out, I had known several people who still remember the original 1987 classic and O' Quinn's chilling portrayal of a madman. If you haven't seen the remake yet, you might want to wait until it comes out on DVD, and give the original "Stepfather" a try. It's worth it!


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