The Stepfather (1987)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  16 November 1987 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,741 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 85 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Lanyer ...
Dr. Bondurant
Jim Ogilvie
Al Brennan
Robyn Stevan ...
Paul Baker
Lindsay Bourne ...
Art Teacher
Mrs. Leitner
Annie Barnes
Lt. Jack Wall
Jackson Davies ...
Mr. Chesterton
Sandra Head ...
Dorothy Rinehard


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


An All-American Family... He'd Kill For It! See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 November 1987 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Stepfather I  »

Box Office


$2,488,740 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Loosely based on the story of John List, the New Jersey man who killed his family in 1971, and was on the run until 1989, when his profile on the television show "America's Most Wanted" resulted in his capture. See more »


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 »


Jerry Blake: We are going to keep this family together.
See more »


Referenced in The Stepfather Chronicles (2009) See more »


Sleeping Beauty
Performed by The Divinyls (as Divinyls)
Music and Lyrics by Christina Amphlett (as C. Amphlett) and Mark McEntee (as M. McEntee)
Published by Astute Lullaby Kings/Rare Blue Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Terry O'Quinn makes his mark
25 June 2006 | by (Rain City, Pacific Northwest) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best thrillers to emerge from the 1980s. It has assured direction from Joseph Reuben. An excellent script by Donald E. Westlake.And an absolutely mesmerizing performance from Terry O'Quinn, who invests his character with enough repressed fury to make most screen psychos look like Mr Rogers.

The film starts out with a real sense of style as O'Quinn washes his bloody hands in a bathroom sink then proceeds to alter his appearance drastically before walking downstairs to his murdered family; its a startling and creepy beginning and the rest of the film is as stylish and well done. I think its biggest strength is the well-developed psychopathology of Terry O'Quinn's character. His behavior actually makes sense in terms of his madness. This is a refreshing change of pace from most films of this type, where the killers have zero motivation and are just plot-devices.

37 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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