6.8/10
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98 user 80 critic

The Stepfather (1987)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 8 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
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Paul Baker
Lindsay Bourne ...
Art Teacher
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Mrs. Leitner
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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:

He wanted a perfect family in a perfect town. But they couldn't measure up...neither could the others. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

5 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stepfather I  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,488,740 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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: This punk was trying to rape our daughter.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Too Smart for Strangers (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want You
(1984)
Performed by Patrick Moraz and John McBurnie
Music by Patrick Moraz
Lyrics by John McBurnie
Published by Zoram Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Passport Records (JEM)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Performance, Bad Script
3 December 2002 | by (Oregon) – See all my reviews

Terry O'Quinn is excellent here. He has a definite menacing presence, and his subdued behavior around people only heightens the shock of his raging outbursts. However, the mediocre script ruins what could have been a great film. As a character study of O'Quinn, this would have been chilling and effective. But it makes for a mediocre thriller. O'Quinn plays a psychotic man obsessed with perfection, and the ideal "American Dream". Inevitably, his family disappoints him, so he creates a new identity, kills them and moves on. The scenes with Jerry are strong and frightening, but the film becomes formulaic when we're introduced to Jim, who amazingly discovers a vital clue to his whereabouts in a few minutes of poking around. The police missed this? Too many dumb plot points and the predictable finale spoil it. O'Quinn's performance deserved a better film.


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