That psycho stepfather has escaped from the insane asylum and had his face surgically altered. Now he's married again, this time to a woman with a child in a wheelchair. He goes on a ... See full summary »
Michael returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.
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
The film's first draft featured flashbacks which helped explain Jerry (Terry O'Quinn) Blakes' abused childhood backstory, that was instrumental in his becaming a killer. See more »
When Jerry changes identities on the ferry, he removes a front piece toupee to reveal thinning hair. However, when - as Bill - he applies for the insurance job, the hairline had receded even further. See more »
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.
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