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The Stepfather (1987)

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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:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

Carolyn Lefcourt (story), Brian Garfield (story) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry O'Quinn ... Jerry Blake
Jill Schoelen ... Stephanie Maine
Shelley Hack ... Susan
Charles Lanyer Charles Lanyer ... Dr. Bondurant
Stephen Shellen ... Jim Ogilvie
Stephen E. Miller ... Al Brennan
Robyn Stevan Robyn Stevan ... Karen
Jeff Schultz ... Paul Baker
Lindsay Bourne Lindsay Bourne ... Art Teacher
Anna Hagan ... Mrs. Leitner
Gillian Barber ... Annie Barnes
Blu Mankuma ... Lt. Jack Wall
Jackson Davies Jackson Davies ... Mr. Chesterton
Sandra Head Sandra Head ... Receptionist
Gabrielle Rose ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stepfather I See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$260,587, 25 January 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,488,740
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Donald E. Westlake based the character of Stephanie on his real-life teenage stepdaughter who he has having difficulty getting along with. See more »

Goofs

When the film first opens, we see a paperboy toss the newspaper onto Jerry's lawn. It lands close to the perimeter of the lawn. But when Jerry emerges later and stops to pick up the newspaper, it is closer to the house. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Blake: Wait a minute, who am I here?
Sue: Jerry?
Jerry Blake: That's right. Jerry Blake. Thanks, honey.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) 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

 
First-rate thriller
10 October 2002 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Nice guy (Terry O'Quinn) gets married to lovely wife (Shelley Hack) and her rebellious daughter (Jill Schoelen). He wants his family to be like "The Brady Bunch" or "Father Knows Best". However when his family doesn't live up to his expectations he brutally kills them, changes his identity and moves on to find another unmarried woman with kids. And he's getting tired of Hack and Schoelen...

Exceptional thriller. O'Quinn gives a top-notch performance as the killer. He's helped by a very intricate script. Those two combined make you understand why he kills and plays with your emotions--I found myself actually liking the guy (for a while). There isn't a lot of violence in this, but when it appears it's very sudden, extremely bloody and shocking.

The only liabilities here are Hack and Schoelen--they're pretty bad in their roles. But O'Quinn and the script more than make up for them.

A sadly forgotten thriller from the late 80s. Well worth catching.


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