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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's a family man with an ax to grind...and wield! 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

Stephanie is 16 years old, but Jill Schoelen, the actress who plays her, was 23 years old at the time. See more »

Goofs

Paint changes on Steph's back during her fight in school. See more »

Quotes

Stephanie: It's like living with Ward Cleaver
See more »

Connections

References Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) 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

 
A great nail biter
27 August 2007 | by acidburn-10See all my reviews

The Stepfather (Terry O'Quinn) is a man obsessed with the ideal family, his standards and values are old fashioned and all he wants to be is a good father/husband. But if they let him down he becomes a homicidal maniac and wipes out his family and then proceeds to move on to another single woman with kids and start again. He thinks he's finally found salvation in Susan his new wife (Shelly Hack) and Stephanie (Shoelen) her daughter. But when Stephanie starts getting in trouble in school, giving him the cold shoulder and talking about leaving home, the Stepfather gazes at that knife and the word "kill" floats in his mind….Need a little order around here.

The movie starts off on a grim note, lies dormant for a while with a few random explosions of violence and then finally blows up sky high for the finale. The script is tight and extremely well written. It would have been easy for the Stepfather to be written as a one dimensional, psychotic mess, fortunately he's one of the most complex and layered loony since Norman Bates's glory days. This movie deals with ordinary people, in ordinary situations which makes the grisly events much more shocking. The Stepfather is a welcomed addition to the horror genre.

Terry O' Quinn leads the pack as the psycotic Stepfather perfectly conveys all of his different facets. From his sweetness, his sadness, his anger to his longing, O Quinn is dead on. Jill Shoelen gives us a down to earth realistic performance and comes across as real teen, her best horror movie role and Shelly Hack (Charlies Angels)gives an underplayed, straight forward performance. All the actors have great chemistry between them.

All in all Joseph Ruben's directing is very smooth, the suspense very intense and he even manages to squeeze out some sympathy out of us for that poor psycho. The Stepfather is a real great nail biter with well written chartacters and great acting, the tension is always there and the climax at the end is just brilliant you wouldn't want to take your eyes of the screen for a second.


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