Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Stepfather (1987)

Director: Joseph Ruben

Writers: Carolyn Lefcourt, Brian Garfield, Donald E. Westlake

Composer:Patrick Moraz

Starring: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack, Charles Lanyer, Stephen Shellen, Stephen E. Miller, Robyn Stevan, Jeff Schultz

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Who Am I Here?

Plot: 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.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

The first time I saw Terry O'Quinn in anything where I sat up and took notice of who he was was as John Locke on LOST (2004).  Locke was my favorite character so when I looked at his credits and saw that he was in this picture, one that I'd heard about since it came out, I was all about giving this one a spin.  While I'm disappointed in it, it's not all that bad.  It suffers from dragging a lot and Jerry's (O'Quinn) slow descent into madness as a trapped animal as people start to figure out his gruesome past.  Once the shit hits the fan in the last fifteen minutes it's fun.  We also get some gratuitous (I say gratuitous because there's no reason we need to see Stephanie (Schoelen) take a shower) nudity.  I'm glad it's there.  At this point in the picture after lots of slow goings-on it picks up the pace or at least wakes you up to witness the final kills.  Having Jerry throw out some one liners after he kills was a pretty weak attempt at trying to be like a lot of the popular horror movies of the day (not that it wasn't limited to just horror movies - thanks, Stallone & Schwarzenegger).  There are some nice moments in this film but not enough for me to sit through again. 

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