Stepfather (Horror/Thriller) 1987 [Movie/Review]


Year: 1987
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Joseph Ruben
Original Title: –
Source: Blu-Ray (Shout Factory)

A family-values man named Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) 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 (Shelley Hack), who sees him as the ideal surrogate father for her teenage daughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen), and he is soon up to his old tricks when she proves to be too much of a troublesome teen to handle.

I haven’t seen this in 25 years, and on top of that I confused it with Stepfather 2 with a young boy instead of here, a teenage girl.

I really enjoy this movie on all levels. The story is marvelous and a very interesting concept, Terry O’Quinn as the Protagonist of the movie is phenomenal. He acts really convincing and creepy as the psychopath. To the masses he is probably best know as John Locke in the TV show Lost. I also like that they don’t explain his childhood, but you have to imagine that something fucked up happened when he was a kid.

Jill Schoelen as the stepdaughter is also very good. She’s supposed to be 16 years old and still has a nude showerscene … only in the 80’s, right 🙂 … but in real life she was 23.

The street scenes where filmed in Edgemont Village, British Columbia, Canada. Most of the others in Vancover, Canada. The film takes place in the fictional town of Oakridge, Washington, located on the Kitsap Peninsula.

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

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 (1988) resulted in his capture. The episode is: America’s Most Wanted: John Emil List/John Riccardi (1989).

I watched this on the Shout Factory release on Shout Factory, but the picture quality is not that good, kind of grainy, So I’m hoping for a 4k scan of this one.

Bonus Material:

  • Commentaries:Audio commentary with director Joseph Ruben and Fangoria magazine’s Michael Gingold
  • Extras:”The Stepfather Chronicles” featurette (26:45, 1080p)
    Video Store Promo (2:35, SD)
    Bonus Trailers:
    – “The Stepfather II” (2:06, SD)
    – “The Stepfather III” (1:50, SD)
    German Theatrical Trailer (1:48, 1080p)
    Theatrical Trailer (1:52, 1080p)
  • Subtitles:No
  • Aspect Ratio:1.78:1
  • Picture Format:1080p 24fps AVC MPEG-4
  • Soundtrack(s):English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Case type:Keep Case

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