Film Review: The Stepfather (1987)

Also known as: Kill, Daddy, Kill (Germany)
Release Date: January 23rd, 1987 (Los Angeles premiere)
Directed by: Joseph Ruben
Written by: Donald E. WEestlake, Carolyn Lefcourt, Brian Garfield
Music by: Patrick Moaz
Cast: Terry O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack

ITC Productions, New Century Vista Film Company, 89 Minutes

Review:

“I wanna ask you something. Are you interested in buying a house… Or are you interested in me?” – Jerry Blake

Since I had never seen any of the Stepfather films, I figured I’d rectify that this Halloween season. I, at least, want to watch the two with Terry O’Quinn because that guy is awesome and I really wanted to see how good he was in the role of an all-American dad/serial killer.

I’m glad to say that he was tremendous. I loved the hell out of him in both films. My review for the second one will be up in a few days,

I have to point out that this movie has one of the best openings in ’80s horror. It shows O’Quinn, as one of his multiple personas, getting ready for work but as it rolls on, some pretty messed up shit is slowly revealed until you see him reach the bottom of the stairs and step into a room full of bloody carnage and dead bodies. It sets the tone of the movie tremendously well and it stays burned into your memory, as you watch this psycho try to play the part of a happy, successful, suburban patriarch.

Beyond O’Quinn, the two other main characters, played by Jill Schoelen and Shelley Hack, are really good in this. I especially liked Schloelen, who I only know from Popcorn and the Robert Englund version of The Phantom of the Opera. Her scenes with O’Quinn are really good and terrifying and she does a really good job of wearing her fear and emotion on her face.

This movie was actually a bit more brutal than I had expected and it has a really solid finale and a pretty satisfying ending. Honestly, it’s a much better than average ’80s horror flick and I can’t believe that I had slept on it this long.

Rating: 7.5/10