Review: ‘Stepfather II’

This dull sequel reduces the intriguing premise of the original Stepfather to the level of an inconsequential, tongue-in-cheek slasher film.

This dull sequel reduces the intriguing premise of the original Stepfather to the level of an inconsequential, tongue-in-cheek slasher film.

Terry O’Quinn as the murderous, average guy vainly trying to mimic the American Family ideal was killed off at the end of the first pic. Sequel opens with recap of previous finale (including brief footage of previous co-stars Shelley Hack and Jill Schoelen), followed by O’Quinn waking up in a Washington State asylum with several chest scars indicating his not-quite-fatal wounds.

This time, O’Quinn bamboozles the shrink (Henry Brown) at the asylum and escapes, lifts the identity of a deceased family therapist from the newspaper obituary, and moves into an LA suburb. He romances the pretty real estate divorcee who’s his neighbor (Meg Foster).

Pic builds towards their impending marriage, but 13-year-old son Todd (Jonathan Brandis) is only a minor character who does not figure in the dramatics. It is another neighbor (Caroline Williams), the postal delivery woman, who is suspicious of O’Quinn.

Jeff Burr, who has horror pics under his belt, directs the piece claustrophobically and fails to whip up any atmosphere.

Stepfather II

Production

ITC. Director Jeff Burr; Producer William Burr, Darin Scott; Screenplay John Auerbach; Camera Jacek Laskus; Editor Pasquale A. Buba; Music Jim Manzie, Pat Regan; Art Director Bernadette Disanto

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Terry O'Quinn Meg Foster Caroline Williams Jonathan Brandis Henry Brown Mitchell Laurance

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