Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > The Stepfather (1987/Shout! Factory DVD)

The Stepfather (1987/Shout! Factory DVD)


Picture: C      Sound: C     Extras: C     Film: C



Somewhere between bad B-movies, the Slice & Dice 1980s cycle and outright thrillers, Joseph Ruben’s The Stepfather (1987) was one of the last hits of note for the former ITC who had long lost Lord Lew Grade and would release any B-movie they could.  This one was silly, but enough of a hit that two sequels were made and now, Shout! Factory is issuing the original on DVD as the 2009 remake hits theaters.


Terry O’Quinn is Jerry Blake, a man who is going to find the perfect family to be the father of, no matter who he has to kill.  He has just killed off members of the latest one he was part of, but could not take it anymore and was not going to waste his time on divorce proceedings or just plain leave.  He just decides to kill and go.  As we join him, he has romanced Susan (Shelly Hack of Charlie’s Angels, who always looked good, but no one helped her to ever learn how to deliver dialogue lines) to the point that they get married.


She is unaware of her new hubby’s past, but her daughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen) is not so sure about him and his behavior is at first, a little odd.  Then it gets much worse.  However, he acts so odd, the fact that Susan is oblivious to this is hard to buy as you watch and Miss Hack is not the problem, but the script is despite the participation of Donald E. Westlake as a writer.


A cult favorite, this will now have some curio interest and might be worth a look for the most curious, but in real life, it is nothing that extraordinary and for the most curious only.  One viewing would be enough for most who have not seen it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image shows its age and is soft throughout despite being shot in 35mm film.  The print they have hopefully is not the only surviving material, but you never know.  Expect grain and depth limits throughout.  Color is not always great either.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is very compressed and has distortion throughout, partly because of the low budget, but also because this was an analog Ultra Stereo release; an old sound format that was a cheap version of Dolby analog to begin with, so you can imagine how this sounds.  Extras include a trailer, audio commentary by Ruben and making of featurette entitled The Stepfather Chronicles.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com