After a daring escape from a psychiatric hospital, the Stepfather (Terry O'Quinn, TV's JAG), assumes a new identity and sets out in search of another family to marry into -- and kill! He finds the perfect victims: attracti... more »ve, recently divorced Carol Grayland (Meg Foster -- THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK) and her teenage son, Todd (Jonathan Brandis -- HART'S WAR). Posing as a warm and caring family therapist named Gene, he appears to be the ideal second husband and father for these two lonely people. But Carol's best friend Matty (Caroline Williams -- HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS) suspects that Gene is too good to be true. And when Carol's first husband returns to attempt reconciliation, he triggers Gene's fear of discovery, sending him off on a psychotic killing spree. Gene secretly eliminates everyone who stands in his way, until the day arrives to marry Carol, one of the most unforgettable -- and horrifying -- wedding days ever filmed.« less
Dated but a solid suspenseful horror action flick! Terry O'Quinn the guy from Lost stars as the stepfather!
Great horror sequel that rivels the previous
K. Cannon | USA | 04/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually enjoy Stepfather 2 more than the first Stepfather movie. The haunting theme does a lot for creating a truly sinister atmosphere. Rarely does a film score stick in my head, but this one does. And then there's Terry O'Quinn who plays the character just right.You have to remember that this film was basically made in only 4 months. That's writing the script, casting, shooting, post production, etc. It was made for about 1 and a half million dollars and originally was supposed to be a direct to video release. Some additional shots were added and changed when the studio decided it was going to run a theatrical release like the first Stepfather, and they needed a more violent "Horror Movie".The DVD release presents the film in it's original Widescreen format, and it's a very sharp Animorphic transfer. A great thing included on the disc is that it has many alternate and extended scenes that were from the original Director's cut. There is also a short still gallery, and a very interesting full-length commentary by the Director and Producer of Stepfather 2. The only thing missing is a theatrical trailer...albeit most Buena Vista DVD's lack a trailer so it's no big surprise there.If you like this film then you need this DVD, it easily blows away the old VHS and Laserdisc editions. Now, if only they'd release the 1st Stepfather movie on DVD!!!"
Love that Campdown Races!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 05/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Isn't about time they gave us a series of films about a malevolent stepfather? You just knew this would happen eventually what with the bad reputation stepfathers have in American culture. We all know they are evil beings with warped minds, human vultures with deranged value systems that seek out innocent families to prey upon. Now that I think about it, I heartily salute the filmmakers associated with the "Stepfather" trilogy for bringing this massive threat to wider attention. Certain individuals have formed a conspiracy to throw us off the trail by making movies about machete wielding killers wearing hockey and Halloween masks, but now that we have these films, we know the truth. Evil is more insidious than a massacre at a summer camp, more pervasive than a razorblade clawed monstrosity haunting our dreams. Wickedness, true wickedness, reaches out to us in the form of a middle aged white guy who wears cardigan sweaters while offering to play catch with us in the backyard. After watching this film, along with the two other entries in the franchise, I feel it is essential to alert the unwary to this horrific hazard. Run, don't walk, to pick up a copy of "Stepfather 2."Terry O'Quinn returns as the enigmatic Stepfather in a sequel that continues the nightmares seen in the first installment. Locked safely away in a mental hospital at the beginning of the film, the Stepfather longs for the day when he can once again walk the streets of suburbia with his own idyllic family. First, he must escape from the facility, not an easy task considering how much the guards hate and fear him. Fortunately, a new psychiatrist decides to try a different tack with the Stepfather. By giving the inmate new freedoms and a sympathetic ear, this fool hopes to rehabilitate the sociopath. Oops. Of course, the Stepfather escapes after concocting an ingenious plan realized in part in the facility's woodworking shop and actualized in the shrink's office. As bodies fall to the floor in various states of permanent disarray, our anti-hero strolls off the grounds of the hospital as nice as you please. It isn't long before he's back to his old tricks, sitting in a hotel room sifting through advertisements and video dating tapes in search of a new bride who will give him everything he's ever dreamed of in life.Enter Carol Grayland (Meg Foster) and her son Todd (Jonathan Brandis), a mother and child recovering from their recent separation/divorce from an overbearing father. When the Stepfather moves in across the street posing as a sensitive counselor named Gene (replete with notepad, pen, and the requisite sweaters), Carol discovers she's attracted to the guy. The clincher comes when she accidentally stumbles on Gene playing friendly authority figure to Todd. Despite a few warnings about the counselor from a nosy postal employee friend, Carol charges ahead with plans to marry Gene. Serious warning signs, like the sudden disappearance of her ex-husband and the terrible suicide of her postal employee pal, fail to register on Grayland's radar. And why should it? Certainly Gene wouldn't have anything to do with such unseemly incidents. Alas, disturbing evidence to the contrary finally emerges immediately before the two love birds exchange vows. A wedding has never been such a bloody affair as the union between Gene and Carol Grayland. And once again, if only fleetingly, the Stepfather's plans for the domination of the American family unit is once again foiled. Or is it? The existence of another sequel seems to say no. Sadly, Terry O'Quinn fails to return in that movie.All kidding aside, "Stepfather 2" is a very effective horror film. It is rare to see so many elements click in a film in this genre. The performances are much better than you would expect, with Terry O'Quinn leading the way as the oily killer. His portrayal of a sociopath with a one-track mind is chilling to behold. One minute he's the caring suitor to Carol and the benevolent father figure to Todd, but look out when things don't go his way. Only a few people survive one of the Stepfather's killing rages. O'Quinn plays it all with ease, conveying a complex range of emotions with subtle facial gestures. Equally effective is the always awesome Meg Foster as Carol Grayland. You've seen Foster in several other films, "They Live" serving as a prime example, so you know she's the gal with the amazing eyes. I never tire of watching this actress in a movie, so her addition to the cast was a good one. Even Jonathan Brandis does an acceptable job as the surprisingly nonirritating Todd. Set these good actors up with a surprisingly engaging plot and sauce heavy murders and you have all the fixings for a great film experience. The DVD has several surprising extras. You would think a sequel, probably a straight to video sequel at that, would be a bare bones production. Think again. You get a commentary track from the director and the producer, extensive alternate scenes, stills, and several trailers for other films like "Dracula II," "Below," "Asunder," and "Halloween: Resurrection." It's been a few years since I saw the first "Stepfather" film, but if memory serves me correctly I would have to say that this sequel is as effective, if not more so, than the original. Still, I am looking forward to the day when they release the first and third movies on DVD."
A Surprising Good Sequel...Terry O'Quinn Owns Role...
M. Jarrett | New England, USA | 11/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE STEPFATHER was one of the most minor but great horror films to come out in 1987. Terry O'Quinn fit the role perfectly, and the rest of the cast, while not all filling their roles to a tee, nonetheless supported him well, making his character all the more believable in his psychotic rage. Now, I saw STEPFATHER 3 before this one, and I wasn't impressed with the third one and don't plan on owning it anytime soon. But there was one reason I bought this DVD and decided to give STEPFATHER 2 a chance: Terry O'Quinn.
You might all remember the end of the first film, as Jerry Blake (O'Quinn's character in part 1) brutally attacked his wife and daughter, having been disappointed that they are not "perfect". He was starting to make another life for himself, but he failed and ended up being stabbed at the end by Stephanie. Did the Stepfather survive the chaos? You better believe he did, thanks to some surgery and healing of medicine. I was hoping for good things with STEPFATHER 2.
We pick up with the Stepfather (in the first frame still Jerry Blake) in a psychiatric institution, a little hair loss and a dream of the events from the prior film. We find that the Stepfather still likes to build houses out of wood, but not so much birdhouses anymore. He's seeing a psychiatrist and at first you feel bad for him because he looks like a poor schmuck the first time he sits in for a session. Ah, but you know by now this guy means business, and he makes a plan to escape, and he does...killing the psychiatrist and bludgeoning the security guard in his wake. He walks off the ground while in the background the alarm at the facility sounds off, marking an escape and panic ensues...all while our Stepfather calmly strolls off the grounds a free man. Now Jerry decides its time for a change, so he checks into a hotel, gets his hair back and changes look again, and starts to plan his next move (I was laughing because the bellboy never saw the picture on the paper...is it that obvious you're serving a killer?). He sees a dream house show on tv, and Palm Meadows seems like a good place to land his next life. He also picks his next identity in the form of family therapist Gene Clifford.
We pick up sometime later down in California near L.A., and Gene is looking at a house with beautiful real estate agent, Carol Grayland. After mentioning that she is divorced, and with son, well, our Stepfather is up to his old tricks again. He starts a session with divorced/troubled women and things seem to start off right for Gene. He has a new home; he meets a new woman; he even gets admiration from her son, Todd. Things seem to be going good, and even Carol's best friend, Matty (the sexy Caroline Williams), likes Gene. However, things suddenly change when Carol's ex-husband shows up to reconcile...and that just isn't sitting well with Gene, and instantly it triggers a reaction. He goes to the garage and starts cutting and throwing wood on his trusty saw-board device, and we see echoes of the first film in his presence of anger. But when snoopy Matty shows up looking around, she begins to suspect Gene isn't really who he claims to be. She starts to snoop through his mail, eventually finding a "letter" that triggers her suspicion confirmation. All the while, Gene kills off Phil after meeting with him to talk about his reconciliation with Carol. He checks Phil out of his hotel, puts his things in the trunk with his body, and then drives his car to a junkyard smashing it around and then casually leaving whistling his fave Camptown Races (this is going to be a fatal flaw later). Things seem to get better again, until Matty finds out about Gene and then summons him for a meeting in the park, which ultimately leaves our stepboy a bit off. He makes love to Carol before leaving to kill off Matty and then brings back a bottle of wine. He sets Matty's death up like a suicide, but a blind man is the only witness to Gene's diabolical deed. Things start to go downhill a bit and Gene begins to worry his wedding day is in jeopardy. And on the big guy's big day, things do take a turn for the worse. After Carol sees the wine bottles, and then hears her son whistling Camptown Races, Gene is exposed, and the mayhem ensues, with the Stepfather once again being killed by a courageous child and a strong but battered mother. Poor Stepfather, his intentions are admirable but his methods of getting there are far from conventional.
The acting in the movie is mostly typical, but Terry O'Quinn is once again masterful as the evil stepdad out for another "perfect" family. He conveys the character so well...he was built for this role and, thanks to his performance, the movie is memorable. Meg Foster and Jonathan Brandis are also good, and surprisingly, Brandis isn't annoying...the kid can act and he put on a good show. Meg Foster's eyes are creepy, but she's pretty so you'll forgive that. The violence isn't obvious, but it's there and what we see still makes you cringe. The movie as a whole isn't as gripping as the first, but it still makes a very good sequel...entertaining, suspenseful at times, and never cartoon-ish.
STEPFATHER was an entertaining cult hit. STEPFATHER 2 manages to convey some of the first's power and execution, and thanks to Terry O'Quinn, manages to be memorable for the most part. Sadly, O'Quinn would not return for the third entry, and so the pale Robert Wightman was chosen to replace him. Avoid the third sequel like the plague and, instead, watch the first film, and this entertaining sequel. But in watching, you'd better "make room for daddy!""
STAY WITH THE FORMULA
Tim Janson | Michigan | 10/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stepfather was a vastly underrated Horror film that dealt with the psychotic Terry O' Quinn (one of my favorite actors) once again trying to find the perfect family and the perfect life. We never really know his chracter's true name as he constantly adapts new alias's to find new families to move into and eventually kill. This time he escapes from the mental facility where he was placed after the events in the first film.
He takes on the alias of Dr. Gene Clifford, a marriage counselor and moves to an idyllic subdivision. He eventually sets his sights on widow Carol Grayland (Meg Foster) and her son Todd (Jonathan Brandis). Once again Gene seems like the perfect dad but this time some of the neighbors and friends of Carol begin to suspect something is not right. Gene responds by killing anyone who gets in his way and tries to interfere with his perfect life.
The film basically follows the same formula that the first did but that's ok because it's a solid formula and O'Quinn is so very watchable in everything he does. Meg Foster is far better in her role as the wife this time than the bland Shelly Hack was in the first. While Stepfather II doesn't break any new ground it is an above average psycho-thriller"
Pretty good sequel to a classic.
Bob Ashley | texas | 03/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Lame that this inferior sequel is on DVD before the eerie original is.I know it'll be out sometime,but here's the first sequel.It's a decent story,but it seems TOO similar,and the creepy tone of the original is missing.Still,it ain't bad,and Terry O'quinn is great.The dvd looks and sounds nice and has alterate scenes and a commentary track."