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“All we need is a little order around here.” And Jerry Blake is just the guy to make that happen! Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr along with Vanessa Thompson – as they revel in Terry O’Quinn’s stellar performance in The Stepfather (1987).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 197 – The Stepfather (1987)
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After murdering his entire family, a man marries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.IMDb
- Director: Joseph Ruben
- Writer: Donald E. Westlake; (story) Carolyn Lefcourt, Donald E. Westlake, Brian Garfield
- Selected cast:
- Terry O’Quinn as Jerry Blake / Henry Morrison / Bill Hodgkins / The Stepfather
- Jill Schoelen as Stephanie Maine
- Shelley Hack as Susan Maine
- Charles Lanyer as Dr. A. Bondurant
- Stephen Shellen as Jim Ogilvie
- Stephen E. Miller as Al Brennan
- Robyn Stevan as Karen
- Jeff Schultz as Paul Baker
- Lindsay Bourne as Art Teacher
- Anna Hagan as Mrs. Leitner
- Gillian Barber as Annie Barnes
- Blu Mankuma as Lieutenant Jack Wall
The Stepfather is Bill’s pick and he is still super impressed by Terry O’Quinn’s performance in the title role, a character who is one step ahead of every other character in the film. What makes it even more chilling for Bill is that the story could really happen and indeed, it did. Chad is also wowed by O’Quinn’s performance which includes everything from subtle touches to all-out, over-the-top insanity. Crystal wasn’t available for this episode but Decades of Horror 1980s alumnus, Vanessa, stepped up to participate. She loves the opening scene and recognizes O’Quinn’s fantastic, unhinged performance as the driving force in The Stepfather, a film that is very uncomfortable to watch and puts the viewer on edge in a subtle way. Much to Jeff’s liking, The Stepfather puts its big reveal in the opening scene, leaving the audience in suspense while the other characters are unsuspecting of the potential violence and evil they are facing. Of course, he, too, loves the nuances and outright insanity of O’Quinn’s performance.
The Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew are universally impressed with The Stepfather and highly recommend a watch, whether for the first time or a rewatch. As of this writing, The Stepfather is available for streaming from Shudder, Kanopy, and Peacock as well as other streaming services, and on physical media as a Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Crystal, will be Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).
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