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The Stepfather [VHS] (1987)

Terry O'Quinn , Jill Schoelen , Joseph Ruben  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack, Charles Lanyer, Stephen Shellen
  • Directors: Joseph Ruben
  • Writers: Brian Garfield, Carolyn Lefcourt, Donald E. Westlake
  • Producers: Jay Benson
  • Format: NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Nelson Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: August 5, 1992
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300150747
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,947 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

For Henry Morrison (Terry O'Quinn) the American Dream is everything - a beautiful home, a loving wife and adoring children. But him family disappointed him, so early one morning he killed them. No one caught him. He simply vanished...only to begin again.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WHY ISN'T THIS ON DVD??? October 17, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Stepfather 2 & 3 are on DVD nad yet the original still is not. What kind of sense does that make? The late 80's/early 90's gave us a whole series of what I call "the ____ from hell" type of movie. Fatal Attraction gave us the affair from hell, Pacific Heights gave us the tenant from hell, and The Hand that Rocked the Cradle gave us the nanny from hell. As the title suggests, "Stepfather" was the stepfather from hell starring Terry O' Quinn, one of my favorite character actors.

Quinn is Jerry Blake...or maybe he isn't. Blake is a homicidal maniac looking for the perfect family in the perfect neighborhood. all he wants is the 1950's style Americana life with a nice white picket fence, a family that has dinner together and plays together. He marries Susan (Shelly Hack) who has a teenage daughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen). Stephanie begins to suspect something isn't quite right about Jerry and begins checking him out. This infuriates Jerry who finds her rebellious leading to numerous run-ins. Jerry then takes on another alias and begins scouting for a new family. Meanwhile a member of the last family that Jerry killed is on his trail looking to kill him before Jerry can kill another family.

Terry O' Quinn is fantastic in his role moving from a Mr. Brady/Father Knows Best dad to a raging maniac at the drop of a hat. When everything goes well, Jerry is the loving father and husband everyone would want, but when things don't live up to his expectations...well...Look out! A very underrated slasher that is as much psychological horror as it is slasher film. Hopefully this will be on DVD soon. Great film!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one can act like a psyco like terry :-) January 2, 2005
By Tonya
Format:VHS Tape
Loved it! Awesome movie. Only Terry O'Quinn can pull off being a psycho in this great horror flick. My only gripe is why is this movie not on dvd? I have stepfather 2 on dvd also a great horror movie! I recommend stepfather and stepfather 2.Was not pleased with stepfather 3 because Terry is not in it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needs a US DVD release. May 13, 2006
Format:DVD
To the reviewer who wrote "it's worth watching just to see Shelley Hack get hit with a telephone".... LOL!

This is an underappreciated and underseen horror gem from 1987. Low on budget, high on tension. A shrewd piece of acting by Terry O'Quinn. Director Joseph Ruben has made several good and a few great films, and this one ranks as his best, IMHO.

Can't believe with all the hoopla surrounding the TV show "Lost" that this film with a "Lost" star in it hasn't been rushed out on DVD. Legal/rights/ownership obstacles, perhaps? Well for goodness sakes smooth those obstacles out and deliver us this DVD. My VHS copy won't look good too much longer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family comes first September 30, 2005
Format:DVD
Let me begin by saying Terry O'Quinn ("Locke" on LOST) is brilliant in both this film and it's sequel. The story, dialog and the fact that he's so nutty it's almost more funny than scary. And it's worth it just to see Shelley Hack get hit with a telephone. RENT IT FOR Halloween, along with EVIL DEAD 2. Get in the ZONE and chill...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best April 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Nearly twenty years after its initial release, Joseph Ruben's The Stepfather remains one of the best horror films of the 1980s. The Stepfather is based on the true story of Joseph List, a suburban accountant who was described as the ideal neighbor and was apparently just an all-around great guy as long as you didn't hold the weekend when he happened to brutally murder his entire family against him. The movie's version of List is blandly friendly real estate agent, Jerry Blake. As played by Terry O'Quinn, Jerry is a rather likeable sort -- the type of suburban dad who makes Ward Cleaver look like a degenerate. He's the type of guy who rarely loses his temper in public, never says anything aloud that could be found offensive, and who is always ready to great the world with a smile.
Unfortunately, Jerry has one, big problem. He expects the rest of the world to be as perfect as he sees himself as being and when the world fails to live up to that ideal, he has a tendency to go on a killing rampage. Presumably, that's why he kills his first family shortly before the film's opening credits. The rest of the movie follows Jerry as he moved to yet another wholesome suburban street and romances single mom Shelly Hack. Hack is charmed by the polite, responsible man who speaks so sincerely about how much he loves family. Her rebellious teenage daughter (Jill Schoelen) is a little less charmed. In fact, she knows something is off about Jerry from the beginning and, despite Jerry's best attempts to turn her life into an old Saturday Evening Post cover, she remains convinced that there's something not quite right about her stepdad. The more she rebels, the closer Jerry comes to snapping once again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's have some ORDER AROUND HERE!!! September 15, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
First off...I am an avid,,,and extremely critical... suspense/thriller movie buff who revels in being viscerally scared out-of-his wits...without the director using buckets of blood or idiotic/sophmoric situations to accomplish this feat. The Stepfather (fiendishly and poignantly portrayed by Terry O'Quinn) will send your nerves a-jangle.
The plot here is simplistic...a very, very disturbed man is in search of the perfect family (ala ) The Brady Bunch or Father Knows Best...the problem is...is TRY telling Jerry that life isn't a idealistic cornball sitcom...see what the results are...
Brilliantly directed by Joseph Rubens (Sleeping with the Enemy/The Good Son)... the Stepfather will take you on a haunting psychological rollercoaster ride filled with jumps, jolts, heart thumping and unconscious nail biting.
The opening sequence...devoid of any dialogue and visually unnerving ...was so disturbing to one of my friends...that he wanted to take a 'raincheck' on watching the rest!
Shelley Hack ...and especially Jill Schoelen...as the respective newly found wife and daughter...turn in engaging performances. Not to mention Hans Zimmer's creep-o-rama score...filled with violinists and cellists on mesculine and caffeine...
If your genre is suspense...good suspense...if you liked Brian DePalma's Dressed to Kill & Body Double...if you liked Hitchcock's Psycho & The Birds...if you enjoyed Robert Harmon's The Hitcher or Curtis Hanson's The Hand that Rocks the Cradle...not to mention Carpenter's Halloween...then sit back and enjoy...!
Oh...by the way...do you really want to know what happens to the family's puppy...or what happens when daddy goes down to the cellar to retrieve some ice cream...or what your stepfather's reaction may be when he matter-of-factly retrieves your mail...or what a simple phone receiver can also be used for...and...just out of curiosity... do you have to hide the cutlery in your house? Do you, pumpkin?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 2 months ago by Russell V.Tenhoff sr
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome HORROR MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TERRY O GIUN IS A GOOD ACTOR!
I SHOULD ORDER THIS!
GREAT HORROR FILM FORM THE 80S!
WHO AM I?
Published 7 months ago by guitar shredder
5.0 out of 5 stars I DEMAND THIS ON DVD
Well, I have to kick myself in the butt.. The Stepfather series is perhaps the best slasher series since the original psycho. Read more
Published on March 10, 2008 by Alexander Stephen Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars A CULT CLASSIC THAT NEEDS A U.S. DVD RELEASE! MY 700TH REVIEW!
'The Stepfather' is a very good thriller from the 80's! I'm glad I made a copy of it from cable TV years ago as it's not available on DVD in this country. Read more
Published on February 24, 2008 by ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b
4.0 out of 5 stars It is dreck
Probably not for everyone. I like to bottom feed occasionally, and this movie is deep treat. I kind of wish they would release it in DVD.
Published on December 23, 2007 by Charles A. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars We Just Need A Little Order
What a shame. "THE STEPFATHER" is easily one of the slickest, smartest, and most underrated slasher flicks of all time, let alone the 80's. Read more
Published on July 1, 2007 by M. A. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites
I found this movie in VHS format quite randomly about 15 years ago when a video rental store went out of business and sold off its inventory. Read more
Published on May 20, 2007 by Bryan S. Tyson
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the american release????????
The Stepfather is in my opinion one of the classic horror or slasher films out there in that genere. Read more
Published on April 10, 2007 by Jusla
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my view on why I believe this is not on dvd yet
First off, this is just what I think and it may not be correct.

Part two was owned by HBO and they have rights to put out the DVD by their company which they did. Read more
Published on September 4, 2006 by LUV2SHOP@AMAZON
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry O'Quinn makes his mark
This is one of the best thrillers to emerge from the 1980's. It's got assured direction from Joseph Reuben. An excellent script by Donald E. Westlake. Read more
Published on June 25, 2006 by Raegan Butcher
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