Taglines: Daddy’s home and he’s not very happy.
A family-values man named Jerry Blake marries widows and divorcées with children in search of the perfect family. As soon as his new family members show signs of being human and not robots who will march unquestioningly to his tune, his dreams of domestic bliss begin to crumble, and he kills them.
Then he alters his appearance, assumes a new identity, and skips to another town to begin the deadly ritual all over again. He marries Susan Maine, who sees him as the ideal surrogate father for her teenage daughter Stephanie, and he is soon up to his old tricks when she proves to be too much of a troublesome teen to handle.
The Stepfather is a 1987 American psychological horror thriller film directed by Joseph Ruben and starring Terry O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen and Shelley Hack. O’Quinn stars as Henry Morrison, an identity-assuming serial killer who remarries a widow with a teenage daughter. After previously killing his family and changing his identity, his killing spree continues after his stepdaughter becomes suspicious about him.
It is loosely based on the life of mass murderer John List, although the plot is more commonly associated with slasher films of the era than a true story. The film was written by Donald E. Westlake, from a story by Westlake, Carolyn Lefcourt and Brian Garfield.
The film was theatrically released January 23, 1987, in the United States. Upon its release, the film grossed $2.4 million at the box office and was well-received by critics. It has since gained a cult following and was followed by two sequels: Stepfather II (1989) and Stepfather III (1992), and a remake also called The Stepfather, released on October 16, 2009.
The Stepfather (1987)
Directed by: Joseph Ruben
Starring: Terry O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack, Charles Lanyer, Stephen Shellen, Stephen E. Miller, Robyn Stevan, Jeff Schultz, Lindsay Bourne, Anna Hagan, Gillian Barber, Gabrielle Rose
Screenplay by: Carolyn Lefcourt, Brian Garfield
Production Design by: James William Newport
Cinematography by: John Lindley
Film Editing by: George Bowers
Costume Design by: Mina Mittelman
Set Decoration by: Kimberley Richardson
Art Direction by: David Willson
Music by: Patrick Moraz
Distributed by: New Century Vista Film Company
Release Date: January 23, 1987