The Stepfather II: Make Room For Daddy (1989, directed by Jeff Burr)

Remember how, at the end of the first Stepfather film, Jerry Blake (played, in a classic horror performance, by Terry O’Quinn), was killed by the family that he was planning on murdering for not living up to his expectations?

It turns out that he wasn’t dead after all.  He was shot.  He was stabbed in the back.  Somehow, he wasn’t killed.  Also, despite being a mass murderer, he was sent to a mental institution where the security is so lackadaisical that he manages to murder a psychologist and a guard and then escape once again.

Taking on the name of Gene Clifford and passing himself off as a family therapist, the Stepfather continues his search for the perfect family.  He meets and becomes engaged to Carol (Meg Foster), who doesn’t find it weird that Gene is always whistling Camden Races.  Before he can marry Carol, Gene is going to need to dispose of her ex-husband and her best friend.  And, of course, Carol and her son Todd (Jonathan Brandis) are going to have to live up to Gene’s ideal of the perfect American family.

This is a disposable sequel, which eliminates all of the humor of the first film and just turns Jerry/Gene into another generic slasher.  The strength of the first film was that Jerry seemed likable up until the moment that his idealized vision of the perfect family was threatened.  Then he snapped and ended up in the basement, ranting and raving.  In Stepfather II, Gene is obviously dangerous from the start and a lot less interesting.  The movie is unfortunate and unnecessary and even Terry O’Quinn seems to be bored.  Give the film some credit, though, for giving Meg Foster a sympathetic role.  Gene may be crazy but no one could blame him for falling for Carol.  How could anyone resist those eyes?

One response to “The Stepfather II: Make Room For Daddy (1989, directed by Jeff Burr)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/17/22 — 10/23/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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