Film Review - The Stepfather II: Make Room For Daddy

Starring - Terry O'Quinn, Meg Foster, Caroline Williams, Eric Brown | Directed by Jeff Burr | Synapse DVD WS R 88min 1989

Review By Xmortis

It's time to step into the world of the crazed Stepfather once more. But will the second time around be as thrilling as the first? Read on and find out!

The Stepfather is alive after being stabbed and shot at the end of the first film and is now living in an asylum in Washington. After he murders his psychologist he makes a daring escape and once more changes his appearance and name to Doctor Gene Clifford and moves to a quite neighborhood in Palm Meadows, Los Angeles. Real estate agent Carol Grayland and her son Todd live across the street from Clifford who all the ladies in town go to for advice. Carol starts getting a crush and the two start a relationship, but once more his madness sets in as he gets raging pissed when the asshole ex-husband Philip comes around again. So he must kill the competition and anyone else who is getting close to destroying his perfect new life. Carol and Gene are now engaged to be married as Matty, her best friend, doesn't trust the good doctor and wants to get to the bottom of who he really is. But soon Matty also pays the price of crossing the Stepfather. Things fall apart at the wedding as Carol pieces together that her fiance is really behind her best friends murder, and she and son Todd must fight to stay alive. It's a wedding showdown of epic proportions as once more the Stepfather gets what's coming to him.

While the magic is slightly gone the over all feel of the killer known as the Stepfather is still intact and still pretty interesting. This time around it's more slasher film then thriller as the Stepfather goes out of his way to kill those he finds in the way of his cause. The story in this one is much like the first and has the Stepfather taking the role of a business man and finding a new family to try and call his own. But like before he can't keep a cool head and winds up trying to kill his new family off on his wedding day. Terry O'Quinn once more steps into the role of the Stepfather and is wonderfully sinister in the part. He once again can switch from caring family man to crazy bastard in a blink of an eye. In this sequel the Stepfather is way more brutal and seems to enjoy killing more then in the original, putting him into a full fledge slasher role. Meg Foster is Carol Grayland, the woman who has become the target of the Stepfather and plays the part well. She is a character you find yourself cheering for to survive. I should also note that Caroline Williams of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2" and "Leprechaun 3" fame plays Matty, Carol's best friend and does a great job as always. The rest of the cast fills out the film real well and all do decent jobs. The film's gore is pretty great with the car-crushing scene being my favorite/ Over all this film is a fun watch that is sure to chill a few bones and make for a fun late night watch.

As always Synapse has but some great extras on the DVD that include commentary, deleted scenes, trailers and a great featurette. The Widescreen print is crisp and looks amazing as does the cover. Synapse is one of those companies that when you buy from them, you know you're getting quality.

The film's a good solid sequel that turns up the blood and murders but still holds true to the source. If you found yourself enjoying the first film or like the idea of a crazed killer who trades in families by killing them and moving onto the next, then Stepfather 2 is for you. This one is worth a watch and a buy for 80's slasher horror fans.

Sadly "Stepfather III: Father's Day" has not made it to Region 1 DVD so we were not able to review it here on our look at the series, but rest assured if it does come out we will get it for review. So up next is the 2009 remake. Will it hold the same charm and thrill as the original? Lets find out!