I watched The Stepfather (1987) last night for the first time. I had it set up in my Netflix queue to be sent to me before Halloween, which is was, but I didn't have time to watch it. Seeing as I'm still sick with what seems to be the plague, I was more than happy to just sit, relax, and watch this movie. I liked this film too, another 80's film worth checking out, mainly for Terry O'Quinn's performance as the sociopath Jerry Blake.
Jerry Blake is all about family. He dreams of living the most perfect suburban life with the most perfect family. He marries widows and divorcees with children in order to try to find this perfect family. However, once he realizes that his family is not perfect, it puts him into a psychotic trance that drives him to murder everyone in it. Afterwards, he always alters his appearance and leaves town to start a new life and find a new unsuspecting family.
A year after his latest massacre, he marries a widow named Susan Maine, who finds him to be absolutely charming and the perfect surrogate father for her teenage daughter Stephanie. Stephanie, however, feels that something about him just isn't right. Obviously, this means that Jerry Blake has not found the perfect family, yet again. How long will it take him to go completely insane? Will Stephanie and her mom get out alive?
The film is a mix between a 48 Hour Mystery and a Dateline special with a hint of M (1938). I say a hint of M because both serial killers enjoy whistling around the time of their kills or just during a moment of insanity. The killer is much like one you'd find in a 48 Hour Mystery or Dateline special. In fact, the basis of Jerry Blake was loosely concocted from the story of John List, a man who killed his family in 1971 and was on the run until 1989. Of course, since the film was released in 1987, they didn't know whether or not the guy would ever be caught, which is why it's only loosely based on his story.