Directed by Jeff Burr
Written by John Auerbach
Cinematography by: Jacek Laskus
Music by Jim Manzie
Cast: Terry O’Quinn, Meg Foster, Caroline Williams, Jonathon Brandis, Henry Brown

1989/88 Mins/Color/Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Synapse Films DVD

After somehow surviving his wounds from the first movie, the Stepfather (Terry O’Quinn) escapes from the psychiatric hospital that he is in. He assumes a new identity and sets up shop posing as a marriage counselor. There he meets Carol Grayland (Meg Foster), a beautiful mom whose husband recently left her. He does all he can do to woo her, and becomes close with her son (Jonathon Brandis) as well, in order to achieve his goal of finding the perfect family. As in the first film, those who stand in his way, like her husband (Mitchell Laurence) and her nosy friend (the very pretty Caroline Williams), will have to pay a very dear price.

This movie (sometimes carrying the subtitle MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY) is one hell of a sequel to the horror classic. The one thing that really makes this film and sets it apart from other slasher sequels is the level of quality acting. Once again, Terry O’Quinn gives an incredible performance. As in the first movie, O’Quinn can be both scary and likable. Meanwhile, Foster proves herself to be an underrated actress with a truly classy beauty and a pair of the most stunning eyes, I ever seen. Horror favorite Williams is great as the feisty, suspicious, and very pretty friend.

The other thing that works really well in this movie is its sense of humor. One of the scenes that best serve as evidence of the film’s wonderful sense of humor is where the Stepfather is looking at dating videos (remember when people would use that instead of the internet?) in hopes of finding the right lady for himself. There is also some good directing by Jeff (LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PT. III) Burr, with a couple of nice shots, my fav of which has to be one in which the Stepfather is looking at his reflection, which is caught on multiple mirrors.

The movie is considerably more violent and bloody than the relatively goreless original, as stabbing, bludgeoning, and strangling is featured. In fact, the movie culminates in a blood-soaked and very exciting climax. THE STEPFATHER II manages to further the title character and is even better than I recall it to be. I would go so far as to say, that it ranks as one of the best slasher sequels ever.

Be sure you make room for Synapse Films release of THE SPEFATHER II. The movie is presented in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer begins by being a little soft looking, but then when the Stepfather leaves the sanitarium it looks great, particularly in daylight and even at night. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound certainly sounds good, loud, and clear.

As far as extras go we get some really good stuff. Some of the stuff is from the original DVD release, but we get some new stuff, as well. The alternate/ deleted scenes come with optional audio commentary by Burr. There are some good scenes here, and he gives some good reasons as to why they should have been kept in the film. He also reveals some interesting facts as to why they ended up being cut out.

In the stills section, we get some black and white behind the scenes shots, articles, reviews, and video and poster art. The trailer and teaser are also included, and let me tell you something, I freaking love that teaser! So awesome! “The Stepfather Chronicles: Daddy’s New Home” is really entertaining and revealing. There are great interviews with the crew and Williams. Lots of cool stuff is revealed about the movie and the shoot. The talk about Miramax’s involvement is particularly interesting. The running commentary with Burr and producer Darin Scott is a bit dated, as it is a hold over from the first release, but it is still enjoyable. It has lots of talking about the cast, shooting, and production.

The single disc comes in a keepcase. I wish they would have used the original artwork, but the new artwork is OK, I suppose. The inlet card has no chapter listings; it only serves as an ad for other Synapse Films releases. The animated menu is very cool!





This Film Features:

Review by Giovanni Ddeldio. All Right Reserved. 2010. ©

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