Stepfather III

(Guy Magar, USA, 1992)


Stepfather III uses an old trick in order to continue making sequels of an original success – even when the main actor (Terry O’Quinn) has departed.

This instalment begins with a hooded figure going in for a spot of backyard plastic surgery – and voila, out comes a rather younger looking villain (Robert Wightman), bent on reliving the same old plot.

The first Stepfather (1987) had a lot going for it – a paranoid sense that no one in daily, modern life is who they pretend to be; a clever critique of the happy American home and the desperate, violent yearning for this impossible dream; hints of deep sexual and interpersonal malaise within the nuclear family.

Shades of these aspects still survive, but mostly this third part relies on corny, Freddy Krueger-type wisecracks and gory, rather suspenseless murders.

Still, there’s a few neat twists, plus a director (Guy Magar) obviously trying hard to impress.

© Adrian Martin June 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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