Marc B. Ray
|Directed by||Guy Magar|
|Music by||Pat Regan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||110 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Incorporated Television Company|
Stepfather III (also known as Stepfather III: Father's Day in home video releases) is a 1992 slasher film directed and written by Guy Magar and starring Robert Wightman and Priscilla Barnes. Stepfather III is the second sequel to 1987's The Stepfather and concerns the titular serial killer seeking out yet another all-American family to become a part of, using plastic surgery to disguise himself from the authorities. Terry O'Quinn does not reprise his role again.
Having survived the stab wounds he sustained and escaping from the church in Palm Meadows, Los Angeles at the end of the previous film, Gene Clifford (Robert Wightman), escapes from the same institution in Puget Sound, Washington he was placed in four years ago. He seeks out a back alley plastic surgeon (Mario Roccuzzo) to alter his appearance, using no anesthesia. After a few days, Gene kills the doctor by slitting his throat with a bone saw and makes his way to Deer View, California, where he acquires a new identity, "Keith Grant", as well as a small cottage and a job at a plant nursery. Nine months after crafting his new life, Keith, during an Easter dance held by the church, meets divorced school principal Christine Davis (Priscilla Barnes) and her psychosomatically paralyzed son Andy (David Tom). Keith and Christine begin dating. When Christine's possessive ex-boyfriend Mark Wraynal (Stephen Mendel) follows Keith home and confronts him, Keith offers to have a chat. Keith kills him with a shovel and buries the body in his garden.
Keith and Christine marry, despite Andy's misgivings. Andy's biological father Steve (Jay Acovone) offers Andy the chance to spend the summer with his family and attend a school for the gifted, and Andy decides to take his father up on the offer, despite Keith's protests. With Andy gone and Christine revealed to be infertile, Keith begins courting Jennifer Ashley (Season Hubley), a widow who has moved into Keith's old cottage with her son Nicholas (Adam Ryen). Keith plans to murder Christine and marry Jennifer. Keith murders his boss, Mr. Thompson (Dennis Paladino), with a rake when Thompson teases him about spotting Keith cheating on Christine with Jennifer. When Andy sees a news story about an unidentified serial killer who murders families, and suspecting that Keith is the culprit, he fakes homesickness to return home. Keith returns home with an axe to kill Christine, only to find Andy in bed. Keith calls Andy "Nicky" which makes Christine suspicious, though Keith gives her an explanation. The next day Jennifer meets Christine while enrolling Nicky in school. Keith stops by the school and sees them together and panics.
Andy asks family friend Father Ernest Brennan (John Ingle) to help him discover Keith's past. While cooking dinner for Father Brennan, Christine asks Keith if he knows Jennifer, but he denies it. Christine grows more suspicious since she knows Jennifer is renting Keith's cottage. Andy and Father Brennan sneak Keith's fork off the dinner table, to have the fingerprints analyzed. Realizing Brennan is up to something, Keith excuses himself after dinner and follows the priest home. He runs Brennan off the road, beats him to death, and makes it look like a car accident. He also discovers the fork.
When Christine mentions visiting Jennifer, Keith rushes to the plant nursery and calls Jennifer, telling her to meet him. Before going to the nursery Jennifer calls Christine to cancel their meeting, claiming her new boyfriend called with an emergency. When Jennifer arrives, Keith reveals he is married before claiming he needs her out of the way. Keith knocks her unconscious and prepares to kill her by feeding her body into a big wood chipper.
Christine and Andy suddenly appear; Christine has figured out that Keith is Jennifer's new boyfriend and confronts him about the affair. He beats her unconscious when she discovers Jennifer weakly writhing on the ground. As Keith prepares to murder his two lovers, Andy finds the courage to get out of his wheelchair and walk. Keith chases him through the nursery until Andy knocks him into the wood chipper. However, Keith is only hanging on the edge and grabs Andy. Christine gets up and helps Andy get away, leaving Keith to fall into the chipper, killing him.
- Robert Wightman as Gene Clifford "The Stepfather"/Keith Grant
- Priscilla Barnes as Christine Davis
- Season Hubley as Jennifer Ashley
- David Tom as Andy Davis
- John Ingle as Father Ernest Thomas Brennan
- Dennis Paladino as Mr. Thompson
- Stephen Mendel as Mark Wraynal
- Jay Acovone as Steve Davis
- Christa Miller as Beth Davis
- Mario Roccuzzo as Plastic Surgeon
- Joan Dareth as Bernice
- Jennifer Bassey as Doctor Brady
- Adam Ryen as Nicholas "Nicky" Ashley
- Mindy Ann Martin as Tiffany Davis
- Joel Carlson as Pete Davis
- Sumer Stamper as Maggie Davis
- Brenda Strong as Lauren Sutliffe
- Mort Lewis as Funeral Priest
- Adam Wylie as Easter Party Boy
To date the only DVD release of the film has been in Germany, where Marketing Films released it as a part of a limited edition box set containing the other two installments of the series in 2003. It was also released in Germany separately. Elsewhere the only home video release of the film is on VHS. No plans have been made to release it on DVD in the United States.
Reviews of the film were varied, with Variety's Tony Scott stating "[The] film lurches on without much credibility" before going on to say "blood spurts, but director (and co-writer with Marc B. Ray) Guy Magar doesn't make the horror convincing. The simplistic story line and the unconvincing portrayal by Wightman haven't been enhanced by indifferent production values." Entertainment Weekly's Doug Brod gave the film a D+, referring to it as "a poorly scripted, all-too-familiar chiller", also calling Robert Wightman "robotic" and "a weak substitute for previous death-dealing dad Terry O'Quinn".
Time Out Film Guide stated that the film "is far better than one might expect" and called Wightman's performance "more barmy than ever" and "with that prissy, scary, whiny voice makes a good fist of it".
- "Stepfather Part 1-3 - Complete Edition (3 DVDs Edition)". Amazon. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
- Scott, Tony (1992-06-04). "Stepfather III". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Stepfather III: Father's Day". Entertainment Weekly. 1992-10-02. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Stepfather III". Time Out. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2009-06-23.