Stepfather III

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Stepfather III
Stepfather3cover.jpg
VHS cover
Genre Horror
Thriller
Written by Guy Magar
Marc B. Ray
Directed by Guy Magar
Starring Robert Wightman
Priscilla Barnes
David Tom
Season Hubley
Christa Miller
Theme music composer Pat Regan
Country of origin United States
Production
Producer(s) Guy Magar
Paul Moen
Editor(s) Patrick Gregson
Cinematography Alan Caso
Running time 110 mins.
Production company(s) Incorporated Television Company
Distributor HBO
Release
Original network HBO
Original release
  • June 4, 1992 (1992-06-04)

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.

Plot[edit]

Having survived the stab wounds he sustained 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. Gene then 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 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. Andy sees a news story about an unidentified serial killer who murders families, and suspects that Gene is the culprit. Meanwhile, Christine and Jennifer meet and become friends, which makes Keith nervous. Keith murders his boss, Mr. Thompson (Dennis Paladino), when Thompson mentions that he spotted Keith cheating on Christine with Jennifer.

Andy asks family friend Father Ernest Brennan (John Ingle) to help him expose Keith's crimes. Andy invites Brennan over for dinner and the two sneak Keith's fork off the 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. When Christine mentions visiting Jennifer, 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 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. Gene chases him through the cemetery, until Andy knocks him into the wood chipper, killing him.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

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.[1] It was also released in Germany separately.[2] Elsewhere the only home video release of the film is on VHS. Lions Gate Home Entertainment has yet to announce any plans to release it on DVD.

Reception[edit]

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." [3] 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".[4]

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".[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stepfather Part 1-3 - Complete Edition (3 DVDs Edition).". Amazon. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  2. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stepfather-3-Fathers-Day-uncut/dp/B0038K676U/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1377856596&sr=1-1&keywords=stepfather+3
  3. ^ Scott, Tony (1992-06-04). "Stepfather III". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Stepfather III: Father's Day". Entertainment Weekly. 1992-10-02. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  5. ^ "Stepfather III". Time Out. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 

External links[edit]