Stepfather II (1989)

stepfather 2 poster 1989 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 4/10

Almost so-bad-it-is-good

Generally just bad

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Stepfather II

Studio:  ITC Entertainment

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  November 3, 1989

MPAA Rating:  R

stepfather ii terry oquinn jonathan brandis

Kid…you’re mother’s becoming a problem

Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) has survived the attack on him, but he still dreams of making the perfect family.  After a daring escape, Jerry sets himself up in a new identity as Gene F. Clifford and moves into a new neighborhood.  Carol Grayland (Meg Foster) is going through a difficult divorce and she and her son Todd (Jonathan Brandis) open their house to Gene…Gene thinks he’s find his new home and he’ll make the marriage work…one way or another!

Directed by Jeff Burr, Stepfather II (also called Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy) is a horror thriller.  A sequel to The Stepfather from 1987, the movie was originally intended for straight-to-video release, but it received a limited release with mostly negative reviews.

stepfather ii terry oquinn caroline williams

This is the part of the movie where I have a thinly veiled threat toward you and then I let you leave instead of going to my friend…or the police

The Stepfather was a kind of fun, ruthless film that was played for over-the-top, but also serious for the most part.  Stepfather II cuts back on some of the ruthlessness but also increases the camp.  At points during the film, you could question if the film is a comedy (and it ranges into the “so-bad-it-is-good” factor that it could be one).  A ******spoiler alert****** is in place for the rest of the review.

The plot to begin with is ludicrous. Jerry was obviously dead at the end of The Stepfather, but box office revenue brought the character back.  Since the movie starts with him in prison, he must A) escape prison B) reestablish himself C) find a new bride and D) get married before he can even be a stepfather (he doesn’t actually achieve this goal…so Stepfather II is a misnomer).  The movie also has little focus on his relationship with the son as much as the wife so it really should be called The Second Husband…and despite being pre-internet, it is a pretty sloppy set-up.

stepfather ii meg foster ending

My favorite part of any wedding is when they cut the groom…

The cast is relatively strong, but they are stuck in a bad movie.  You have Meg Foster as the mother trying to reclaim her life and picking the absolutely wrong man despite some warnings, and Terry O’Quinn just goes with the camp in the film.  Teen idol Jonathan Brandis plays the son who is enamored with Terry O’Quinn and his “Camptown Races” singing (which everyone acts like is an obscure relic).

The first movie looked rather cheap, but this looks even cheaper.  Despite getting the theater release, the movie looks like a straight-to-video movie or even a made-for-TV movie.  The production value of the movie isn’t high and it shows.

Stepfather II isn’t a very good.  It isn’t very scary, and it rather generic.  The camp aspect of the movie makes it watchable, but don’t head into it expecting a great thriller or many thrills.  Stepfather II is simply another entry in a film series that shouldn’t have been a series.  Stepfather II was followed by Stepfather III in 1992.

Related Links:

The Stepfather (1987)

Stepfather III (1992)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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