Stepfather III (1992)

stepfather 3 fathers day poster 1992 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

Not much

Cheesy instead of scary or thrilling

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Stepfather III

Studio:  ITC Entertainment

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Thriller

Release Date(s):  June 4, 1992

MPAA Rating:  R

stepfather iii killer woodchipper robert wightman

Yeah…covering up murders is hard…I’m not even going to try

Having escaped prison and gotten plastic surgery, Gene Clifford (Robert Wightman) is trying to start his life again as Keith Grant with a new wife named Christine (Priscilla Barnes) and her son Andy (David Tom).  When Andy begins suspecting not all is normal with Keith and enlists Father Brennan (John Ingle) to investigate him, Keith finds more problems when he develops a relationship with a single mother named Jennifer (Season Hubley) and her son.  The noose is starting to tighten around Keith, and Keith won’t have his family destroyed!

Directed by Guy Magar (who cowrote the script with Marc B. Ray), Stepfather III (also known as Stepfather 3:  Father’s Day) was a made-for-TV movie that premiered on HBO.  Following Stepfather II in 1989, The film was poorly received.

The Stepfather was fun, Stepfather II was groan-worthy, and Stepfather III doesn’t even really rank compared to the other two.  Despite being made for HBO, the lifeless and rather gore-less movie is not very good.

stepfather iii priest boy david tom john ingle

Andy, I know you like investigating things…just don’t look into those allegations in Boston

Logic has been thrown completely out the window.  Keith kills and barely tries to cover his tracks.  Nothing is really explained in that sense.  The movie just says “he’s dead…let’s move on”.  The other entries in the film at least had some reactionary aspects to the murders…here the police seem to be asleep and everything is rather predictable right to Andy being able to walk at the end.  If it weren’t for some gore, this would have been a TV movie of the week.

Terry O’Quinn (smartly) chose not to return for the movie (hence the plastic surgery), but I do admire Robert Wightman for emulating Quinn’s speech pattern which is kind of unique (and that plastic surgeon must be amazing since he fixed Quinn’s receding hairline).  Both Priscilla Barnes and David Tom are TV-movie-of-the-week quality actors and sometimes feel like they are just speaking their lines.  The introduction of Season Hubley’s character also took away from the plot since she was a likable single mother and you couldn’t see her or Barnes character dying.  John Ingle was the priest way too into the life of Andy (and today would have been toned back because it was like he was grooming him).

stepfather iii killer wheelchair boy robert wightman david tom

A football? Now you’re just being a jerk…

The movie looks extremely cheap (like the previous entry), and it at least should have been gorier.  Most of the murders just involved a stab and then a fatal blow and at least could have justified the time of the movie by being crazy or gory (ok the woodchipper wasn’t bad and it did predate Fargo).

Stepfather III just isn’t worth the time.  There are better horror film and there are better thrillers.  I would have kind of liked to see a Stepfather IV simply because I would have liked to have seen how the writers would have brought back the character for a third time since the first two times he seemed pretty dead as well.  The Stepfather series didn’t end; a remake called The Stepfather was released in 2009.

Related Links:

The Stepfather (1987)

Stepfather II (1989)

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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