1992 / Director. Guy Magar
Review by Justine Ryan.
Continuing on from STEPFATHER 2, this second sequel begins with Jerry Blake/Gene Clifford going to a dingy, backroom plastic surgeon who successfully performs the operation. The stepfather dons a new identity –now known as Keith Grant (Robert Wightman) and once again is welcomed into a very friendly little town called Deer View.
Keith settles into his new life working at a tree and plant nursery. He soon meets widow, Christine Davis (Priscilla Barnes) and her pre-teen, wheel chair bound, computer sleuthing son, Andy (David Tom). Their courtship is short and they marry. Keith’s frustrations begin to flair towards Andy because of his unwillingness to try and walk (Andy was hit by a car and the doctors think his injuries are psychosomatic) and his lack of interest in father and son activities.
Keith and Christine also discover that she is infertile . Nothing seems to stay perfect in the stepfather’s world. The viewer can almost feel sorry for him at his perseverance in each film at trying to obtain and live the “American dream” and always somehow being disappointed one way or another.
Enter Deer View’s newest resident, Jennifer Ashley (Season Hubley) and her son, Nicky (Adam Ryen). Keith begins a relationship with her on the side, thinking he will start over. One day while delivering flowers to Christine (who is the local school principal), his two world’s nearly collide when he discovers that Jennifer is enrolling Nicky into the same school that Andy is going to. I won’t reveal anymore of the film but there are other interesting side subplots like the town’s priest, Father Brennan who reluctantly helps Andy with his sleuthing once he becomes suspicious of Keith and his past.
As a loyal fan of The Stepfather films, I didn’t love this film upon it’s initial release. Terry O’Quinn does not return as the stepfather but instead we have Robert Wightman filling his shoes. I revisited the movie in 2012, and I must say re-watching it as an adult, it is a much better film than I recalled. Wightman is no O’Quinn but he manages to deliver a decent performance. I think viewers won’t get too hung up on the absence of O’Quinn.
Director Guy Magar stays faithful to the spirit of the first two films and thankfully the Stepfather’s whistle of “Camptown Races” makes it return. Overall, I like this film a lot and it grows on me even more with each viewing.