Stepfather II (also known as Stepfather 2: Make Room for Daddy) is a 1989 psychological horror\ thriller film directed by Jeff Burr and It is the sequel to the first The Stepfather, starring Terry O'Quinn, Meg Foster, Caroline Williams and Jonathan Brandis.
It was released on November 3, 1989 by ITC Entertainment and Millimeter Films.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
After surviving being shot and stabbed at the end of the first film, Jerry Blake is institutionalized in Puget Sound, Washington. He escapes the institution after murdering his psychiatrist and a guard. After robbing and murdering a traveling salesman, he checks into a hotel, alters his appearance and assumes the identity of deceased psychiatrist Gene F. Clifford where he travels to Palm Meadows, Los Angeles.
After arriving in Palm Meadows, Gene meets Carol Grayland and leases a house across the street from her and her 13-year-old son, Todd. During a session with the wives of the neighborhood, Gene learns Carol's husband, Philip, left his family the previous year. Gene begins courting Carol, eventually winning over her and Todd.
Gene's plan to marry Carol is soon complicated when Phil returns, wanting to reconcile with his wife. In order to get Phil out of the way, Gene persuades Carol to send him over for a meeting during which Gene kills him with a broken bottle and covers up Phil's disappearance afterwards by making it look as though he simply ran off again. With Phil out of the picture, Gene and Carol arrange to get married.
Local mail carrier Matty Crimmins begins looking through Gene's mail and finds a letter addressed to the real Gene Clifford (which includes a photograph revealing him to be African American). She confronts Gene, demanding to know who he really is. Gene persuades her to let him tell Carol the truth about his past.
Later that night, Gene strangles Matty to death and makes her death look like a suicide. On his way out, he takes Matty's last bottle of wine and crosses through the yard of Matty's blind neighbor Sam Watkins, who hears Gene whistling "Camptown Races" which he mentions to Carol the next day.
Despite Matty's death, the wedding proceeds as planned. While she is in the church, Carol recognizes bottles of wine sent by Matty's parents as the same brand Gene had the other night and overhears Todd whistling "Camptown Races" which he says Gene taught him.
Thinking that Gene might have had something to do with Matty's death, Carol confronts him, prompting Gene to attack Carol and Todd, the latter of whom he locks in a storage closet. As Gene prepares to kill Carol in the reception area, Todd breaks out of the closet and saves his mother, stabbing Gene in the chest with a claw hammer which seemingly kills him.
As Carol and Todd walk in the wedding ceremony, everyone are disgusted with Carol covered in blood until she collapses. The film ends with Gene dying at the ruined wedding party as he weakly utters, "Till death..."
- Terry O'Quinn as Jerry Blake/Gene F. Clifford/The Stepfather
- Meg Foster as Carol Grayland
- Caroline Williams as Matty Crimmins
- Jonathan Brandis as Todd Grayland
- Henry Brown as Dr. Joseph Danvers
- Mitchell Laurance as Phil Grayland
- Miriam Byrd-Nethery as Sally Jenkins
- Leon Martell as Ralph "Smitty" Smith
- Renata Scott as Betty Willis
- John O'Leary as Sam Watkins
- Glen Adams as Salesman
- Eric Brown as Hotel Attendant
- Bob Gray as Choir Singer
- Rosemary Welden as Video Date
"Stepfather II" was filmed from November of 1988 until January of 1989. The locations were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Calabasas, California and Pasadena, California.
The junkyard scenes were filmed in Sun Valley, California, the asylum scenes at the beginning of the film were filmed in Westwood, California and the wedding scenes were filmed in Burbank, California.
Originally, the filmmakers had actresses Season Hubley and Kay Lenz in mind for the role of Carol, but Meg Foster was eventually chosen. However, Season Hubley did star in the third film of the "Stepfather" film series.
The makers of the film originally had Kay Lenz and Season Hubley in mind for the role of Carol. Season Hubley did however, play Jennifer in the next entry in the Stepfather series.
After a test screening of the movie, studio executives Harvey and Bob Weinstein complained about the lack of blood and demanded re-shoots, but Jeff Burr refused to do it and another director was hired to do the reshoots.
In an interview, Burr commented that "they cut a little bit of [the film] out and they added some badly done blood effects. Badly done, because Terry O’Quinn refused to do it. Really, they were meaningless, so that was irritating."
"Stepfather II" was supposed to be released direct to video, but the producers were impressed enough with the sequel that it was released into theaters.
It was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Millimeter Films in November 1989 and grossed $1,519,796 domestically at the box office.
The movie received mostly negative reviews from critics.
Variety stated "this dull sequel reduces the intriguing premise of the original Stepfather to the level of an inconsequential, tongue-in-cheek slasher film".
Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote that the movie was cliche-ridden and lacked the reality-rooted horror that made the original film effective, finishing his review by stating: "Stepfather 2 is just slick marketing trying to capitalize on unsettling art - and failing badly, at that".
Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote: "Although Stepfather II lacks the flawless pacing and escalating aura of menace of the 1987 cult thriller The Stepfather, it is far from a total bastardization of one of the decade's more diabolical concepts of movie horror."