The Stepfather

1986 R 1h 30m Blu-ray / DVD

The Stepfather

1986 R 1h 30m Blu-ray / DVD
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In this acclaimed thriller classic, Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn) expects only one thing from his family -- perfection -- and when he doesn't get it, he doesn't just get angry, he goes mad: completely, psychopathically, homicidally mad. After brutally dispatching one clan, Jerry sets up shop with a single mom (Shelley Hack) and her brooding teen daughter (Jill Schoelen), who immediately suspects there's something not quite right about her dear old stepdad.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
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age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this tense thriller (which was remade in 2009) includes brief but bloody, brutal violence -- characters are beaten to death, knifed, and shot. The famously disturbing opening scene depicts the aftermath of a mass murder, with dead bodies of children especially prominent. Nudity includes a flash of bare breasts and full male nudity (though the latter isn't presented in a sexual context), and there's a non-explicit sex scene and a bit of rough language (including "s--t" and "f--k"). Blended families in which stepparents and kids have trouble getting along may not necessarily be the best audience for this film, for obvious reasons.

Sexual Content

Full male nudity (in a washing-up-after-a-murder context); bare female breasts in a shower. Jerry and his (present) wife have non-explicit sex. Jerry is accused of having sexual hangups.


Bloody violence -- characters are bashed to death, knifed, and shot. Children's dead bodies are shown (among other victims). At one point it looks like a dog will be slain, too, but nothing is shown.


One-time uses of "s--t" and "f--k," plus "bitch," "bastard," and "a--hole."

Social Behavior

The movie suggests that childhood abuse/discipline -- combined with media images -- has turned the title character into the monster that he is, somebody so determined to maintain a stereotypically "normal," traditional household that he'll commit mass murder, again and again, rather than deal with the messiness of actual modern family life.


Product labels include Toshiba and the magazine Cosmopolitan.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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