The Stepfather III (1989)

Produced & Directed by: Guy Magar

Written by: Guy Magar & Marc B. Ray


Robert Wightman .... Keith Grant
Priscilla Barnes .... Christine Davis
David Tom .... Andy Davis
John Ingle .... Father Brennan
Season Hubley .... Jennifer Ashley
Jay Acovone .... Steve Davis
Christa Miller .... Beth Davis

Special Appearance:

Stephen Mendel .... Mark Wraynal
Dennis Paladino .... Mr. Thompson

Release Date: Made-for-Cable: June 4, 1992


It's Easter Sunday and everyone is celebrating it including a recently divorced mother Christine Davis (Priscilla Barnes) with her son Andy (David Tom) who was crippled in a wheelchair due to an accident. Christine meets up with a newcomer to the peaceful town Keith Grant (Robert Wightman) who is volunteering out for the Easter dance in which she seems to fall in love with later on but her ex-boyfriend Mark Wraynal (Stephen Mendal) can't seem to accept the fact that their relationship is over in which he stalks her house or anywhere she goes.
However, Keith seemed to have slaughtered him and buried him in a garden of the church as he is an escapee from a mental hospital who has killed families in which he has had relationships with and weren't satified with them. But this time has had plastic surgery to change his idenitity. He ends up marrying Christine but Andy doesn't seem to adjust to him and finding him to be a little strange in which he tries to get help from the family friend Father Brennan (John Ingle) even if he denies doing so.
It seems that Keith is not happy with his new family and may go to do his slaying deeds once again or anyone who tries to alienate his family.


The story starts off as the demented killer in a hood and doesn't explain what happened previously like the first sequel did and having a plastic surgery but yet this still worked out great as the story becomes incredibly myserious and you don't know what the killer looks like afterwards in which anyone after this could be the psycho. What a classic horror start indeed.
Then the next day is Easter with a priest named Father Brennan helping out put a costume on a newcomer named Keith Grant in which this looks so peaceful to someone who seems to be shy and someone trying to do a good deed. It just makes you want to get into it and thinking about your everyday life hoping to have happiness in your life.
Then there's a moment with an Easter dance as a single mother named Christine Davis asking Keith to dance with her as he seems all alone and having no one to ask him in which I found all of this believeable and well written into the plot. But yet you know that Keith is the family killer. However watching this you kinda wonder if he seems like the type of person who will snap and go on another killing spree since he seemed too innocent.
But yet this peaceful moment suddenly stops when Christine's ex boyfriend enters the dance and tries to talk to her and not knowing to let go. There's some other times too when he tries to talk to her by stalking her or watching her at her house which makes you wonder if maybe he will be the psychotic killer since he seems driven to have her. This brings a nice twist to the story really making you wonder who the killer actually is but then we find out it's Keith who is after he does a deadly deed to him for being so nasty towards him.
Keith was never successful at getting married since he shows his true colors to the other single mothers before the wedding happens but suddenly the wedding really happens and you think to yourself that this family is in for alot of problems.
There's alot of nicely written dialogues between the minister Father Brennan and the troubled child in a wheelchair Andy Davis and while watching their relationship with one another you feel like jumping into the film and be a part of their lives that this looked so good. Plus you wish that Keith would leave this preacher alone too no matter how demented he is.
Then we do see Keith taking stuff out on chopped wood or at his greenhouse which he did in the previous films while doing carpentry work showing his demented attitude along with his traditional whistling after he has killed someone in which you defimetely know that this film was based off the first two without a doubt. Plus there's news reports talking about the sanitarium where he escaped which adds a great touch to the sequel.
Of course what's also effective was that Keith can't cope with Andy being in a wheelchair and wants to toss a football with him but he seems hopeless as Andy really shows his hatred towards him for loading pressure onto him maniopulating him to walk out of his wheelchair. This really touches on realistic looks at some dysfunctional stepdad's who can't accept their stepson to who they really are as well as trying to have a baby and not succeeding. You keep watching wondering if he is going to kill this family since it's still not the perfect family that he wanted as he seems to have an affair with a new single mom moving into the town. Alot of this psychs you out.
Then there's a moment with Andy watching his reality crime news show trying to take a picture of the screen that shows the killer while staying at his father's place and being called for dinner. It really makes you want to watch this since he wants to look for proof but is being distracted while doing so.
Then there's great moments on Andy scanning the photo and trying to match it with Keith's photo. You just cringe thinking that Keith will storm into the room and do something nasty to him.
But then something happens to Father Brennan which is incredibly disturbing to watch as well as Keith telling Andy about it and taking his computer away from him to spend family time which makes you think to yourself "What an asshole!" Especially when he acts full of life on Father's Day when the funeral ceremony happens.
The near ending looked terrific taking place at night during a thunder storm at the greenhouse with a struggle against Keith battling against the survivors. There's a great horror feel to all of this.
Bottom line is this was greatly well done and taken in a bit of a different direction compared to the first two but in a great way. It has a real ending so this killer won't come back unlike other films such as A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th or Halloween with the killers always returning no matter what. This piece proved to be a true trilogy having a horror film finally coming to an end unlike most slasher flicks. This is worth checking out too.

The acting is terrific as always for a film like this. Robert Wightman (Keith Grant) steps in to play the demented stepfather killer in which he comes across way more innocent and charming too. Plus he looked very geeky looking in which you think to yourself if he will go insane. He certainly changes that around when he does end up killing someone in which he looks truly intimidating when he brings out his intensity. There's a moment with him screaming out in anger and chopping firewood which looked highly energised. Does well in a scene at his plant factory by going ballistic which looked energetically performed with him wrecking stuff. A good angered and insane expression on his face during an argument. Also showed off good evil expressions in certain parts of the story too. Shows off great blocking when he forcefully whacks someone's head against a steering wheel which looked believeably brutal and intense. Also knew on how to act full of life at a breakfast table after two of his fellow actors are grieving on fathers day in which he really knew on how to act like he's completely nuts. A good moment with him acting like a jerk towards his fellow actress at his work place at night making out she's at fault for an incident as this looked incredibly believeable on a scumbag leading someone on.He was gifted for this part in my mind and a true character actor indeed.
Priscilla Barnes
(Christine Davis) really brought on her role as a nice caring divorced family woman showing no judgements and having a good faith in life. I almost didn't recognise her from TV's Three's Company that she pulled off a totally different role in this one. She certainly studied this part incredibly well with her mellow attitude. A great aggressive freaking out reaction when she spots someone on the ground injured.
David Tom
(Andy Davis) was great as a troubled preteen in a wheelchair as he shows a good mischievious personality along with showing good aggressions when he needed to. He also really comes into character with whatever happens in the story. Plus knew on how to act emotional and full of energy with his characteristics too. Plus was realistic with his teary eyed expressions after hearing a devastating news on someone. A nice speech with him getting emotional at a funeral which looked very convincing and strongly done with a good emotional attitude.
John Ingle
(Father Brennan) lived to oplay a preacher in which he shows a real fatherly good hearted behavior along with a great sense of humor. He made his part incredibly likeable and someone you could talk to if you were troubled. A great panicking reactions while a car bumps into him while he's driving. He was another gifted actor I found in this film. He portrayed this so well that you hope no harm would come to him.
Season Hubley
(Jennifer Ashley) really came well in her supporting role as the mistress in the film in which she does well with her pushy behavior and really getting into her part nicely. She does remind you as one of those passionate types who needs some love in her life. A good demanding moment with her towards her fellow actor at the greenhouse on when they will live together
Although this actor had a small role I thought I'd mention him which is Stephen Mendel (Mark Wraynal) really comes across wonderfully as someone who can't let go of someone in which he shows great aggressions and a dominant attitude. You kinda wonder if he could be a psychotic killer too.
A good energetic moment on him trying to talk to Barnes at her work place with her trying to brush him off which looked a bit tense. A nice aggressive moment with him approaching his fellow actor and getting threatening and insulting towards him in which this moment looked psychologically performed and intimidating too.

A guys face is whacked by a shovel with flesh torn off his chin and other areas. Later on blood is splurted out without showing anything graphic.
A person is bloodily stabbed by a metal rake
A priest's head is mangled
Blood splatters out of a wood shredder

There's terrific traditional haunting organ playing during the beginning of this film in which sounded very high pitched icy sounding and incredibly powerful too. There's also nice peaceful music as always from the Stepfather films during the peaceful romantic moments with lush synthesizer playing. There's also some cheesy classical suspenseful synthesizer sounds for when this maniac is going to come in for the kill here and there too but it really fits the scene's regardless composed by Pat Regan.