Friday, August 7, 2009

Trailer Trash: "The Stepfather" remake

Let Penn Badgley do his laundry in peace!!!

One of my favorite eras in American horror movies is the late 80's. The booming home video market offered new distribution models for movies that would otherwise never see the light of day. And the traditional slasher mold had been shattered to bits by A Nightmare on Elm Street a few years before (and had reached the point of diminishing returns on its own around the same time) so horror filmmakers started getting creative and thinking outside the box, trying out new scenarios and taking the bloodshed out of the summer camps and school dances and into less expected situations.

And of course there were all those glorious shoulderpads.

One of my favorite examples of a horror flick that tried something new and pulled it off with aplomb is 1987's teen-angst serial killer thriller The Stepfather. An unexpected and effective mix of classic suspense, shocking violence and kitchen-sink melodrama, the movie starred a then-obscure Terry O'Quinn (now a huge star thanks to Lost) as a serial monogamist who went from town to town marrying different women until one plucky, gravel-voiced Shannen Doherty lookalike (Jill Schoelen) figured out his game.


Terry O'Quinn

The movie actually drew critical praise, especially for O'Quinn (who was a damn hot daddy), and the "phone in Shelley Hack's face" revelation scene is a certified classic. Now some asshat in Hollywood has decided to go and piss on the film's legacy by giving it what will likely be a half-assed and of course completely unneeded remake. (Again, if it ain't broke and was made after, oh, 1975 ... don't fuck with it, fellas.)

The remake stars Dylan Walsh (aka "The other guy from Nip/Tuck") as the titular schizo and Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley as Jill Schoelen. Yes, they've turned our final girl into a final boy, likely because Disturbia made bank at the box office and this remake clearly owes more to that movie than it does the original film that inspires it.

Anyway, here is the trailer for the remake. Aside from "copious shirtless Penn Badgley", can anyone tell me what the point of this might be?


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