Terror Tape of the Day: Evilspeak

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I, like many of the HND writers, am an avid collector of VHS tapes. To some, collecting out dated technology is less a hobby and more the early warning sign of a serious psychological disorder. But there was a certain magic to VHS tapes that never made the transition over to DVD or, subsequently, Blu-ray. Sure the picture quality isn’t as good, but that is by no means the point of collecting. VHS represented a new and incredibly lucrative home video market and there were bajillions of films released on the insanely popular format. Many of these were horror movies and many of those never made the jump to DVD; the tragic orphans of technological progress. So therein lies one facet of their appeal. But even those films which are now readily available on the “superior formats” suffer from inferior cover art. In fact, compared to the beautiful, intricate, and often hand-painted VHS box art, lazily photo-shopped DVD covers are embarrassing. In other words, these movies came standard with genre-tastic pop art in tow.

In an effort to celebrate these works of art, we will be featuring one horror movie VHS cover every day. Be kind, rewind, and click on through to see this week’s tape…

Terror Tuesday Report: The Stepfather (1987)

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The Film

The Stepfather opens with a calm but blood-covered man ritualistically removing his beard and showering. He swaps his glasses for contacts, packs a few belongings, and leaves his home walking without acknowledging the horror of what he has left behind laying on the floor and covering the walls and furniture. After stopping briefly and nonchalantly to pick up the morning paper from his lawn, he walks off to a new life.

Six months later, Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) is living in a new home with his girlfriend, Susan (Shelley Hack), and Susan’s daughter Stephanie. While Susan is unable to see past Jerry’s meticulously crafted facade, Stephanie is (as stepchildren usually are) suspicious of Jerry. It is her watchful eye and snooping that start to pry at tiny cracks in Jerry’s psyche. When he realizes his struggle to maintain a wholesome family are in vain (again), he begins preparations to move on to a yet another fresh start which includes getting rid of the one he is going to leave behind.

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