12 June 2004 | DGlen1979
Silly, but fun tv sequel
I enjoyed this movie for two reasons. One: I am a huge fan of the original 1974 film to which this is a sequel, and Two: I love 70's- 80's tv horror movies. The original Stepford Wives is often criticized for being an inferior adaptation of the Ira Levin story. Since I've never read the book I can only say that the movie is ominously moody, spooky and effectively suspenseful. It really manages to create a feeling of uneasiness and Katharine Ross and Paula Prentiss are fantastic as the female leads (played by Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler in the 2004 remake). This sequel does a really bold, unexplained thing and foregoes the premise
revealed in the surprise ending of the original, giving a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT reason for why the women of Stepford are always so "perfect."
Sharon Gless (Cagney from "Cagney and Lacey" and Debbie from "Queer as Folk") is a tv reporter who travels to Stepford to do a report on the ideal community. She quickly befriends another outsider, played by Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge on "The Simpsons"), who is the wife of a cop (Don Johnson from "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges"). From there the story pretty much follows that of the original, with Gless in the Ross role and Kavner very much in the Prentiss role. The exception is that Gless's character actually attempts to save her friend and free the women of Stepford, as would not have been possible in the original for obvious reasons. If you're like me and you love 70's and 80's horror tv movies, this is a must. The basic tenets of the horror genre seem to contrast completely with the medium of television during this time, since anything remotely gory or intense would have been censored, most tv horror movies aren't scary at all. In fact, often they come across as cheesy and unintentionally funny. This can be a whole separate, even addicting, genre in itself (see Wes Craven's "Invitation to Hell"). Spielberg's "Duel" and Dan Curtis's "Trilogy of Terror" are real exceptions to this rule, however. So don't go into "Revenge of the Stepford Wives" expecting a masterpiece. Although Gless is very good, the material is just... cheesy. Still, if you're a fan of the original or cheesy tv horror, you should definitely check this one out. I've seen it way too many times. Now I have to go take my pill.