A Fortnight of Terror Guest Post: The Pumpkinhead Series
This guest post of awesomeness comes from everyone’s favourite elusive blogging figure, The IPC. Some say he refuses to visit Australia because there are not enough animals that can kill you here. Some say that Mrs The IPC and Daniel Day-Lewis have never been seen in the same room at the same time. Some say that he considers Billy Bob Thornton’s performance in Sling Blade to be “tepid”. All I know is that he drinks moonshine for breakfast and literally put his head inside a pumpkin to bring us this killer post. And for that, I am exceptionally grateful.
There’s a back-story to this movie that I’ve always found funny which I am going to share and hopefully you appreciate it. I’ve whined before about being an only child and sitting around moping and being depressed and such, but I did have one friend I more or less grew up with (even though I only saw him once a week or so). Anyway, we spent a lot of time at the movies as kids and by 1988 we were into our teens and going in separate directions in our lives. I was running off to chase chicks and drink beer and he was pursuing higher education. Anyway, this was the last movie we ever saw together and to this day, when and if we talk, we still argue over whether or not it was any good. I’ve always claimed I liked it and he thought it was total crap.
This movie stars Lance Henrickson, who is one of my favorites, as a hillbilly farmer type who runs a general store in the middle of nowhere with his heavily bespectacled kid. One day some punks from the big city roll into town and accidentally run over the child so Henrickson gets a witch to call up the monstrous Pumpkinhead and avenge his death. Blah, blah, blah kids get killed and Henrickson grows a conscience and eventually almost everyone’s dead. It’s your typical monster story with Monster Man Stan Winston directing and there’s really nothing too remarkable about it (think 80s hairdos, outfits and music).
Verdict: Stubby of Reschs
But it’s a fuckin’ masterpiece compared to:
Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings (1994)
WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THIS??? Did anyone even read the script??? This was TERRIBLE. At one point the sheriff and the CSI lady go into some barn / post office where some bald, fat guy was murdered. Well wait, this is how it went. The night before, fat guy is bopping some blond. After he – uh – is finished he sends her out to the truck for some more beer. As he is pulling up his drawers, Pumpkinhead roars in and rips him to pieces. The next morning (somehow) the sheriff and the CSI lady get news that he’s been killed so they’re at the crime scene investigating when the blond comes running and screaming out of a closet. Being the badasses they are, the CSI lady pulls a syringe out of bucket and tranquilizes her. “What’s happened here?? What’s happened here??” Talk-screams the sheriff. “Can’t you see??” CSI lady responds. “She’s in a fright induced coma.” *CUE CLOSE-UP OF BLOND’S FACE* “It’s one step away from being…. scared to death.”
In the first one, Pumpkinhead was a malevolent demon thing hatched from the pumpkin patch. This time he’s something like the mutated monster of some deformed kid killed 40 years ago. And the monster goes around drawing “red wings” in blood on the walls of his victims… because the group of kids that killed him were in a clique at the local high school called “The Red Wings”…. but he would never have ever EVER known that since he was a deformed kid living in some run down dump eating slop out of a bowl like a dog. Oh, and Punky Brewster is in this.
I know I run the SHITFEST but I always do try and find some sort of merit in the things I watch but there’s not much to go on here. I suppose the practical creature effects were decent enough but the rest of this movie is awfully laughable.
Verdict: Schooner of Carlton Draught
Pumpkinhead: Ashes To Ashes (2006)
No matter how bad Number 2 was, this was measurably worse. I have to be honest and admit that, in order to get this done on time, I had to watch some sort of Nordic version of this on YouTube with Nordic subtitles and terrible English voiceovers (Christ you should search it out just to hear the treatment they give Doug Bradley’s voice). I also think this version is cropped for length. Either that or this is some of the shittiest editing I have ever seen. Either way, this is an awful movie and I’m not looking forward to number 4.
This time around,
Pinhead Doug Bradley runs a funeral home, harvests live human organs to sell and dumps the bodies out in the swamp. Lance Henrickson (from the first) shows up as a ghost and a blond lady summons Pumpkinhead after Bradley “butchers her baby”. I could have missed something if this was cropped for run time but she didn’t seem to care about her missing baby until she sees its corpse. Huh? BLAH BLAH BLAH Pumpkinhead kills a bunch of redneck assholes… this movie was totally stupid. Oh yeah, there’s some pretty hilarious looking 2006 CGI in this too.
Verdict: Schooner of Tooheys New
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud (2007)
BY GOD THIS WAS BAD. Filmed in Romania – using Romanian actors trying to pull off a deep south, American accent – boy – yeah, I uh,…. not good. I mean – it’s laugh out loud quality. And, Jeez, the acting is just pitiful. This was gory though – probably more bloody than all of the others put together but it was just awful. Thinking about it, the script could probably be done right – or better – if there was some money behind it but this end product is pitiful
In America there is an old folk story about two groups of families who have a “blood feud” for dozens of decades – the Hatfields and the McCoys. For some reason this version of Pumkinhead finds us dealing with those two families in modern day America. One of the Hatfields (I think) is in love with the McCoy daughter (a good looking English actress who really has a lot of trouble filtering out her accent). One night they are out by the wishing well making out when her McCoy brothers come out and accidentally kill the Hatfield sister. So, the Hatfield boy sets Pumpkinhead on them since nothing says I love you more than having a demon kill your entire family.
Verdict: Schooner of Carlton Draught
Well – that’s over with. Aside from the first one this franchise is pretty bad. It’s OK if you have nothing else too do but -…. THANKS TIM for having me over again!! These weren’t great movies but this was good fun!
Thanks so much to Mr Pictures Conclusions for taking part. Please head on over to Isaacs Picture Conclusions and get involved with some of the fantastic stuff he has going on over there.
Over this fortnight, you have the chance to win an as yet unconfirmed (but definitely choice) prize courtesy of Madman Entertainment, so be sure to get liking and commenting to go into the draw