Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkinhead ( 1988 )

AKA: Vengeance The Demon

"A man conjures up a gigantic vengeance demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy the teenagers who accidentally killed his son."

The ice cold stare of hatred
The late eighties were a time when the dust was settling with the slasher era, there was many knock offs of knock offs, monster movies were starting to become more silly, basically most horror movies were doing the same style and vein as the others. It was time for something fresh....something that brought the scare back to the screen. Stan Winston's ( Special FX master on Terminator, Aliens, and Predator ) 1988 film "Pumpkinhead" hit that mark and knocked it strait out of the ball park. In my opinion this is one of the most under rated horror films of all time and one of my ultimate favorites. It can still holds a terrifying effect on its audience even after almost 25 years.

Haggis the witch

Ed Harley ( ultra cool Lance Henriksen ) lives the simple backwoods country life in the Appalacian Mountains. Ed runs a grocery stand ( that may be the only grocery in miles ) supporting him and his only son, young Billy. They go about their days tending to their store until one day a couple of city teens come along and accidentally injure little Billy. Ed finds his fatally wounded son and enraged by what he sees as carelessness on the teens parts, decides to call upon the ultimate act of vengeance. Harley visits a old witch that lives deep in the swamps, and together they summon the giant demonic being Pumpkinhead to avenge his loss. It runs its course on the teens,but little does Harley know he has to face much more than what he asked for.

The unlucky ones
As I mentioned before, my vote goes on this as being severely under rated, its almost criminal. The movie is absolutely rich in atmosphere and oozes creepiness. Even in the beginning title credits you know you are in for something special. The film has quite a color scheme going for it as well, there's plenty use of red, blue and orange that gives it a great eerie feel. As for the plot itself, its quite simple but works great. The loss of Harley's son is quite sad, so you really feel for the guy, those scenes are pretty heart wrenching. The true gem of this film is Pumpkinhead, who I have to scary as shit. The special effects on him are outstanding, as the creature looks just as real as you would expect a giant 9 foot pissed off demon would look.

The Demon
In all this is a absolute must see ! This is a perfect 80's horror film that gives us all the right stuff. Its sad, its scary and its downright badass. Perfect for a good scare on Halloween night.

Gore : 2/5 - Its not very gory, but that's just fine. We get a girls face carved into and smashed through a glass window, impaled on a rifle, amongst a few other things.

Gratuitous Nudity 0/5 - Nothing at all. Didn't need it though.

Death Count : 6

Special FX : 5/5 - This is the real star of the film, like I said, Pumpkinhead looks phenomenal.

Turkish poster art

Best scenes : By far my favorite is when Ed Harley visits the old witch. Her dilapidated house, her voice and just her screen presence is the stuff made of nightmares. I also love the pumpkin patch graveyard scene. There's old skeletons stuck in trees, old crumbling tombstones and right smack dab in the middle is Pumpkinhead's macabre and mangled looking burial mound. Talk about one creepy looking set.

Things you will learn from this movie :

Pumpkinhead hates religion.

Playing with vegetables is always a option.

Kids in the Appalacian mountains are fucking filthy and never change their clothes.

Never pick up guy that made stew outta their wife's foot.

Just when you try to do the right thing and change your wrongful ways, a giant demon kills you.

Some people don't know what a camera is.

The girl that screams and complains the most......always gets it the worst.

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