I’ve never actually seen Pumpkinhead. As someone who could watch horror movies every day for the rest of her life and probably never complain once, I’m sure to some this is an inexcusable crime.
Apparently, I haven’t been missing all that much, really.
The story of Pumpkinhead is really very simple. Quiet, simple rural type has a son he loves dearly. Son gets killed in a tragic accident by some stupid teenagers from the big city. Father seeks revenge by visiting the scary-ass witch up in the one section of woods in bum-fuck West Virginia (or wherever this movie takes place). Witch releases this crazy Pumpkinhead thing upon unsuspecting, stupid big-city teenagers who promptly die in horrific ways. Father has sudden attack of remorse and tries to stop the supernatural creature from killing everyone.
In many ways, it’s quite a lot like someone took the worst of Pet Sematary, The Evil Dead trilogy, and a Hallmark movie about rural folks and shoved it into a blender. Lance Henrikson doesn’t have a “down home” kind of feel because, hey — if you didn’t already know, Lance Henrikson is fucking creepy as shit! You start and end the movie totally repulsed. (Sorry, Lance.)
The plot and the storyline are predictable to any moviegoer. The real disappointment is the special effects. Stan Winston conducted them here, and he’s notable as writer/director as well. Pumpkinhead itself is some weird meld of special effects from the Alien franchise, with it’s strange walk, weird shoulder bone protrusions and semi-elongated head. The thing looks like it eventually would evolve into a xenomorph.
I’m sure at the time Pumpkinhead was pretty fresh, but it sucks nowadays.
Verdict: Avoid at all possible costs. Thank god for Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” feature or I would have wasted more time waiting for a new movie to come in the mail