‘Cruel, devious, pure as venom. All hell’s broken loose.’
Pumpkinhead – aka Vengeance: The Demon – is a 1988 American supernatural horror film. It was the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston and stars genre regular Lance Henriksen, Jeff East and John D’Acquino. An orphan of Dino De Laurentiis’ bankrupt DEG production company, Pumpkinhead lingered on the shelves for two years before it got a release.
When a group of rambunctious teenagers inadvertently kill his only son, Ed Harley (Henriksen) seeks the magic of a backwoods witch to bring the child back. But when she tells him the child’s death is irrevocable, his grief develops into an all-consuming desire… for revenge!
Defying superstition, he and the witch invoke ‘the pumpkinhead a monstrously clawed and fanged demon which, once reborn, answers only to Ed’s bloodlust. But as the invincible creature wreaks its slow, unspeakable tortures on the teens, Ed confronts a horrifying secret about his connection to the beast and realises that he must find a way to stop its deadly mission before he becomes one with it forever!
A sequel, entitled Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, directed by Jeff Burr (Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) went straight to video in 1994. Two additional sequels, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes and Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud, were filmed in 2006 as made for television movies and aired on the Sci-Fi channel. A reboot of the franchise has been announced for 2017.
“The death scenes aren’t all that gruesome but the big treat here is the creature Pumpkinhead; it looks absolutely incredible! This has to be one of the most realistic looking monsters that I’ve ever seen and it is quite frightening. It really does steal the show from the rest of the cast.” Horror Digital
If you’re in the mood for undemanding horror, with slight irony, mild mythology, an interesting killer and one of the coolest actors ever (Mr Henriksen, take a bow) then go for it. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking or memorable.” Gator MacReady, Eye For Film
” … once the conflicts are being engaged, Winston gives the story a serious twist, refusing to take the easy, unexpected path. Throughout, his direction is sure-handed; just notice the way he uses light and smoke. In Henriksen‘s long career, this is one of his most complex roles and the whole film is one of the unrecognized greats.” Mike Mayo, The Horror Show Guide
Posted by Will Holland