Pumpkinhead II: Bloodwings
It seems that in most horror franchises there is always one film that sticks out like a sore thumb. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Star Wars: Attack of The Clones, Leprechaun 4: In Space… well all the Leprechaun sequels really…. Pumpkinhead 2 is that sore thumb.
The movie takes place in a different town, different characters, similar story line. Now I can look at this and say, just like with many different folklore tales, this version is this town’s very own Pumpkinhead myth, the same yet different. So if I look upon it that way, I can give this movie an alright review. Though I am one to say, if you are adding to a set franchise stick with the main storyline, I can look past that this time.
Our story takes place in a sleepy little town. A new sheriff has arrived, though he has grown up there and knows the legend. His daughter had caused some troubles in the previous town, so they are starting fresh. She of course meets some new friends, the “bad” kids…one of which is your favorite Punky and mine, Soleil Moon Frye, post-boob reduction. The kids, on a night of drinking and pot smoking accidentally hit an old woman and upon checking to see if she is ok, track her down to her little old shack. Finding a spell and some strange things including a vial of blood, they decide to raise the dead, and accidentally burn the old woman’s house down with the old woman in it. Of course the body they resurrect is that of Pumpkinhead (who wasn’t in a pumpkin patch in the swamp this time).
Now in this version, we see a different storyline for Pumpkinhead. Instead of being a demonic form caused by the need for revenge, this version was about a deformed young boy who lived in the woods and was the subject of ridicule. A group of young boys, back in the 1950′s end up beating him and hanging him above an old well. The old woman buried him as he had no family of his own and was apparently waiting for the right moment to resurrect him, but the kids beat her to it. So this time, Pumpkinhead’s revenge is not for the ones who returned him to life, but for the ones who took his own and his surrogate mother’s.
The storyline was very lax. The “dramatic” acting was almost comical at times. And who knew that the pathologist was so good that at the murder site she could match up blood samples without a lab! We did have the luxury of seeing a nice little topless cameo by scream queen Linnea Quigley, to which my husband shouts “I know those boobs!” Not too much on the creativity part as far as deaths go, and trying to match up who was who from the boys who killed the boy to present time was a little annoying because they never really introduced any of the characters. They focused more on the kids who raised him up instead of the people who put him down. That, to me, made the kills very detached and uninteresting. And, with the kills, most of them were very bland for Pumpkinhead standards. Though I must say, the death at the cockfight was my favorite when the guy got his eyes pecked out by the chickens. That was clever and it made me giggle.
I give this one 2 not so dramatic pauses out of 5
Heheâ€¦.she said â€˜cock fightâ€™
This oneâ€™s a hard one to go over. While the First Lady points out above the many inconsistencies and problems scattered throughout the Pumpkinhead sequel, I still canâ€™t help feeling that I had an overall decent time throughout. Sure, the plot has holes miles wide, the characterizations were laughable at best, the PH Mythos is completely thrown to the wayside, and worst of allâ€¦thereâ€™s no Lance Henriksen. Regardless, it still boils down to a semi-fun watch for one simple reason: a big ass monster killing the shit out of anything that crosses itâ€™s path!
While the carnage was indeed somewhat low key, the basic tenants of the Pumpkinhead revenge fantasy are indeed intact. Where in the first film you have someone wronged selling their soul to achieve said revenge, this time around you have a bunch of bumbling bad boys kicking off the cycle for no apparent reason. Since there is no soul selling for the beast to focus on, he figures heâ€™s awake and out and about with no specific agenda, so why not enact his own revenge.
The characterizations are a joke. Our gaggle of misfits comes across mostly as band geeks gone bad. Hot rodding, skipping school, smoking, and drinking are about the extent of their bad boy designs. The new sheriffâ€™s daughter who is our main character came from the inner city, chased out of school by her street wise ways. Why she felt drawn to this gang of idiots in their small town version of anarchy, and not doubling over in laughter at their antics Iâ€™ll never know! The character building is pretty much non existent through this film aside from the main chickie babe; the rest are just canon fodder and nothing else. (Although gothy Punky Brewster was entertaining to look at none the less) As the First Lady mentioned, even the tacked on back story of the old school bad boys and what theyâ€™ve grown into as Punkin stalks about the country side was nothing but confusing. With a brief glimpse in the opening credits and one or two minor flashbacks, we really have no idea whoâ€™s who until about half way through the flick. There is still no real story telling us whoâ€™s who mind you; at the half way point youâ€™ve just managed to figure out the formula that if itâ€™s an adult in frame whoâ€™s not the sheriff or one of his associates, they picked on the little mongoloid boy back in the 60â€™s. For my final bitch, what the hell is with the Blood Wings in the title? While the baddie drew it on the walls in his victims blood, for a subtitled phrase this bit was tacked on at the very last second tying the former gang of idiots together letting us know that they all used to be buds. Again this is an over looked plot angle that they completely wasted. If you’re going to use it as a subtitle, I’d think that it should hold a little more water to the overall plot. Maybe that’s just me.
So, Masterpiece Theatre this is not. A well told story? Wrong again. Monsters destroying shit and a cameo of Linnea Quigleyâ€™s boobs? You betcha. If you can look at it in this light and not as part of an epic trilogy, well then thereâ€™s still some fun to be had.
3 murderous monsters out of 5