Any of ‘friends’ from back in high school days make any comments, I’ll pout.
A group of city kids head to the backcountry for some beer and motorbikes. While showing off at the Harley Grocery, they accidentally run over Ed Harley’s (Lance Henriksen) little boy. As the bad boy of the group runs away, the others make an attempt to locate help. Leaving Steve behind with the boy, he’s the one left to inform Ed of the accident. Later, in a fit of rage as the boy passes away from his injuries, Ed decides to locate a local swamp witch to conjure forth the nasty Pumpkinhead, the backwoods revenge demon. Did all these kids deserve revenge? That’s the problem Ed struggles with as Pumpkinhead begins his path of slaughter.
Making his directorial debut, makeup master Stan Winston gives us an 80′s fright fest that’s a step away from normal 80′s fare. Where most slashers from the 80′s rely on boobs, jumps and slim atmosphere, Stan gives us a slasher that relys on story over special effects. Centered in the backwoods of some long forgotten area of the country, Pumpkinhead starts as a slow burner taking ample time to give us a bit of a background before people start to bite it. For some this may be a turn off, making it hard to get to the gooey parts of the flick.
Once we arrive at the good part, we enter familiar territory. Goo, gore and good old fashioned monster mangling make the first thirty minuts of Pumpkinhead worth sitting through. Sometimes comical, sometimes a bit scare worthy, Pumpkinhead himself fails to treat us to anything new and innovative in the kill department, but he does provide some good cringes as the city kids drop off one by one. Combined with B movie badass Lance Henriksen turning in a solid performance as backwoods dad, and Pumpkinhead makes for a good Fridaynight watch.
Nothing new, nothing craptastic, Pumpkinhead lands squarely in the middle of the road for 80′s cheese fests, but it’s worth a late night cable watch when you’re coming down from the Friday Coffee IV injections.
3 Backwoods Lance’s out of 5