Saturday, 14 May 2016


"Pumpkinhead" (1988, Stan Winston, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group) is a supernatural horror about revenge.

The film starts with a scene set in the late 50s where we see a farmer, Tom Hardy, and his wife and child, Ed, hiding in their farmhouse as a neighbour tries to seek entry to escape from something. Tom warns the man to leave or he will be shot. The family then witness the man being killed by a demonic creature.

Fast forward to the 80s, the film continues to follow Ed (Lance Henriksen) who has a young son of his own and runs a store. He leaves his son and their dog, Gypsy, as he runs a short errand just as a bunch of teenage campers show up with dirt bikes. Gypsy runs out, followed by the little boy, to chase the bikes and the kid is hit and killed by one of the campers. In despair, Ed takes his child's body to a witch who tells him that she cannot raise the child back to the living, but she can help him wreak is revenge. Ed readily agrees to follows the witch's orders to dig up a twisted corpse from an old graveyard.

The witch raises the twisted body into a demon called Pumpkinhead who then goes on a spree, killing the campers responsible for Ed's son's death. With each death, Ed begins is effected, seeing the killings from the perspective of the demon. The revenge won't bring back what he has lost, but does he have more to lose than he realised?

The film's effects and use of animatronics still stand up exceptionally well to today's films. Although the film doesn't offer anything ground breaking and the plot is a little thin in places, I really enjoyed it. The monster is well designed and gory, there's a sub-plot with a cautionary tale and the action is silly, but enjoyable. It makes for a fun 80s romp.

[Image: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group]