Writer: Mark Patrick Carducci, Gary Gerani (Screenplay) Mark Patrick Carducci, Stan Winston, Richard Weinman (Story)
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D’Aquino, Kimberly Ross, Joel Hoffman, Cynthia Bain, Kerry Remsen, Florence Schauffler
Plot: After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.
Tagline – The Demon of Revenge.
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun 80’s Slasher
Story: Pumpkinhead starts when small town shopkeeper Ed Harley’s (Henriksen) young son is killed in an accident involving reckless motor cross riders, Joel (D’Aquino), Chris (East), Kim (Ross), Steve (Hoffman), Tracy (Bain) and Maggie (Remsen), with the one that caused the accident Joel running from the scene.
Desiring vengeance for his son’s death, Ed turns to the known witch Haggis (Schauffler) who offers him a chance to bring a demon called Pumpkinhead to life and destroy the teenagers that killed his son.
Thoughts on Pumpkinhead
Characters – Ed Harley is a hardworking shop keeper and single father, he gets on well with the community and enjoys the quiet life. His life is turned upside down when his son is killed in an accident, which pushes him to turn to the dark arts to avenge his son’s death, only he didn’t plan for what would be expected from him. Chris is one of the teenagers that wants to do the right thing after the accident, much like the rest of the teenagers they all blend into one, except for the one that caused the accident, who only wants to look after himself.
Performances – Lance Henriksen is the star of the film, he is easily the best performer as his character goes through the biggest trauma and shows the desperation for revenge and regret for his decision. When it comes to the rest of the cast, they are performed to the level most slasher films reached.
Story – The story here follows a man that will do anything to get vengeance for his son’s death, which sees him summon the evil Pumpkinhead to kill the people that took his son, he soon learns the errors of his choice and must figure out how to stop the killing machine. For a monster creature feature slasher this is a simple story, we don’t get twists, we don’t need much character development as we are more interested in seeing the effects being used. It is nice have a story that remains simple in the horror genre at times too.
Fantasy/Horror – The fantasy elements of this film comes from the figure of Pumpkinhead that gets summoned to do revenge for people that believe they have been wronged, which plays hand in hand with the horror side of the film which is slasher elements which show just how deadly this figure will be.
Settings – The film is set in a small town where we don’t have many people with the ones living their knowing each other and anyone coming from the outside being frowned upon.
Special Effects – The effects are the highlight of the film, Stan Winston was known for his ability to create some of the most memorable creatures in film history and with him directing he brings us another terrifying creation.
Final Thoughts – This is a slasher that can be enjoyed by the horror community, it offers everything needed to just let us enjoy ourselves without challenging us like other horrors.
Overall: Simple, effective and fun horror.