Our third installment of Random Netflix Week, brings us a real classic! Stan Winston's "Pumpkinhead".
This 1988 horror picture stars Lance Henriksen.("Alien, Mass Effect") I almost think that their is some inspiration from "Alien" used in this, but more on that in a bit.
So essentially this movie's plot is; After the tragic death of his son, Ed Harley(Henriksen) seeks out the help of an old witch woman, to summon a nasty demonic creature to avenge his son's death and kill the people responsible. Although after realizing he's got more then what he bargained for, Harley knows that what he's done is wrong and tries to stop the vile thing himself.
Is it scary?
I think if I was a kid watching this, I'd be pretty freaked out. It's not really jump out of your seat scary, but more like gruesome scary, if that makes sense. I guess one of the things I notice about a lot of horror movies from the late 70's and 80's is that violence to children is a fairly common formula. Which I think doesn't make it scary per say but, more like shocking.
Why do I get the idea I've seen the creature thing before?
Well aside from its sequels, this demonic being looks very much like it was in "Alien" or at least "Alien: Resurrection." Lance Henriksen being in it kind of seems like an odd coincidence too.
See the resemblance?
So what did you like about it?
Well aside from the fact that Pumpkinhead does kind of look like an alien, he is pretty well put together and I don't know who was either controlling that thing or wearing a suit, but it looks pretty damn realistic. Something you don't see much nowadays because people cheap out and use CGI.......Bastards. I also like Harley. He's kind of one of those tragic heroes, where you feel bad for him in the beginning but as the movie progresses, so does his character and you see him spiral downward into darkness. The acting in this movie is not too bad either, aside from one of the encounters he has with the witch woman. It's a bit on the laughable side because its pretty bad. This movie has classic horror written all over it, its a bit of a tried, tested and true formula for the most part. Come up with an interesting plot, add in some stuff that just makes it go over the top add in some personality and good characters, but don't try to justify too much, because after all it is a horror movie and not "Pearl Harbour". .........Those who don't pick up on that sarcasm, shame on you!
Was there anything not so great about this movie?
Well like I said, the one scene where Harley meets with the witch woman, is pretty bad. The other part of this movie that I didn't like was that it felt a little rushed. The point from where the son dies and then Pumpkinhead's rampage takes place, was really quick. Which helps with the intensity and keeping you drawn in, but makes the story seem like they didn't flesh it out enough.
Who would you recommend this to?
Anyone who's a fan of any creature feature from the 70's and 80's. Fans of John Carpenter films. Also if you like "Alien" but maybe want something a little different. This movie is hard not to like, in one degree or another.
Who wouldn't like this?
If you're one of those assholes who takes horror movies too seriously and calls out every little thing, this wouldn't be for you. Also if you're a little kid and likes going to the pumpkin patch for Halloween each year, you probably shouldn't watch this.
If it were not on Netflix, would you buy this movie?
It's not a must own, but yes I would. It definitely will go well with any horror enthusiast.
Harley could have just called Batman, to avenge his boy....no pun intended. But when you can get an evil demonic killing machine instead. FUUUUUUUUUUUCK YEEEEEEAH!
4 pumpkins out of 5
Here is the trailer