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Kelly Jo Minter
A group of city kids go into the country to relax. While there, one of them is involved in a biking accident that takes the life of the son of the local storekeeper. In a fit of rage, the storekeeper has a witch unleash an unstoppable demon called "Pumpkinhead" to kill the group. When he realizes he's gone too far, the storekeeper attempts to save the kids, but is continually afflicted by visions of peoples' deaths through the eyes of the monster. Written by
Stay away from Pumpkinhead, unless you're tired of living...
Most critics (who actually get PAID to critique films, unlike me, HA!) really hated this movie, dismissing it as yet another "brainless teen" slaughterfest and slamming it with either one star or a big fat turkey. I've never really understood this. Okay, it's not ever going to win an Academy Award, some of the acting is atrocious and much of the incidental music was cheesy and had me rolling my eyes, but the basic story is quite good. Six city teens on a vacation in either the Appalachians or the Ozarks, make the mistake of running over a little hillbilly boy with a motorcycle. 5 of them want to do the right thing and call the police, but the 6th, a hulking moron with a police record, takes his friends hostage. By the time he comes to his senses, it's too late. The dead boys father has been to see the local Witch, who in turn has summoned the Demon of Vengeance: Pumpkinhead.
There's really not a lot of gore here, and no sex whatsoever. The "typical teens" here actually appear to be in their early twenties, and are hardly the faceless victims you usually find in these kinds of films. The real menace lies with the hill folk, many of whom look like the genuine article; inbred and dangerous. Lance Henriksen turns in a great performance as the dead boys father, blinded (most understandably) by grief and anger, yet still compassionate enough at last to try and reverse what he has done. The monster, Pumpkinhead, is really cool looking, created as it was by special effects man Stan Winston, who also directed. The atmosphere and mood of this movie are constantly menacing, even in the bright light of day, and Pumpkinhead seems to bring an aura of electrical storms with him wherever he goes, the sound of cicadas and the flashing of heat lightening most unsettling. The Witches cabin in particular is a magnificent set piece. Worth seeing at least once. The "professional" critics are NOT always right.
PS - Don't bother watching "Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings." I've never seen a more horrible sequel with a more annoying cast of arrogant teenagers who deserved to be killed. Banal, moronic waste of film.
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