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I'm going to preface this by saying, I enjoyed Pumpkinhead I. It was a
good story about backwoods lore. Though the camera found the monster a
little too often (Stan Winston can be forgiven for falling in love with
his creation, though) it was a good 80's popcorn horror flick.
Having said that, the people who made Pumpkinhead 2: Bloodwings, should be skinned alive, strapped to a chair with their eyelids peeled open and forced to watch this ridiculous piece of garbage again and again. Did Andrew Robinson even read the script before he showed up to shoot this train-wreck?
You were in Hellraiser for God's sake, have some pride!
Did these idiots even watch the first film? Was that old woman supposed to be the same witch that stole Lance Henricksen's soul? I hope not--because otherwise, it's quite an accomplishment that she was suddenly good, and that her name was changed.
The fifties flashback? The mullet-ed mayor with the guitar? The annoying medical examiner who--for some strange reason is ALWAYS at the sheriff's house? And the idea that this new Pumpkinhead was the hell-spawn of the old Pumpkinhead and some "not so special woman" is idiotic. What? Are you trying to tell me they slept together? Did you see the first movie? If you look closely, you'll notice that ol' Pumpkinhead isn't exactly anatomically correct.
The absolute most horrendous part of this movie came in the character of Paul--otherwise known as the friend who didn't get any throughout the whole film. I want to say something to Paul right now, are you listening? You had no point at all in this film. You deserved to get killed for those stupid clothes you had on. Your one job was to go and get the car from around front--you couldn't even do that right. May God have mercy on your soul.
I don't know why God let this movie get made. My buddy Marc told me I had to watch it because it was so stupid. I believed him beforehand, but--in a Twilight Zone-ian sense, I had no idea HOW RIGHT he was. I want to conjure Pumpkinhead to come get him for having brought it home from the video store.
I feel like having watched this movie, I've somehow been exposed to some great and terrible contagion that will make me incapable of appreciating a good movie ever again.
*****Five Out of Ten Stars*****
Considering this film was made in three weeks, it's not all that bad. It's a strange film; there are quality experienced actors combined with unprofessional actors. Robinson and Edmond's acting talents are wasted on this rushed production. The original director bailed out of the project at the last minute and they had a difficult time finding other qualified director's to pick it up. Jeff Burr accepted the directors role reluctantly, I think, at the last minute.
The plot just isn't faithful to the original, which is a big let down. The script isn't bad but is totally hammed up by a number of unprofessional actors. You can feel Robinson's frustration in some scenes as he contends with acting counterparts with no talent. The special effects are decent enough, if not slightly behind, considering this was made in 1993 and 1994.
Even though I was thoroughly disappointed in the handling of this sequel, I do own it on DVD. My love for the original PH keeps me faithful to this one and the third segment, but definitely not the fourth installment, "Blood Feud". It's a shame one of the major movie studios didn't try to do more with this franchise. The pumpkin head monster could've been used more effectively than it was used in the sequels. Perhaps one of the main studios could've picked the pumpkin head idea up and released several sequels around Halloween. Why Sci-Fi got involved in this franchise, I'll never know? But once Sci-Fi gets involved in any project, the project is destined for the "straight to DVD" category.
P.H. II is a brainless ride that should be taken for what it's worth: A rushed production, made for under $1,000,000, that no one really seemed to care a whole lot about. A better plot more faithful to the original, better acting, and a slower production pace would've gone a long way in producing a sequel worthy of the original. Take a whirl on "Blood Wings" if you're a die hard PH fan, if your not, you'll have issues with it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1958 Ferren Woods, six rowdy trouble making teenagers murder the
deformed hillbilly son of a backwoods witch Miss Oasie. In present day,
trouble making teens (one of whom is the offspring of the teen who
murdered young tommy) accidentally hit Miss Oasie on the road one
night, failing to find her body, they visit her cabin where they find
it stocked with occult artifacts & a vile of "Cursed Blood" Miss Oasie
returns & the kids apologize. She allows them to leave but refuses to
allow the leader of the group to do so, because she knows he has the
cursed blood & a page with a ritual to raise the dead. After beating
her down, the leader escapes & the kids dig up the grave of Tommy, that
she has buried in a ceremonial circle. Applying the blood & reading the
curse out loud, they are disappointed to learn that Tommy doesn't come
back & ditch the site. Unbenowest to them, Miss Oasie's cabin has
caught fire due to a tipped over candle, leaving her stranded inside.
Also unbenowest to them the spell has worked, resurrecting the evil
spirit of Pumpkinhead, who has been reborn in the husk of the boys
corpse. Now both Tommy & Pumkinhead are one, as the creature dispatches
those who killed Tommy & those who harmed miss Oasie.
Ah yes, the infamous PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS, the very sequel all PUMPKINHEAD fans are split on. While fifty percent of the fans hate this movie with a passion, the other fifty percent (like myself) tend to enjoy it for what it is, an entertaining direct to video B movie, that sets out to entertain you for an hour & a half nothing more nothing less. PUMPKINHEAD II, while not as good as the first, still manages to conjure up a few scares & for the most part sticks to the rules of the genre. It truly feels like a horror film made by horror fans for horror fans & while I understand perfectly why half the fans hate it (a lot of the mythology is changed from the first) it overall wound up being a pretty fun little movie to watch. JEFF BURR does really well behind the camera, delivering several cool shots & manages to wrangle out a few moments of tension & suspense & while some of the acting is a little clunky in area's, for the most it works & stands head above shoulders in comparison to most acting seen in direct to video horror movies, at least in the era it was made & the character dispatches are really fun & more gorier & inventive than what they were in the original & the Pumpkinhead monster suit & the make-up done on both Tommy & Miss Oasie is really well handled, courtesy of the effects wizards at K.N.B. & JIM MANZIE's score is one of the best to ever grace a horror film. PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOODWINGS also displays many nods & winks to other horror films. The cemetery that Tommy is buried in bears a striking resemblance to the one seen in PET SEMETERY (One character even makes mention of that movie) the Book Of The Dead from EVIL DEAD is on display in Miss Oasie's cabin (you'll have to look real close to spot it) & features a whole army of recognizable names & faces both in front & behind the camera: JOE UNGER (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) KANE HODDER (Jason in Friday The 13th's Part 7-10) R.A. MIHALOFF (Leatherface in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, which also featured Hodder & Unger with effects by K.N.B. a score by JIM MANZIE & directed by Burr) Scream Queen LINNEA QUIGLEY (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) AMI DOLENZ (WITCHBOARD 2) J. TREVOR EDMOND (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3) ANDREW ROBINSON (HELLRAISER) STEVE KANALY (DALLAS) heck even Bill Clinton's brother decided to show up as the town mayor! As mentioned, we even get a great score by JIM MANZIE (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) & special effects work by K.N.B. veterans of A few HALLOWEEN sequels, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREETS, EVIL DEADS 2-3 & JASON GOES TO HELL) WILLIAM DILL the director of photography (JASON GOES TO HELL) are all here.
Now for it's faults: The myth surrounding the creature is played down here & it substitutes the backwoods setting inhabited by dirty sweaty folk & instead sets it's chills in a regular small town that bears almost no resemblance to first films setting. Also the witch here is called Miss Oasie when in the first she was called "Haggis" & is a little more plump than the skin & bones witch we seen in the original & the kids using a ritual & some cursed blood is also quiet different from the methods used to raise Pumpkinhead in the first. Oasie cursing the teens for attempting to raise the dead, but later mentions that raising Pumpkinhead was a very bad thing, when she was attempting to raise it herself? At one point near the end, The lead character the Sheriff even reasons with the creature not to kill his daughter, when in the first film the creature couldn't be reasoned with.
In the end, PUMPKINHERAD II: BLOOD WINGS although billed as a sequel doesn't mention the events of the first, in fact it wasn't originally supposed to be a sequel at all, but an entirely different horror film that was reworked to be a sequel according to director JEFF BURR, during an interview with ICONS OF FRIGHT website! so in some sense it could be looked at as another take on the tale that is a complete stand alone, either way, PUMPKINHEAD II is well worth the watch! Followed by PUMPKINHEAD III: ASHES TO ASHES.
ADAM MARCUS (JASON GOES TO HELL) was asked to direct the project but declined.
I think Pumpkinhead 2 is a great sequel to Pumpkinhead, the first one
is still great but this one had a bit more gore. The acting was OK,
Andrew Robinson was good and I enjoyed his performance, even in Dirty
Harry and Hellraiser.
Pumpkinhead looks the same but the suit isn't as realistic as the first but it still looks cool. Haggis is different from the first film but the make up for the character is still good.
Jeff Burr who directed Puppet Master 4, Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter and Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III directs Pumpkinhead 2 and does a good job of it.
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings may not be for all but this is a good film with some nice gore in parts.
This is a worthy sequel to the cult classic from the 80's
"Pumpkinhead". Sadly, the movie improves in little aspects in
comparison to the original. This time, the f/x is very cheesy but it's
okay for B-movie standards. The Pumpkinhead demon looks extremely
cheesy and scary it's the lesser thing about it. But surprisingly, it
works for the movie.
The plot is actually interesting and has potential but it's just not executed correctly. The invocation, the ritual are good scenes and may be the best feature about the movie. When the snob guys whacks the head of the witch is also a good scene in the movie.
Anyways, if you are an avid lover (like me) of the 90's un necessary sequels, watch "Blood Wings" and buy popcorn. This is cheesy entertainment in Horror.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the late Eighties, special effects wizard Stan Winston (Aliens, the
Predator movies, the Terminator trilogy, plus many others) made his
movie directing debut with a backwoods horror film called Pumpkinhead.
Based on a legend that's existed in rural farmland America for the last
couple of centuries, Pumpkinhead told the story of a fearsome,
unstoppable demon that can be raised from Hell by those who have been
seriously wronged, to wreak out unrelenting vengeance on their behalf
(and when I say seriously wronged, I mean seriously. Somebody nicking
your parking space or refusing to pay their half of the restaurant bill
doesn't cut it).
Unfortunately the movie suffered from distribution problems, never had a wide release in America and went straight to video in the UK. However, due to it's eerie atmosphere, good performances from it's cast, and the title creature being one of the best and most convincing monsters to ever appear on film, Pumpkinhead became a respected cult movie. So much so that there was a comic book mini-series about the monster published by Dark Horse in the early Nineties, several differently designed models and action figures of Pumpkinhead are still readily available (I own one of them) and in 1994 came the direct-to-video Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, directed by sequel specialist Jeff Burr.
The sequel was never released on either VHS or DVD in the UK (although the tie-in computer game was) and to the best of my knowledge it had never been shown on British TV either... until the Sci-Fi channel (UK version, obviously) screened it on 30th December 2006.
The general consensus on the internet regarding the sequel is that it is - quite simply - complete rubbish. But having finally seen it for myself, I have to disagree. Yes, it's nowhere near as good as the original Pumpkinhead, but Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings is still an entertaining and highly enjoyable monster movie in it's own right. Although the special effects this time were supplied by KNB FX instead of Winston, Pumpkinhead himself is still one cool-looking creature, and his attacks are even more brutal than in the first film: limbs are ripped off, backs broken, a pair of young lovers are both run through with the same metal pole and left pinned to a tree, and one particularly unlikeable character has his head casually plucked off. In a gruesome example of poetic justice, a backwoods hick who's been organising illegal cock fights has his head rammed into a chicken coop, whereupon the terrified birds peck his eyes out and slash his face to ribbons.
The movie also boasts a great B-list cast. There's a rare heroic leading role for Andrew Robinson (who normally gets typecast as villains) as a small town sheriff, an even rarer speaking role for Kane Hodder (who played Jason Vorhees in four Friday the 13th movies), a cameo appearance by Eighties scream queen supreme Linnea Quigley, a bit part played by R.A. Mihailoff (who'd previously portrayed the title role in Burr's Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3), and early Nineties starlets Ami Dolenz and Soleil Moon Frye are among the potential Pumpkinhead fodder.
Pumpkinhead II is interesting because it succeeds where its predecessor
failed and where that one succeeded, this one fails. Pumpkinhead II ,
contains better acting, a more interesting back story, while at the
same time, it is noisier, less stylish and unconvincing in special
effects. As a result Pumpkinhead II is no better or worse than Stan
Winston's film. It is just another low budget horror which offers some
charms for the monster fans.
Getting a little carried away one night, a group of kids resurrect a body which is buried on the property of the town's fabled witch. As it happens, the body they dig up is deformed boy who in the 1950s was killed by a group of town ruffians. Now with the boy's soul inside him, Pumpkinhead goes after his killers (now middle aged) and his awakeners. As the killings start to occur, Sheriff Braddock tries to piece this whole mystery together amidst an agitated and highly superstitious town. Both Pumpkinhead and the town want to kill each other, whose gonna live?
I'll give this movie credit for one thing, it increases the monstrosity from the first. Although still far from scary, this monster is far more aggressive than his predecessor, and he kills with great ferocity, clawing, gnawing dismembering his victims. On the negative side, the special effects have fallen a bit. The first Pumpkinhead may have been a slow mover, but his movements were rather fluid, and muscular and like a creature. This one moves like a guy in a suit and is shot from too many bad angles which ruins the scale of the creature.
If you liked Pumpkinhead, then I don't think you will be too disappointed in this. Maybe as a whole, it is slightly less accomplished than the original. but it's sufficient for a sequel.
Crazy high school kids get into something they don't understand and
release the soul of Tommy, a boy killed in 1958. Of course, we know who
the monster is after, but the Sheriff (Andrew Robinson) is going crazy
trying to figure it out.
And, does the town doctor (blaxploitation star Gloria Hendry) rent a room in the sheriff's house? She sure seems to be there a lot.
I have to say that the monster was certainly creatively done and provided some gory action. I find the fact that he can respond to the sheriff's pleas to be stretching it a bit.
Ami Dolenz and Soleil Moon Frye provided enough eye candy to keep viewer interest.
while easily falling into the category of b-horror, this isn't nearly
as horrible as i expected. after reading MANY reviews on IMDb and
elsewhere that were scathingly negative about this sequel, i figured
i'd try it out since i enjoy the original (and lance henriksen) and of
course...i had to see if the bad reviews were accurate.
very fortunately (and heres the upside to going in with low expectations) this film pleasantly surprised me...not as good as the original, not incredibly connected to the original, however, it does what it sets out to do quite well. as far as the pumpkinhead sequels go..this is the one to check out.
i wish i had anything complimentary to say about volume III in this series...however...that's pure crap, stay away..and what a waste of both lance henriksen and doug bradley... but i digress.
blood wings isn't a great movie my any means, but fan of horror know that you must judge horror movies far differently from films outside the genre... and as far as horror movies go, i find this to be extremely underrated.
but tastes are like ***holes so... give it a whirl and post your own
Sean Braddock takes up residence as sheriff in Ferren Woods, the town
he grew up in, along with his wife and rebellious daughter Jenny.
Straight away she gets in with the wrong crowd, where the group cause
trouble one night when they accidentally cause the fire of an old
witch's house and for fun unknowingly resurrect the demon known as
"Pumpkinhead". The soul of the deformed orphan who lived in the woods
returns to this deranged monster. It sweeps the countryside seeking
revenge against those who were behind his death three decades ago and
plus those teenagers who brought him back. Grisly death mount up, and
Sheriff Broddock learns that the legend of the "Pumpkinhead" might have
its foot in reality.
Do I care about its bad reputation? I guess not. Since I took the time to watch it. The low-budget, straight-to-video sequel is an okay addition that had its moments and sound performances to cater for its blaring shortcomings. However it's the monster we're waiting for, and director Jeff Burr (a sequel journeyman you could say) serves up the beast and bloody mayhem on a silver plateau. The ominously atmospheric first one (with a sublime lead performance by Lance Henriksen) is certainly superior in every department, but as for sequels go. You could do a lot worse. Well, it does seem like a pointless exercise, but just like the first sequel to "Candyman", the story plays the usual trumps (basic retread of first), but it also wants to overfeed the history of "Pumpkinhead". Burr knows there's nothing to surprise us anymore with a frail plot with an promising premise, so there's more of the monster shown on screen and what it dishes out is far more nastier, violent and more imaginative in its carnage. There's just something creepy and cruel about the deaths.
The make-up effects have some juicy inclusions, despite some cheap and corny looking aspects, but the imposing monster design still looks fair enough, even with some rubbery shades. Burr's junky direction is cheerful and plucky, but he demonstrates few striking visuals with well-filtered lighting (like strobe) that come across as foreboding in their set-up. Sometimes it can get laughable with too many hapless victims just standing there in front of "Pumpkinhead" waiting to get killed off, when there's an actual chance to do something or RUN! However the atmosphere is very patchy, which makes sure it doesn't have the same impact the original created.
Streaming from the production is a cheap TV feel, but the swiftly compact camera-work manages some inventive tilt frames, wild movements and trippy red "Pumpkinhead" vision lensing. The thrills and pace were kind of a stop and go affair, as you really felt it because the tepidly cardboard script lead to many silly (and contrived) avenues working there way in and the lack of an strong lead performance really showed it up immensely. There's nothing wrong with Andrew Robinson's sincerely hearty performance as Sheriff Braddock, but intensity was lacking, instead there seemed to be a lighter tone to everything about it. Except for the violence, of course. Thinking more about it actually, he looked rather flustered. The gorgeous Ami Dolenz makes for a wonderful performance as Jenny and Gloria Hendry kicks up some interest. The rest of the hysterical cast aren't so memorable, while the teens weren't particularly that good with the stereotypical traits. With Steve Kanaly, Hill Harper, Soleil Moon Frye and J. Trevor Edmond. Appearing in small and amusing parts are a familiar Linnea Quigley and Kane Hodder. Yep the trivia is right, Bill Clinton's brother Roger Clinton shows up as the Town's mayor.
Formulaic, cheesy b-fun emerges from this earnest sequel that doesn't try to outdo its original, but more so complement it. Maybe it's bad, but I kinda enjoyed it.
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