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Robin Atkin Downes,
In a Virginia forest village, true love between Ricky McCoy and Jodie Hatfield is sabotaged by their families' long-standing bitter feud. Despite sheriff Dallas Pope's grim warning, actually from bitter experience, it will only eat up his sole, Ricky resorts to vengeance on all standing in his way by appealing to pumpkin-head, a magical forester monster, who unleashes ever greater horror. Written by
Family feuds never end well, especially when the families involved in the feud have to deal with Pumpkinhead.
Writer/Director Michael Hurst's Sci-Fi Channel sequel to Stan Winston's classic horror tale of revenge gone awry has its moments and some decent gore, but ultimately falls short in comparison to the original.
I'm pretty sure the filmmakers weren't trying to make a comedy, but I caught myself laughing throughout. A family feud started over a car accident is the basis for this entry into the franchise. The Hatfield and McCoy families live in a backwoods town with dirt roads, drive pickup trucks, drink moonshine, and kick each others asses every chance they get. Just when they thought it was safe to hate each other and live happily ever after, Jodie Hatfield (Amy Manson) and Ricky McCoy (Bradley Taylor) decided to fall in love causing the fit to hit the shan. One night the two lovebirds decide to head out into the woods for some quality time while Ricky's sister plays lookout, but it just so happens that on that very night some of the Hatfields accidentally kill Ricky's sister and catch him and Jodie together. You know what happens next. Ricky finds his sisters body and decides to pay a visit to Haggis so that he can exact his revenge through the mighty Pumpkinhead. Ye Haw! Also, Harley (Lance Henriksen) is back to warn potential damned souls against using Pumpkinhead to ease their pain. Which really put a kink in the story because Harley is supposed to have called on Pumpkinhead years before this story takes place, but the setting and characters look like dirty Pilgrims that somehow traveled through time in order to bring the pickup truck back to Plymouth. Then there's the Sheriff (Rob Freeman) who has his own ties to the demon and looks like he belongs in a 70's revenge movie instead of a made-for-cable horror flick.
Some of the gore and special effects were cool, but instead of sticking to the man-in-a-suit way of thinking Hurst used some terrible looking 3D shots for certain scenes. One particularly embarrassing shot shows Pumpkinhead jumping from tree branches like a badly rendered 3D monkey. The cinematography was exceptional and elevated the quality of the movie quite a bit. The acting was pretty decent also, with the exception of a few poorly executed accents.
Family feuds never end well, especially when the families involved in the feud have to deal with Pumpkinhead. I didn't enjoy every minute of this flick, but it was much better than most of the movies the Sci-Fi Channel spits out. Maybe it's a sign that the Channel is trying to bring the quality of its movies up to match the quality of its original series'. I wouldn't waste any coin on a rental, but if you get the chance to catch a rerun of it on the boob-tube I would say to check it out. It's a not-so-killer-film but it rises slightly above the level of trash that makes it onto DVD these days.
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