6.2/10
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Pumpkinhead (1988)

Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.

Director:

Stan Winston

Writers:

Ed Justin (poem), Mark Patrick Carducci (story) | 4 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lance Henriksen ... Ed Harley
Jeff East ... Chris
John D'Aquino ... Joel (as John DiAquino)
Kimberly Ross Kimberly Ross ... Kim
Joel Hoffman ... Steve
Cynthia Bain ... Tracy
Kerry Remsen ... Maggie
Florence Schauffler ... Haggis
Brian Bremer ... Bunt
George 'Buck' Flower ... Mr. Wallace (as Buck Flower)
Matthew Hurley Matthew Hurley ... Billy Harley
Lee de Broux ... Tom Harley (as Lee DeBroux)
Peggy Walton-Walker ... Ellie Harley (as Peggy Walton Walker)
Chance Michael Corbitt ... Eddie Harley (as Chance Corbitt Jr.)
Dick Warlock ... Clayton Heller (as Richard Warlock)
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Storyline

After a group of bikers accidentally murder a young boy named Billy Harley his father Ed harley is devastated and the only thing he wants is revenge and goes to an old woman who is said to be a witch and conjures a demonic creature known as pumpkin head and with Revenge on his Mind unleashes him upon the bikers. Written by devint-16816

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For each of man's evils a special demon exists... See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Winston refined the narrative, artists at his studio -- led by Alec Gillis, Shane Mahan, John Rosengrant & Tom Woodruff Jr. -- designed Pumpkinhead as a humanoid demon with a very large, angular head, withered facial features, and long, clawed fingers. "Since Stan was directing the movie," said Gillis, "he turned the creature work over to us. Stan said: 'I'm the director on this. I'm the client -- you guys are the effects guys.' It was great to have Stan's encouragement to just go with it, on our own. We sat down and started drawing, and then we presented those drawings to Stan, and he made suggestions. That's how the character of Pumpkinhead developed. Then I sculpted the head, and Tom and John sculpted the body." See more »

Goofs

When Steve is lying dead on the cabin floor just before he is covered up by his brother Joel you can see his eyes moving. See more »

Quotes

Ed Harley: God damn you! God damn you!
Haggis: He already has, son. He already has.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Inspired by a poem by Ed Justin See more »

User Reviews

 
What a folktale!
16 May 2006 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Ed Harley lives with his young son in the country, where they live a simple life and run a small store. Some city teens stop by at the store and get on their bikes for some fun. While this is happening Ed leaves his son to look after the shop as he delivers a item to a customer. When Ed arrives back he finds out his boy has been accidentally killed by one the careless riders. In fist of anger he seeks out an old lady who can summon up a demon which shall exact revenge on those involved in the death of his son. However, Ed starts to realise it was a bad idea and he eventually finds out that conjuring up this demon comes at a price.

Oh hail, B-legend Lance Henriksen! It's Henriksen's burning conviction and special effects whiz Stan Winston's masterful monster design that lifts this B-grade monster feature out of the very ordinary mould. I can see why those factors get highly praised. Pretty much it's typical 80s horror fodder, but on that point I found this minor piece be an enthralling backwoods shocker that's effectively creepy and ominous in its set-up. The atmospheric air just has that feel of the old style monster flicks. I found it to be a vivid treasure in that department with the empty woodlands being so chillingly, foreboding in presence. The dread of it all just swallows you up! Especially the glum conclusion. The night scenes are sensationally staged with very classy touches with the moon's rays shinning through, swirling mists and the shades of blues flood the screen with great impact. Director Stan Winston (making his debut) utilizes the scenery with skillful execution by giving the film such an organic feel and producing some blinding images within some eerie and thrilling set-pieces (the transformation scene being one). Chiming in also is that of the score which creaks an unsteady terror with it's alienating chords. I thought the dark feel and slick look of the film is perfect and that's rightfully so.

Though, it's not without its flaws. The main one being the scratchy writing with it being riddled with clichés, loose characters and repetition. The premise and feeble script could have done with a polish up, because the urban legend of this rural demon does make for an interesting viewing. Thrown up in the story are some thoughtful questions and a emotional edge, but still it was kinda lacking. The stock characters are reasonably an unlikeable bunch, but thank goodness Lance Henriksen gives out a powerful and hypnotic performance that you totally feel his hurt. While, the rest of the cast were modest even if their characters are vague as can be and had very little to work with. Now the other star of the film was the magnificent, but horrific looking demon that's simply grand in stature and hands out punishment with such ease by toying around with it's victims in such a cruel manner. Death scenes might be brutal, but if you want some gore out of those moments… there is some bad news. There ain't any. Some blood, but no gore. But if you're looking for some suspense leading up to the kills it seems to mishandle those moments by being very foreseeable. Pacing wise the film is solid even though after the intense beginning it seems to stall for a while, well that's until Pumpkinhead reappears and things really do get going with it's quest for relentless horror.

A solid and creative effort overall that relishes from it's visually brooding direction, superior lead performance and convincing monster design.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pumpkinhead See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$686,567, 16 October 1988

Gross USA:

$4,385,516

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,385,516
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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