Thrill-seeking teenagers resurrect a demon from his grave and a bloody rampage for revenge begins.Thrill-seeking teenagers resurrect a demon from his grave and a bloody rampage for revenge begins.Thrill-seeking teenagers resurrect a demon from his grave and a bloody rampage for revenge begins.
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.
- May 9, 2007