Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pumpkinhead (1989)

Pumpkinhead, also known as Vengeance: The Demon was the directorial debut of Make-up FX artist Stan Winston and was inspired by a poem by Ed Justin.
The film was shelved for a few years due to the bankruptcy of DEG - De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. Made for $3.5m the film had a very limited release and ended up straight to VHS in many countries.

Plot summary:
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 (Lance Henrikson). 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.Imdb

Stan Winston who was busy directing the movie left the creation of the creature in the hands of his effects team headed by Tom Woodruff Jr. who'd previously worked with Winston on The Terminator, Aliens, The Monster Squad and Leviathan. Lance Henrikson is one of those actors who really can add a touch of class to any low budget film. Also starring in the film is Jeff East who played Young Clark Kent in Superman: The Movie. Another notable cast member is that of George 'Buck' Flower who has appeared in The Fog, Escape from New York, Back to the Future and Demolition Man as the IMDB states he was frequently cast as drunk or homeless characters.
I always loved the Pumpkinhead demon design, the creature was suspended on wires, not unlike the early Predator creature that failed that I mentioned a while back Predator - The original design
Winston's team do a great job of bringing this creation to life and for me this is one of their most memorable creatures. The films Cinematography is pretty colourful, night scenes tend to be very blue were as a lot of interior scenes have a very red/orange look, especially those in Haggis's shack.
I think it's a shame Pumpkinhead didn't find a bigger audience at the time of it's release, but has gone on to spawn toys, comics and 3 sequels made for VHS and DVD.


allen said...

Lance Rules! Loved this pumpkins...

Moonwatcher said...

It's been ages since I've seen this film, remember it being pretty good.

DanO said...

Pumpkinhead is one of those movies that slipped by me, and i stand here before you admitting that i have never seen it... i gotta fix that.

although i am a huge Lance Henrickson fan. the guy is a really interesting guy. from what i understand, he lived on the street for a long time before he started getting bit acting gigs as unsavory characters. his roles grew into full fledged ones but he had to reveal to the film makers that he is more or less a functioning illiterate.
i've heard that it takes him an excruciating long time to deliver big chunks of dialogue - often relying on an off camera reader to feed him the lines. if he remains still, they speed up the film during those gaps.

its called a "Lance Henrickson cut".