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Pumpkinhead (1988)

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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 »
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Popularity
1,729 ( 50)
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:

The Demon of Revenge. See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vengeance: The Demon 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, producers from the DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG), the film's production company, had sent Winston the script hoping to engage Stan Winston Studio to create the 'Pumpkinhead' demon. But Winston quickly recognized that, in Pumpkinhead, he had found an ideal property for his film-directing debut. "It was a small picture, something I thought I could handle as a director; and I felt there was a lot that I could bring to the story. So I told the producers, 'Yeah, I'll do the creature -- but only if I can direct the movie.'" See more »

Goofs

Bobby has been dead for a few hours by the time Haggis conjures Pumpkinhead. She would not have been able to draw blood from the dead boy's hand because once the heart stops beating, blood pools at the lowest point of the body. See more »

Quotes

Haggis: You're a fool, Ed Harley.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Inspired by a poem by Ed Justin See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Enthusiastically, if slightly amateurishly, made horror hokum
25 February 2006 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

"Keep away from Pumpkinhead, Unless you're tired of living, His enemies are mostly dead, He's mean and unforgiving, Bolted doors and windows barred, Guard dogs prowling in the yard, Won't protect you in your bed, Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead."

So goes the poem by Ed Justin. I've never heard of it previously. I'm assuming it's more of an American pop culture thing.

Stan Winston may be the man behind many of todays horror icons and creatures but how exactly does he hold up as a director? Not that great I'm afraid to say. But let's be reasonable. This film is almost 20 years old (it was completed in 1987) and Winston has no doubt improved in many ways since. But what he lacks in style he makes up for in enthusiasm.

The ever-brilliant Lance Henrikson (the man with THE coolest voice in the world) is Ed Harley, a backwoods shopkeep who's Milky-Bar Kid-lookalike son is killed by reckless dirt-bikers. After this surprising sad and touching scene, Ed visits the house of a mysterious old hag who has ties with the forces of darkness. Wishing vengeance upon the bikers he is sent on a mission to dig up the remains of a demon buried in a pumpkin patch. With his blood thrown into the mix of an evil spell, the demon is soon resurrected and goes about his usual mission of killing people who deserve it.

And so begins a series of scenes you've seen many times in numerous Friday the 13th films and the subsequent rip-offs. Only instead of a masked killer you get a very tall, weird looking creature that looks a lot like the Xenomorph from the Alien series. Despite Winston's usually awkward framing and cutting, he does pull off a couple of good scares and generates a decent amount of atmosphere. But the constant unnatural lighting, floodlit woods and fog effects get a bit annoying.

Pumpkinhead is, essentially, a tribute to urban legends and ancient scary stories told for generations before TV and mass-communication came along. In that sense, Pumpkinhead ranks alongside other mythical characters such as Spring-heeled Jack, the Skunk-Ape, Shadow People and El Chupacabra. Many of these characters are in the public subconscious, but like I said, perhaps the Pumkinhead myth is too uncommon outside of America to make that kind of impact.

Plus, there is good amount of story going untold. The whole idea of Harley and Pumpkinhead being connected through blood and bloodlust isn't developed too well and the film should have had a stronger showdown between them. The mysterious old hag could have had a bigger part too.

But if you're in the mood for undemanding horror, with slight irony, mild mythology, an interesting killer and one of the coolest actors ever (Mr Henrikson, take a bow) then go for it. Don't expect anything groundbreaking or memorable.


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