A great horror movie makes more of an impression on the psyche than any other kind of film. Hell, even a bad horror flick can scar you for life. There’s a phrase that every seasoned horror fan loves to hear: “Have you ever seen . . . ?” For the next 31 days, John E. Meredith will unearth some of his personal favorites that fell through the cracks, that are not so obvious, the kind that might even sneak up on you while you’re trying to sleep. Pumpkinhead 1988, USA. Directed by Stan Winston. Written by Mark Patrick Carducci and Gary Gerani, inspired by a poem by Ed Justin. Starring Lance Henriksen, John D’Aquino, Kimberly Ross. “Keep away from Pumpkinhead unless you’re tired of living. His enemies are mostly dead, he’s mean and unforgiving . . . ” – Ed Justin Late at night there’s a desperate pounding on a farmhouse door. Tom Harley looks at the door and then at his wife and son, cowering in the dark. The man outside is a friend of the family and he’s pleading for them to let him in. Tom says that he’ll shoot him if he doesn’t go away. Little Ed peeks out the window and sees the man trying to run, but there’s something terrible out there. Something huge and clawed and bloodthirsty . . . Many years later, Ed runs a country store in the same small town. He’s got a son of his own now, who is about the same age Ed was when he saw the thing outside his parents’ house. In the few scenes they have together we can see that Ed’s boy is his world. But there is no horror movie without some kind of tragedy, so we see the rowdy bunch of teenagers who have come camping in the woods. It’s not long before Ed is holding his dead son, howling in grief and rage. Ed goes to see the strange old woman reputed to be a witch. She looks at the boy and says that she can’t bring him back. But she might be able to do something else. There’s a creepy old pumpkin patch up in the mountains. She’s going to need some blood from him and the boy. Oh yeah, and there is the matter of payment. Go ahead and make that check out to ‘vengeance comes at a terrible price’. As a matter of fact, maybe you’d better just give me the cash up front. This film marks the directorial debut of special effects guru Stan Winston, who did Oscar-winning work in movies like JURASSIC PARK and TERMINATOR 2. Here, since the boss was busy, his team did the honors on a creature that is truly spooky and realistic. Lance Henriksen turns in another in a long line of great performances as well, here as Ed Harley. He has an amazing face that can pull of both tenderness in the scenes with his cinematic son and stony rage when the boy is taken from him. His best work was in the short-lived series MILLENNIUM, but he is also memorable here. Confucius warned that before embarking on a journey of revenge, you’d better dig two graves. That lesson is no more explicit that when the killing starts and Ed sees it all through the monsters eyes. Pumpkinhead avenges those who were wronged, but anyone who tries to stop him will become marked too. Vigilante justice was a popular theme in ’80s cinema, but here it is a horror movie that takes a different approach. Here, we see how vengeance truly takes on a life of its own. See larger image Pumpkinhead (Collector’s Edition) [Blu-ray] When a group of teenagers inadvertently kill his only son, Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen, Aliens) seeks the powers of a backwoods witch to bring the child back to life. But instead, she invokes ’the pumpkinhead’ (a monstrously clawed demon which, once reborn, answers only to Ed’s bloodlust). But as the creature wreaks it’s slow, unspeakable tortures on the teens, Ed confronts a horrifying secret about his connection to the beast: and realizes that he must find a way to stop its deadly mission before he becomes one with the creature forever. Also starring Jeff East (Deadly Blessing), Joel Hoffman (Slumber Party Massacre II) and Kerry Remsen (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), this ’atmospheric, moralistic tale’ (TV Guide) delivers demonic horror at its blood-drenched best. New From: $18.47 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.