So I knew that this was going to be a hard one. I mean, it’s the day after Halloween, so there’s a bit of pressure on me. Do I go with a classic? Something a bit more contemporary? Well, I finally decided on Pumpkinhead!
Yes, it’s another 80’s classic and I feel like it couldn’t be a better fit. The film stars Lance Henriksen and is directed by Stan Winston. Now, even though the movie doesn’t take place on Halloween, it’s rich, eerie atmosphere more than makes up for that. It is centered around Henriksen’s Ed Harley, a loving father, who makes a deal to summon Pumpkinhead when tragedy strikes. His performance in the movie is one of the best in the genre. Then, you have Stan Winston’s direction and Bojan Bazelli’s cinematography, giving Pumpkinhead a unique quality. The special effects are fantastic, with the titular demonic creature maintaining a prominent screen presence. The night scenes are shot with heavy fog and fantastic sound work. When you see the monster, it’s very reminiscent of classic horror films that relied on the atmosphere. This is especially impressive in the Witch’s cabin where an orange glow that emits from the fireplace. Also, the pumpkin patch-graveyard scene always stuck out to me. There was so much attention to detail, it’s really is something to marvel at. You also feel for the victims, who are just a bunch of teenagers who wanted to have some fun. Pumpkinhead has become a horror icon, and rightfully so. Winston would only direct two feature length films. I for one think that is a shame and I would have loved to have seen his work more often.
Pumpkinhead is currently available on a Special Edition Blu-Ray from Scream Factory.