Despite the name ‘Pumpkin Head’ is actually a very strong entry in the ‘before the gore took on’ list of films, conjuring up a pretty cool monster and a fairly consistent storyline.
Another film where the debate rages on about whether it is actually any good or not; I certainly watched with a sceptical eye, however, as the film progressed my opinion of it actually got better rather than worse (although the box graphics are a tad misleading). From the artwork on the box I was expecting to see a sort of scarecrow monster with a pumpkin for a head, but actually what the creature really looks like is a pretty dodgy Alien – much better in my opinion.
The film is a simple story of revenge. When a man looses his only son in a motorbike accident he swears revenge on the group of teens responsible. Instead of going on a mental himself he decides to enlist the help of a local witch who can conjure up the demon ‘Pumpkin Head’. Pumpkin Head, the name given to the creature owing to its resting place in a pumpkin patch, is a local legend who is said to enact justice on those who wrong others. It’s a simple story which never gets too complicated but is deep enough to make it quite unique and memorable.
Part of the films strength is that it is quite sensibly made. The films characters are well developed, indeed most of the first 45 minutes deals exclusively on how the characters deal with the accident. The acting is fairly solid and there are a couple of familiar faces thrown in for good measure. Once the killing begins the pace picks up but the story remains true to its own rules.
Sadly, the killing is probably the weakest aspect of the film. Now the creature is a giant demon thing with massive claws etc however there is very little blood and no gore at all. I understand that perhaps they were trying to keep it a little mainstream but seriously, when all we see is a little bit of blood and stuff it is just a little anti climax. That said, the creature effects do look really cool. I was actually shocked as I was expecting much much worse. It’s obviously a man in a suit, but it certainly looks grotesque enough!
So overall, there isn’t anything really that clever about this movie, but it does just enough to be remembered. Basically, it’s kind of like a slasher movie, without the gore, but with a 9ft monster in its place! Shame it’s not gorier, but I think at least a watch wouldn’t do you any harm.