Pumpkinhead (1988)

Directed by: Stan Winston

Written by: Mark Patrick Carducci & Gary Gerani

Story by:
Mark Patrick Carducci, Stan Winston & Richard Weinmann


Lance Henriksen .... Ed Harley
Jeff East .... Chris
John DiAquino .... Joel
Kerry Remsen .... Maggie
Kimberly Ross .... Kim
Joel Hoffman .... Steve
Cynthia Bain .... Tracy
Florence Shauffler .... Haggis
Brian Bremmer .... Bunt
George 'Buck' Flower .... Mr. Wallace

Special Appearances:

Lee Dee Broux .... Tom Harley
Peggy Walton-Walker .... Ellie Harley
Devon Odessa .... Hessie
Mayim Bialik .... Wallace kid

Release Dates: Theatrical: June, 1988 (Paris); September 1, 1988 (West Germany); January 13, 1989 (USA)

*Images courtesy at: www.houseofhorrors.com







A young boy witnessed a demonic creature Pumpkinhead (Tom Woodruff Jr.) who killed a man Clayton Heller (Dick Warlock) for doing a bad deed decades ago as a child experienced this murder locked in his cabin with his family.
It is now present day and this child is a full grown single father Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) with his son Billy (Matthew Hurley) who owns a little grocery store in the middle of nowhere as some teenagers are on a country holiday dirtbike racing.
Tragedy strikes when one of them Joel (John DiAquino) runs over Billy as he was drunk and kills him while this poor child was trying to chase after his dog from running away.
Joel's younger brother Steve (Joel Hoffman) tries to tell Ed that what happened was an accident but Ed shows total rage against these kids as he tries to find out where a backwoods witch Haggis (Florence Shauffler) is residing but one of the locals Mr. Wallace (George 'Buck' Flower) only tells him that she will raise hell than to help resurrect his son.
He doesn't listen and digs up Pumpkinheads corpse requested by Haggis as she then uses both Ed's and Billy's blood to revive this demonic creature.
Ed doesn't realise what he has done as he feels pain whenever Pumpkinhead roams the woods with him around as this beast plans to do away all these teens one by one for the death of poor Billy as Ed tries to stop this monster before anyone else gets killed.


A great prologue that involved a supporting character Clayton Heller by running away in the woods on a stormy night and banging on a cabin door and screaming for help which looked good as well as his body being pulled away and dragged by Pumpkinhead himself which looked very creepy as well as a good shot on a child staring at the window during the terrifying moment.
We then have a nice look with Ed Harley working outside on a dusty day as the camera looking good focusing on him.
There is a good conversation between Ed and his son Billy going in their vehicle to the corner store which looked like a nice father and child act.
There's also a good chanting on a group of children circling around one of their siblings and taunting him about Pumpkinhead which will always be well remembered along with a good shot on Tracy staring at them with creeped out features.
Good shots on Joel and Steve riding their dirtbikes around doing stunt driving and jumping around.
A good shot on Billy running in the dirt field for his dog with Tracy and Maggie screaming after him in fear and suddenly a good shot on Steve in the air with his bike and a terrifying shot on Joel hitting him as well with Billy looking good on the ground dead as a doornail.
Everyone does well by crying and freaking out.
A good upsetting look on Ed running towards his dead son and then carrying him away.
There's a good discussion with Ed towards Mr. Wallace about finding Haggis to resurrect his son in which things turn effective and interesting when this fellow suggests to him that it's not a good idea and knowing nothing on where she is. This scene was well put into the story drawing your attention by wondering on what could unravel here.
There is a nice dark and creepy setting with Ed approaching the old creepy cabin with Haggis by sitting in her chair by the fireplace. Good angle shots between Ed and Haggis by having a wicked conversation.
Perfect dark shots on Ed digging up Pumpkinhead's corpse on a hill with the mist floating around.
A perfect shot on Pumpkinhead rising up in the cabin with Ed lying on the floor trembling in pain.
There's a good scene between Steve and Maggie out in the dark woods together with him showing her a crucifix necklace.
Many good shots on Steve being dragged around with a clawlike hand on his head throwing him around too.
Good chasing scenes involving Tracy, Joel and Chris running away from Pumpkinhead as we see many dark shots on him standing with lightning flashing and ready to attack.
Good shots on Ed with a rifle or flametorch trying to do away with Pumpkinhead.
A perfect shot on Joel standing there next to Pumpkinhead on the ground and then grabbing his leg and holding him upside down.
We spot a perfect discussion between Bunt walking into the woods with Tracy and Chris to a torn down church explaining to them what the creature is as it was strongly done.
A nice shot with the blue light shining on Pumpkinhead standing in the broken down church.
Bottom line is that I must say that this film was truly original by having some sort of a demon rising out of a pumpkin patch grave with good effects and a nice b-film look to it adding that right spooky monster movie touch to it. I enjoyed the lightning effects and having a backwoods witch involved too with locals not wanting anything to do with her as well as the legend of Pumpkinhead. It's really disturbing when you see a father and son relationship that is wrecked after his son gets killed which makes you feel sorry for the old guy. Pumpkinhead looked like one of the creatures from Aliens and of course was made by the same special effects guy too. This one is for sure a great one to watch on Halloween.

The acting is fairly good as we have a nice performance by cult veteran Lance Henriksen (Ed Harley) as a basket case store owner who shows nice upsetting emotions and great energy as he always does with his work in a film. does well turning around with an evil look on his face after someone explained by telling him it was an accident after what happened to hius onscreen son.
Jeff East
(Chris) has that nice boy next door looks to him for a horror film like this as he suits the role and brings his character failry clear to the screen.
John DiAquino
(Joel) plays a nice bad ass drunk in the film as he knew how to act paranoid and aggressive. Great menacing reactions by him towards his fellow castmates in their cabin.
Joel Hoffman
(Steve) who plays his younger brother is okay with his part but nothing really too special as I found his only great performance was his small role in the 1987 slasher flick Slaughterhouse. Yet, this film marks to be his most successful one to date. In a part of the story does well with upsetting words explaining it was an accident to someone else after a tragic moment on what he did.
Kerry Remsen
(Maggie) who played his girlfriend stood out well with her paranoid attitude and screaming behavior. She does well trying to pray at a table and going ballistic.
Cynthia Bain
(Tracy) plays a nice leading actress in the film with her scared emotions with pumped up energy and knew how to act emotional quite well too.
A nice reaction on her telling her onscreen siblings to stop it. Nice emotions on her when she confronts her fellow cast member that what happened to his onscreen son was an accident. She had the right looks to be a victim in a horror film too.
Florence Shauffler
(Haggis) looked believably creepy playing the backwoods witch in the film along with her creepy tones too.
Brian Bremmer
(Bunt) really brought a great performance as a son to a redneck family really bringing his lines across superbly.
But I had to admit I really enjoyed George 'Buck' Flower (Mr. Wallace) bringing a perfect redneck charm to his part in the film and good stern expressions too. He does well with his intimidated reactions not to do such a thing towards someone else in a part of a story on a suggested resurrection. A good blunt attitude on him by telling two people to get away from his property in another scene. Bless his soul.
There's even a small part by Dick Warlock (Clayton Heller) who seemed to bring a great creeped out character in the beginning of the film as he can wear other hats than just Michael Myers.

There's the odd blood here and there but nothing too gruesome.

We have some great bluesy accoustic country like guitar playing along with some harmonica music. There's also terrific creepy dark synthesizer playing during the terrors with Pumpkinhead. All of this was put together by Richard Stone.

Clayton Heller: What kind of a Christian are you for God sakes???

Kim: [talking about Joel and Chris looking for Steve] They should be okay, right? I mean, they took the guns and everything.
Maggie: God is the only thing that can stop what's out there, Kim.
Tracy: [walks over to the drawer and pulls out a large kitchen knife] Just in case God doesn't show.

Tracy: Can't you stop this? Can't you call it off?
Ed Harley: Nothin' can call it off...
[lights flamethrower]
Ed Harley: ...but I'm gonna send it back to whatever the Hell it come from!