Mark Patrick Carducci & Gary Gerani
Lance Henriksen as Ed Harley
Jeff East as Chris
Kimberly Ross as Kim
Madeleine Taylor Holmes as Old hill woman
I believe that a fan of film, regardless of genre, should be aware of more than just the actors but also have an awareness of the other aspects of film making. You should want to know who directed that great film…who created those awesome special effects? When I heard that Stan Winston, one of the greatest special effects artists there are, was going to direct a horror film I started looking forward to it from the moment it went into pre-production. I was also a big fan of lead actor Lance Henriksen so I was in line on opening day.
Pumpkinhead starts by introducing us to Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen), a single father who is trying to raise his son in the small backwoods community that he grew up in. Ed runs a little country store that becomes the stop for a group of city dwelling teenagers that are on their way to a cabin for the weekend.
The males of the group decide that this is a great place to crank up their dirt bikes and ride just like male teenagers are want to do: recklessly. A problem arises though when Ed Harley’s son’s dog gets irritated by the noise that the dirt bikes are making. During the barking, chasing and confusion Ed’s son gets in the way and is run over by one of the teenagers. This tragedydestroys Ed Harley and the only thing that he can think of is getting revenge.
Ed Harley goes to the old hill woman, a well known witch around those parts, and with her help releases a demon that has a one track mind. When pointed in the right direction, this demon won’t stop until he is finished with his deadly deeds.
Pumpkinhead is a classic story about vengeance and the price you have to pay to achieve it. I thoroughly enjoyed this film in the theater and still enjoy it to this day. For some reason it was panned by the critics but I have never really listened to the critics anyway.
Stan Winston did a great job at setting the atmosphere and direction forPumpkinhead and not veering very far from the core of the tale. His story telling skills are certainly very apparent. Another great element inPumpkinhead is the lead actor Lance Henriksen. Lance is the epitome of a character actor. He is just as believable as an FBI agent as he is as a soulless, murderous vampire – or a grief-stricken father. Henriksen’s versatility allowed him to make the character Ed Harleyso believable that you catch yourself believing that the legend of Pumpkinhead could actually be true.
I recommend this film to anyone that likes the ancient art of storytelling. Oh, and there is a great teenager-killing monster thrown in for good measure.