Pumpkinhead title

AKA Vengeance the Demon

Tag Line : For each of man's sins, a Demon awaits

PumpkinheadAs a child, Ed Harley witnessed the slaying of 3 local men by a strange creature, one believed to be a demon from local folklore called "Vengeance", or "Pumpkinhead" as it's also known as. Many years later and the images of that night are but a distant memory, and Ed, played by Horror B-movie regular Lance Henricksen, earns a simple living running his family's store with his young son.

But Ed's life is shattered when a group of vacationing teens carelessly run over his son with their dirt bikes, then flee the scene leaving him to die. Blinded by rage and remembering what he saw on that fateful night many years ago, he visits one of the local's to see about summoning up the creature to exact his revenge upon them.

The hapless teens subsequently find themselves being preyed upon by a seemingly unstoppable large winged demon, who pops up periodically to dispense them one-by-one. In the meantime though, Ed realises not all the young teens were at fault and so having a change of heart decides to try helping the surviving members. But stopping the unstoppable proves to be no easy task, and it seems that summoning up this demon has some severe long-term implications for Ed.

Directed by Stan Winston, who's probably better known for his special effects work in this field, this is one of those films you may have passed over in the video shop. Whilst it's no cinematic masterpiece, it proves to be a lot better than the naff video box artwork suggests.

Lance Henricksen is on fine form, as always, giving a solid performance. Stan Winston proves to be a competent director and his effects shop do a fine job with the special effects. The only downside is the film is somewhat formulaic and derivative of the many 80's teen stalk and slash style of films of its time with elements of the old Universal horror films of the 40's worked into the mix. Also, the creature looked way too similar to the creatures from the "Aliens" movies for my liking, which incidentally Winston also worked on.

The film is definitely worth a watch though, even if it's just for Lance Henricksen.

Overall Marks : 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "For each of man's evils a special demon exists", "A Grim Fairy Tale".

  • Pumpkinhead was played by Tom Woodruff Jr, who's a member of Stan Winston's creature effects team. He also played the alien creature in "Aliens 3 & 4" and "Alien Vs Predator".

  • The films budget was $3,500,000.

  • Dick Warlock, who plays Clayton, is a stuntman by trade, and has worked on numerous genre films over the years. His most notable role undoubtedly being that of Michael Myers (The Shape) in "Halloween 2".

  • This was special effects man Stan Winston's directorial debut, he actually turned down the chance to direct "Nightmare on Elm Street 3" to concentrate on this project.

  • The original UK video release was entitled "Vengeance the Demon".

  • The film was apparently based on a short poem by Ed Justin

  • Stan Winston actually had nothing to do with the design or building of the Pumpkinhead creature, as he was too busy directing. Instead he left it up to his workshop.

  • Pumpkinhead and Haggis the Witch were made a lot darker by the screenwriters then they appeared in the original script at the request of Stan Winston.

  • The film suffered numerous difficulties getting a mainstream release as the studio, DeLaurientis Entertainment, went bankrupt shortly after filming had finished. The film then sat on the shelf for about a year before United Artists picked it up. However, the film only received a limited release after getting mixed reviews from test audiences.

  • The film spawned a direct-to-video sequel in the mid 90's, which starred Andrew Robinson, and 2 TV movies in 2006, which Lance Henricksen returned for.

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