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"Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

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"Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Old 09-25-11, 07:00 PM
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"Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18






Pumpkinhead (1988)



Selected by shellebelle



IMDB ENTRY

These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET.

MAIN THREAD | LIST THREAD

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Old 10-18-11, 01:11 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

^ That is a fantastic poster for the film.

I actually watched this film very recently before the challenge. I thought it was all right, but it didn't really blow me away or anything. It has some great creature effects, and it does have some effective moments. It's a good monster movie, and while it doesn't bring anything new to the table, the old-school monster is really cool.

Since I had seen the film recently, I decided to watch it with the DVD audio commentary. Sometimes a commentary will help me gain a greater appreciation for a film. I didn't feel that was the case here. It wasn't a bad or boring commentary; it was just felt a little too self-congratulatory, especially for a listener who felt a bit on the fence about the film. I'd consider buying it cheap if it ever comes out on Blu-ray, but it's not one I could see myself revisiting too often.
Old 10-18-11, 04:38 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

I hate Pumpkinhead... it is a slow uneventful film that makes a re-incarnated demon creature that looks cool into a dreadful bore. Stan Winston is a genius at effects but not so much at directing. The wasted potential angers me.
Old 10-18-11, 04:48 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Watching it now, and if I can stay awake I may try to finish all four tonight.
Old 10-18-11, 05:00 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Even though I have a rifle, I will never shoot at Pumpkinhead. Even when he's sitting on a tree branch or standing on the roof. I will only look at him and then go off and do something else.
Old 10-18-11, 09:23 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Watching it now, and if I can stay awake I may try to finish all four tonight.
You get married in 20ish days; do not waste them on Pumpkinhead.
Old 10-18-11, 10:33 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

The first Pumpkinhead was a good suspenseful horror movie, Pumpkinhead's 2, 3, & 4 are OK but pale by comparison. -kd5-
Old 10-18-11, 10:57 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

First Pumpkinhead is a good atmospheric horror movie but the rest are garbage imo. Also that poster is awesome but has almost nothing to do with the movie
Old 10-19-11, 12:19 AM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Here's a sample question from the HMAT (the Horror Movie Analogies Test): Pumpkinhead is to a good horror movie as a connect-the-dots picture is to _____________________. Your answer choices are a) rocky road ice cream; b) Sylvester the Cat; c) Queen's worldwide hit single, Bohemian Rhapsody; or d) the Mona Lisa. The correct answer is, of course, d. Stan Winston was an incredible makeup artist, but a great director he wasn't. Pumpkinhead looks great, but it fails to build the necessary tension needed to make its clockwork plot work. It also has the problem that it contains approximately one-and-a-half likable characters, with the one being killed off early on, and the other ceasing to be likable once the other has been killed off. Pumpkinhead suffers from the same problem that many films made in the late 1980s suffer from: a lack of heart. It's sort of like a birthday cake made entirely of frosting. That time period produced a glut of films that sacrificed sturdy plots for surface flash (rather like the decade itself) and they suffered for it. I really wanted to love Pumpkinhead, but I feel it's fatally flawed.
Old 10-19-11, 12:24 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
You get married in 20ish days; do not waste them on Pumpkinhead.
Good advice. I only partially followed it though.

Gave up on them after the first two films. I pretty much agree with rbrown's thoughts.

I know I should be packing and preparing for the wedding, and I am at least a little bit every day, but the allure of our Horror Challenge is too strong. I'll slow down now that we're getting close to the wedding, but I'll watch at least the subset film everyday.
Old 10-19-11, 01:33 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
Here's a sample question from the HMAT (the Horror Movie Analogies Test): Pumpkinhead is to a good horror movie as a connect-the-dots picture is to _____________________. Your answer choices are a) rocky road ice cream; b) Sylvester the Cat; c) Queen's worldwide hit single, Bohemian Rhapsody; or d) the Mona Lisa. The correct answer is, of course, d. Stan Winston was an incredible makeup artist, but a great director he wasn't. Pumpkinhead looks great, but it fails to build the necessary tension needed to make its clockwork plot work. It also has the problem that it contains approximately one-and-a-half likable characters, with the one being killed off early on, and the other ceasing to be likable once the other has been killed off. Pumpkinhead suffers from the same problem that many films made in the late 1980s suffer from: a lack of heart. It's sort of like a birthday cake made entirely of frosting. That time period produced a glut of films that sacrificed sturdy plots for surface flash (rather like the decade itself) and they suffered for it. I really wanted to love Pumpkinhead, but I feel it's fatally flawed.
Well, for me the problem is that the movie is essentially a one-man show starring Lance Henriksen. The victims in the film have zero personality, leaving Henriksen to carry the entire film. They aren't interesting enough to be likeable or unlikeable.
Old 10-19-11, 02:57 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Pumpkinhead is a cool looking monster but the movie really is about the fall and redemption of the dad. I still enjoyed it but there are issues, namely with the personalities of the victims.
Old 10-25-11, 11:05 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

This is a movie that I have always meant to watch and for whatever reason, never did. For one thing, I hate the title. It's an awful title and doesn't help. The creature effects were really good even for this cheapy film and makes me wonder why Hollywood has almost completely abandoned practical effects nowadays when they looked so good even on a low budget film like this (at least I hope it was low budget).

Since I had never seen the film or even read anything about it, I was pretty shocked when the boy died. Wasn't really expecting that at all and it bummed me out (especially since I have a boy near that age). At the same time, while effective, it was completely ludicrous how that death came to be. I mean, what loving father leaves his 5 year old son to tend the family store in the boonies while a bunch of asshole, strange teens mountain bike like maniacs right behind your store? So, even though the death shocked me, the set-up to have him die was pretty dumb.

I agree with others stating that it is tough for the one character to carry the whole film. The movie kinda switches gears and seems to expect to you feel sorry for the asshole kids that were involved in an innocent child's death. What?

I did like the end and Harley shooting himself to end it was a nice bonus but I never really bought why Harley had the change of heart regarding getting vengeance in the first place.

So to summarize...good effects, decent acting, poor story-telling. I still liked it all in all but as I type this, the movie went down half a star. Guess thinking about this movie doesn't do it any favors. Watch Pet Sematary for similar themes but a much better story. If I wasn't so tired right now, I would actually put it on. I will say that with all the recent rash of horror movie remakes, it is movies like Pumpkinhead that should be remade. A weak movie with promise could prove to be a better remake than what has been given us lately.

My rating: *** out of *****
Old 10-26-11, 03:04 PM
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Re: "Pumpkinhead" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
So to summarize...good effects, decent acting, poor story-telling. I still liked it all in all but as I type this, the movie went down half a star. Guess thinking about this movie doesn't do it any favors.
And I totally agree with this. The more I think about this movie, the more I find lacking from it.

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