Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:16:40 — 52.6MB)
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Pandora | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | Podchaser | TuneIn | Deezer | RSS | More
Pumpkinhead is one of the most straightforward and simple movies I think I have ever seen. You know that motif of, “made for TV movie” that movies like Tremors have? Pumpkinhead has that same feeling. While it does hold a place as a cult classic, that doesn’t mean it’s good.
Pumpkinhead can be found on Amazon and free on Hulu if you have Hulu right now.
Pumpkinhead is the story of a group of young twenty-somethings who are headed out to a cabin in the woods. As far as I can tell this is supposed to be set in the south, which is difficult for me because what isn’t shot on a soundstage is very obviously locations in the hills of LA.
As our group of kids stops at a small local store for some supplies, the rowdiest of the group inexplicably hops on dirtbikes and starts riding around doing sweet tricks. The son of the store owner is fatally injured by one of these sweet tricks, and all but one of the kids head into the hills to avoid having murder pinned on them.
The owner of the shop returns and finds his child mortally wounded, so he seeks revenge the only way he knows how – he goes to see a witch to put a death curse on the kids who killed his son.
Long story short, Pumpkinhead is summoned by the witch – he is a big ugly creepy looking …pumpkinhead. He cuts a swath of revenge through the kids and anyone who gets in the way of his revenge.
Pumpkinhead (directed by Stan Winston) is a better than terrible slasher that has a great monster and a cult following of adults who were scarred in their childhood by this gruesome beast. As far as movie structure goes, it’s pretty clear what is going on at all times and why.
Unfortunately, it’s never interesting enough for me to care about anyone or anything. The lighting is intentionally on the pitch-black side of dark (to hide the costume), and the writing is barebones and interchangeable with any other crappy 80’s slasher.
Here at Horror Movie Talk, we try to see things as they are, putting down the nostalgia glasses and looking at horror movies to compare them honestly. We won’t pander to you, or your childhood, and only minimally to our own (we hope). Pumpkinhead is a bad movie. What it brings to the table is an easy to understand storyline and a pretty great monster, along with a memorable name.
While you may remember this movie fondly, I think only the most die-hard horror snobs will go down with this ship to be seen as a “true horror fan”.
My Score for Pumpkinhead
This movie is about as barebones as you can get. I won’t go into astonishing detail because it doesn’t exist.
At the start of the movie we get to see a flashback of Ed Harley as a little kid. His family is enjoying a nice evening in, and their neighbor comes to their door screaming about something hunting him. They decline to let in this neighbor and avoid being killed.
Dirtbiking Gone Wrong!
Cut to present day, and Ed (Lance Henriksen) has a kid of his own. Ed runs a local shop. Some rowdy twenty-somethings show up at Ed’s shop for some supplies, and the rowdiest of the bunch just can’t contain themselves – they MUST dirtbike NOW!
While these ruffians are performing sweet tricks, Ed’s son is fatally wounded by dirtbike antics. All except one of the kids escape, Steve stays behind to look after Ed’s kid.
Revenge Via Witch Inspired Pumpkinhead
Ed heads over to the local witch, as you do when you are seeking ultimate revenge on a pack of ruffians. She warns Ed that revenge comes at a terrible price, but he is willing to accept the charges. She sends him out to retrieve a dead body at the most insane graveyard ever.
When He returns, she uses the blood oh his kid and him to resurrect this dead body into, you guessed it, Pumpkinhead.
Pumpkinhead Does The Thing
At this point the kids are feeling remorseful for, you know, murder – buts it’s too late. Pumpkinhead kills them. Yeah, it takes a while, and yeah, it’s boring. Every time Pumpkinhead kills, Ed has visions of the kill from within his own head, as though he also has a pumpkinhead…
Ed decides he can’t stand watching Pumpkinhead’s rampage and starts trying to stop him. He injures himself, and we see that Pumpkinhead is injured at the same time inexplicably. Now we know Ed and Pumpkinhead are linked. Ed tries to kill himself to end the spree, but ultimately Tracey kills both Ed and Pumpkinhead.
You may like this movie – that’s fine! Cult classics are cult for a reason; they posses something that keeps people coming back. If you haven’t seen this, don’t bother unless slashers are your bigtime jam, and even then, probably don’t bother. If you dig crazy monsters, ok maybe. The real reason to watch this is to say you have.
Swamp Witch says
Thanks for hocking your crap for 10 minutes. As bad as Pumpkinhead might be, two grown men begging for money and promising sound drops in return is even worse.
Bryce Hanson says
Well first of all, thanks for listening.
We do put a lot of time and money into creating the podcast. To give a little context, we both have full-time jobs, and families, so the time we get to spend on the podcast is borrowed time. On the weeks that it’s my responsibility to produce, I spend about 10 hours on the podcast.
1. Watching the movie (2 hours)
2. Writing the material for the recording (Synopsis, Review, Fake Ad, any games, etc.) (~1 hour)
3. Recording the show (1-2 hours)
4. Recording Patron Afterpod (~30-40 mins)
5. Editing/mastering the recording (3+ hours)
6. Rendering a video of the recording and uploading to Youtube (~30mins of work, a couple hours of rendering)
6. Writing the full blog post and including links, photos, TIMESTAMPS, videos, generating transcripts, etc. (~2 hours)
7. Promoting the episode on social media and relevant forums (~1 hour)
8. Posting content to Patreon (15 min)
9. Following up on comments on social media (30 mins)
10. Various tasks and monitoring related to the website (30 mins)
I get a lot of enjoyment out of producing the podcast, and it gives me a lot of free energy that I get to use in the rest of my life. I work to make money to keep a roof over my families head and feed them. I do the podcast for me, so I can have a creative outlet. That being said, the reality is that it’s pretty negligent for me to spend money and time on a podcast when my personal budget is tight and my time with my family is limited.
So we do what a lot of podcasters do.
We set up a Patreon for those who appreciate our content and want to support the show directly. As an added bonus, we do a little extra for our patrons in the form of bonus content or access to information, like our upcoming show calendar, and yes, audio drops (it should be noted that sound drops aren’t the only perk for that tier, you also get early access to the episode as soon as we finish editing it, which is usually several days before a normal release date). We vetted the tiers with our first patrons, and they seemed to like the perks that we proposed.
The episode that you listened to was the first time we revealed the new tiers, so yes, we took some extra time, and really, let’s be honest, how much is there really to be said about pumpkinhead?
In the future, if the midroll is taking too long in your opinion, feel free to use the skip forward button that is on most podcast platforms, or check out the show notes, and you can see the TIMESTAMPS for the next segment conveniently posted for your convenience.
I hope you keep listening, but if you find a horror movie review podcast that you like better, c’est la vie.