Ed Harley lives a simple life. A widower, he lives in the country, runs a general store and focuses all his love and attention on his young son Billy. When Billy is accidentally killed by city folk, Ed recalls a local legend.
Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you’re tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He’s mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you’re undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It’s when you think that he’s forgot,
He’ll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won’t protect you in your bed,
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.
Harley visits a local witch who says she cannot bring his son back. Instead, Harley says that he wants revenge; the witch agrees to help Harley, but she warns him that vengeance comes with a terrible price. On her orders, Harley goes to an old graveyard in the mountains, digs up a disfigured corpse, and brings it back to the witch’s home. The witch uses blood from father and son to resurrect the corpse, which rises as a gigantic, spindly demonic monster.
FX guru Stan Winston made his directorial debut with Pumpkin head, and was also one of the writers. Safe to say this was a project tailor made for the master of make up. Winston has stated in interviews that he did not view Pumpkinhead as a monster, or as an evil being. Instead he tried to portray the creature as a force of nature, answering the call of vengeance. To go along with such a cool monster, it’s only natural for Winston to churn out one of the coolest creature designs of all time, and accomplishing it all with practical effects! No CGI bullshit to be found.
The film is creepy, sad, filled with rad effects, and ends on a chilling note. I strongly recommend checking out this film…and steering far the fuck away from any of the sequels!