Directed by: Jeff Burr
Cast: Andrew Robinson, Ami Dolenz, Soleil Moon Frye
Every once in a blue moon along comes a movie so dreadful that it entertains on a masterful level. None of the Pumpkinhead flicks are what I’d consider high-brow filmmaking, but a few installments sure are a blast. The first film, which does admittedly feature a heartbreaking performance from Lance Henriksen and an appearance from the awesome Dick Warlock, is a solid little creep-out revenge piece. The second film in this not-so-favored franchise, appropriately titled Pumpkinhead 2 is a complete and total train wreck that I just cannot take my eyes off of. It’s great in so many bad ways, and you’ve just got to love those kinds of films.
The story is familiar, as we all know that Pumpkinhead is only summoned when someone wants to exact a little revenge, even at the cost of their own life, so that’s what we get here. The flick opens with a flashback shot from the 1950s when the deformed and reclusive Tommy is tormented by a bunch of goofy greasers who eventually kill the poor kid. That kid just so happened to be the offspring of Pumpkinhead, and daddy is soon risen and out to kill off those punks that did his boy in. That’s the origin established in Pumpkinhead II. While it does take some time, that decades-old murder triggers a curse that will one day come back to haunt the members of the “Red Wings” – the punks who killed Tommy.
There are a few questionable casting decisions (I like Andrew Robinson – especially in Hellraiser, but he’s not the right call for town sheriff here, while a few of the film’s younger trouble makers are a little wooden in front of the cameras), and I think the editing of the film could have been a bit sharper with some more inventive transitions (that could have empowered the dark, atmospheric shots of the film), but beyond those big hiccups – well, and the embarrassing dialogue – Pumpkinhead 2 is, again, pretty good.
The star of the film is actually Pumpkinhead himself. Greg Nicotero, Bob Kurtzman and Howard Berger do a tremendous job of making this savage monstrosity look incredibly menacing. The animatronic work in the face make for some super eerie moments, and the makeup work is about as good as it gets. Although Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings isn’t a flawless film, it’s a real joyride with some damn respectable special effects from a few of the greatest practitioners in the game today.
Scream Factory gives us some strong bonus material, including a nice commentary track with director Jeff Burr, an interview with the man, some behind-the-scenes footage and some cool looks at recreating the titular beast. It isn’t a bountiful load of bonus supplements, but what we do get is rewarding and appreciated.
I’m going to go ahead and rate not just the film, but the entire Scream Factory package, which in my mind deserves a very firm…