Pumpkinhead 1988

Pumpkinhead

Critics Consensus

With effects work and solid direction from Stan Winston -- and Lance Henriksen adding welcome gravitas -- Pumpkinhead is a creature feature that stands a cut above.

65%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

48%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,230

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Movie Info

After his son dies in a hit-and-run accident, Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) seeks revenge against the teenagers responsible. With the help of a local witch (Florence Schauffler), Ed summons the vengeful demon Pumpkinhead to hunt and kill the group of friends. But when Ed discovers a bond between himself and the creature, he begins to have second thoughts about employing the vicious monster, and he fights to end Pumpkinhead's murderous rampage before it is too late.

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News & Interviews for Pumpkinhead

Critic Reviews for Pumpkinhead

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for Pumpkinhead

  • Apr 17, 2018
    A great little horror with brilliant special effects that have definitely stood the test of time. Watching Pumpkinhead now, it's almost like a love letter to times gone where there was a lack of computer special effects and the monsters were actually made by human hands and had a real revolting and demonic look that no one has been able to mimic with the use of CGI since. Pumpkinhead teeters right on the edge of the nineties when this kind of horror had started to go extinct. Real good old fashioned scary stories instead of remakes or sequels. Lance Henrikson gives a brilliant performance.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2017
    SFX guru Stan Winston helms this movie, and it is the special effects of Pumpkinhead that most stand out. For those alone, it is worth watching, however, it never reached the heights of horror franchises born of the same era. Still, a shining example of fantasy horror that I was thrilled to revisit.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 17, 2017
    250 hours, guys. Two-hundred and fifty fucking hours, guys. 250 hours without any electricity. This would not be so difficult if I lived in a place like, say, Canada, where you could at least sleep comfortably since the weather wouldn't be hot. Where I live, a tropical island, the weather is almost always in the 90+ range. The lowest we get here might be the mid-80s. And the fact that most houses here are made of concrete makes sleeping inside in this weather almost impossible without waking up in a pool of your own sweat. This happened several nights here in the 10 and a half days we were without electricity. It was quite annoying. That's neither here nor there, of course, and very few of you actually care about this. Let's move on to the review, shall we? I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone that the first movie I review after being gone for almost 2 weeks is a horror movie. It should surprise people even less that it's an 80s horror flick. After being gone for a while and being stressed the fuck out for 10 and a half days, I wanted to watch something silly. I was leaning more towards a comedy before I, eventually, settled on this. Why did I choose this, you may ask yourself. Or not, who knows? Anyway, I just saw it on Amazon and it was like 'oh cool'. As far as I can remember, I had never actually seen this movie (maybe bits and pieces, but not enough to get a real sense of quality). Of course I'm familiar with Pumpkinhead. It's a C-tier horror franchise, like Puppet Master or Wishmaster, for sure, but I'm certainly familiar enough with it. Not familiar with the details of the concept or the origin of the actual Pumpkinhead, but something is something. I'll be honest with you all, as this is what you should expect from me, but I didn't really like this movie that much. Don't know what it is, as it is a fairly competent movie, on a technical level at least. There's just something about this that's, honestly, a little off-putting. And, again, I can't quite put my finger on it. The design of the Pumpkinhead itself is great, it'd almost have to be with special effects artist Stan Winston behind the helm. But, quite frankly, the monster itself isn't really that scary in the slightest. Part of the reason for that has to be the fact that it looks like a completely immobile being. It looks like a monster that would, and should, be easily avoided because it moves so damn slowly. Secondly, there's very little gore in the film. There's actually next to no gore and the blood is, again, practically nonexistent. So you have a creature that regularly people could easily avoid and it doesn't really inspire any sort of fear. I mean, he does kill the teens in this movie, but he doesn't do it in a way where that fear is translated to an audience that then buys him as a legitimate monster. I know this is a cult classic, but I honestly don't really get what people see in this. The design of the monster is great, but that's all it has going for it. The film is poorly-written and poorly-acted. And it's not even the "good" kind, where you just sort of laugh at how shitty the writing and the acting are. It's just not entertainingly bad like The Room. Part of me thinks that this film's cult following is due to the aforementioned issues, but again, it's just really bad. At least this moves at a fast enough pace. But that might also be one of its biggest problems. You're thrown into this world with just the bare minimum of introduction. Nothing is given a chance to breathe. Characters are anticlimactically killed off because they don't have a lot of time to work with. It's just a disaster. The most interesting ideas in the film come at the end, when it is revealed that the person who called upon the Pumpkinhead's murderous ways, to avenge something that was done to that person's loved ones (as an example), becomes the next Pumpkinhead upon their death. That's about the most logical reason anyone has ever come up with for why a villain that has been killed keeps coming back sequel after sequel. Stan Winston is a legend in the special effects world, but a good storyteller he is not. This is a misfire on almost every level but one. And that is the design of the Pumpkinhead. Everything else about this movie is just really bad. I can't recommend this in the slightest, even if you're the biggest horror geek in the world. There's plenty of better 80s horror movies that deserve your attention.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2013
    I suppose I appreciate that there is one horror film that is told from the perspective of the cliched hillbillies instead of the sexy, arrogant teens, but this movie doesn't really work. There's a lot of striking eerie colors and fog but the monster itself (which is revealed way too early) isn't all that scary.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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