Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by 101 Films
Directed by Jeff Burr
Written by Constantine Chachornia, Ivan Cachornia and Will Huston
1993, 84 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 21st April 2014
Andrew Robinson as Sean Braddock
Ami Dolenz as Jenny Braddock
Soleil Moon Frye as Marcie
J. Trevor Edmond as Danny Dixon
Many slasher movies advertise their wares with a familiar warning: look out Freddy, Jason and Michael – there’s a new guy in town. So reads the blurb on the back of Pumpkinhead II, suggesting that its villain could go toe-to-toe with the best of the horror icons. Now, I don’t want to be the guy to piss on anyone’s chips, but that might be a tad ambitious. Maybe he should aim for the Leprechaun or Demonic Toys league, for now.
I do have a vague memory of watching the first Pumpkinhead and, knowing nothing about it, being intrigued to see what a ‘Pumpkinhead’ might look like. Merv, from the Sandman comics, maybe, or Jack from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Imagine my disappointment when Pumpkinhead arrived on screen, looking more like the alien at the end of Alien: Resurrection than anything its name might suggest. The awful design is made even more disappointing when you stop to consider that the film was directed by special effects maestro Stan Winston. Not one of Winston’s better designs. Still, it did have Lance Henriksen in it, and has garnered a decent cult following since its release, so it can’t be all bad.
In this sequel, we see a gang of bored youths resurrect the demon, setting him loose upon the small town in which they live. Sceptical Sheriff Braddock (Andrew Robinson, of Star Trek, Hellraiser and Dirty Harry fame) attempts to calm things down before it’s too late. Meanwhile, the vengeful Pumpkinhead stalks the town after dark, violently murdering its inhabitants as they go about their Hillbilly business. The guilty kids and a posse of bloodthirsty hunters attempt to get in there first, but Pumpkinhead isn’t so easily stopped.
While the story is nothing special, the death sequences are surprisingly good at times. The best of the lot is set to country and western music as Pumpkinhead dispatches two intercourse-havin’ locals, possessing a sense of energy lacking from a lot of Friday the Thirteenth or Halloween sequels. There are laughs, too, as the creature punches one man headfirst into a chicken coop, whereupon said chickens set about pecking the man’s face to death. You have no idea how fun that last sentence was to type. More fun than Pumpkinhead II is to actually watch, is the ultimate, unfortunate truth.
Like its predecessor and subsequent sequels, Pumpkinhead II is a passable slice of small town supernatural horror. Its titular villain won't leave Freddy or Jason shaking in their boots, but it does the job.