It seems that no 80's movie is safe from the remake machine these days, as news of the late Stan Winston's directorial debut Pumpkinhead is announced as going into production expecting a 2017 release. This is being made by one of the executive producers of the once mighty (and possibly soon again?) Saw franchise, Peter Block. Where it might seem like a fun idea to re-start this franchise I have to wonder if we really NEED another one.
The original 1988 movie is a stone cold cult classic supernatural movie, with slasher film overtones that I personally love. The plot seems fairly simple and generic on paper (a man summons a demon to kill those responsible for his son's death) but is more than elevated by the acting prowess of Lance Henriksen, who's on form as a grieved father out for revenge. In fact, I'd recommend seeing it just for his screen presence alone, but add in a unique monster and you can't go wrong.
If you want a little more praise about the film see me chatting about it in the video below.
What the hell is Pumpkinhead you ask? Well in the film it's basically a demon from hell that has been summoned to get vengeance for someone who has been wronged. Over the centuries this thing has been called upon and the locals know to stay out of sight and not interfere with anyone who is marked by this creature. I tell you just writing this gives me the chills and I love good supernatural lore woven into a movie's plot, especially when it's this creepy.
Director Stan Winston created the creature himself, and being the man behind other amazing prosthetic work on movies like The Terminator, Predator and Aliens (I know wow!) he was more than qualified for the job. Personally the movie should stand as an incredible achievement for the director/effects maker and really why would anyone want to tarnish his legacy?
Further illustrating my point is the fact that Pumpkinhead has already had many sequels that haven't worked as well as they should. Since Stan never returned for any of them, the drop in quality was felt immediately in 1993's Pumpkinead II Blood Wings and it didn't stop there. In 2006 there was Pumpkinhead: Ashes To Ashes and 2007's Pumkinhead 4 Blood Feud which were both TV movie additions to the series and heavily retread the original. The DVD release slogan says it all: They couldn't leave dead enough alone.
Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions though and the new Pumpkinhead will stand as a sort of 'soft-reboot' like Dawn of The Dead and Star Treck were back in the noughties. This is the sort of movie I can get behind as they have infinitely more respect for their originals than to simply retread everything that came before them.
So either way, love it or hate it, the monster is being resurrected to cause more mischief on an unsuspecting audience next year. Keep your eyes peeled as I'll bring you more about this production as it appears.
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