Of all the overlooked, dearly loved '80s horror movies, Pumpkinhead holds a particularly special place in the horror fan's heart. The 'grim fairy tale' of revenge, orchestrated with exceptional SFX design by Stan Winston, was not afraid to kill off kids or be its glorious, OTT self. Pumpkinhead is cherished by pretty much anyone with a love of '80s horror... and now Pumpkinhead rises again.
“Pumpkinhead is one of my favorite horror films of the late ’80s, early ’90s. Stan Winston sits on that Mount Rushmore of iconic filmmakers because of his creature designs, and that was his first directing effort. The creature’s great but the emotional story is wonderful as well. I got the rights to Pumpkinhead, and hooked up with a great young writer called Nate Atkins, and we developed our script, which is really solid.”
“There is a similarity of theme and a similarity of story. There’s a lot of Easter eggs for people who know the original — iconic shots and iconic lines that we’re going to use. But we’ve enhanced the setting, and we’ve expanded the characters somewhat, to give it a different kind of experience.”
Pumpkinhead Easter eggs? Count me in! Block is aiming for shooting to begin early 2017, but first the Pumpkinhead remake needs a director:
“We’re just about to start going out looking for a director for it, somebody who really understands why the first one is terrific, the emotional beats of ‘Is the revenge you seek worse than whatever befell you in the first place?’ But it’s also somebody that wants to embrace what I think audiences really want these days — a really scary, fun thrill-ride. You get a lot of people who want to be in this genre because they see the commercial opportunities. I’m looking for a director who has a love for the genre and knows how to get those beats for the audience.”
Who could direct the Pumpkinhead remake?
1. Can Evrenol
My first thought for a director with deep genre knowledge and love of the '80s was Can Evrenol. His first feature length horror movie, Baskin, is an ultra-gory love letter to the decade, gleefully replete with the smoke, sounds and color palette that made the '80s so lovable. Hire this guy!
2. James Wan
Dead Silence (2007)
The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 (2013, 2016)
Insidious, Insidious 2 (2011, 2013)
Yeah, he's probably a little busy these days what with non-horror mega-blockbuster Aquaman on his plate, but James Wan won a great deal of critical acclaim for his sensitive direction for The Conjuring 2. His love of the themes of innocence and childhood would be particularly well-suited to a nostalgic fairy tale like Pumpkinhead.
3. Rob Zombie
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Halloween, Halloween II (2007, 2009)
The Lords of Salem (2013)
Sure, Zombie is controversial. If you want to watch a fight break out at a horror movie festival, just express your love of Rob Zombie's Halloween. With The Devil's Rejects he created a peon to the '70s, and Lords of Salem proved he can do slick style on a small budget. I'd love to see what Zombie would do with Pumpkinhead.
4. The Soska Sisters
Dead Hooker in A Trunk (2009)
American Mary (2012)
See No Evil 2 (2014)
They love horror movies, and though they love gore that's not all the Soska Sisters deliver. American Mary proved their ability at delivering a decent scare while never losing sight of that vital sense of humor. The Soska Sisters would do Pumpkinhead proud.
I also thought of Adam Wingard, Ti West, Jaume Collet-Serra, Paul Hyett, Todd Strauss-Schulson, Adam Robitel or Gerard Johnstone to helm Pumpkinhead, but there are so many talented horror directors working at the moment. Who would you like to see direct the Pumpkinhead remake?
Horror fans will also be relieved to hear that practical effects will be prized above CGI. Peter Block told EW:
“I am a big proponent of practical effects. That was the great thing about the original. A lot of the films I still respond to most today, it’s because of the practical effects. We think that it’s going to be a nice slow reveal, lots of scares and lots of action in the beginning, and a great creature in the end, which everybody should be able to look at and say, ‘Oh, that’s Pumpkinhead!’ It’s not like you’re all of a sudden going to find that it’s some amorphous, nebulous, CGI wispy thing. You’re going to know it came from the Pumpkinhead family lineage.”
Have you seen every Pumpkinhead movie? Here's ya watchlist to plough through before the 2017 reboot.
Pumpkinhead (United Artists, 1988)
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (VHS, 1994)
Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (Syfy, 2006)
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud (Syfy, 2007)
Who would you like to see direct the Pumpkinhead remake?