by: Sammy Mink
The famous (or infamous) franchise is coming back to the big screen. The PUMPKINHEAD series of horror films began in 1988 and spawned 3 sequels: “Pumpkinhead II: Blood and Wings,” “Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes,” and “Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud.” (Believe it or not I’m not making those titles up.) All but one of the sequels are made for TV movies with “Blood and Wings” going straight to video. With a franchise history like that, why not do a reboot?
Anyway, the first film follows a Frankenstein-like monster, Pumpkinhead, conjured up by a grieving father seeking vengeance on the teenagers who killed his son. PUMPKINHEAD was the directorial debut of “Terminator” special effects artist Stan Winston who went on to do effects for “Edward Scissorhands,” “Jurassic Park” and “Iron Man.”
The second time around, Pumpkinhead is resurrected by some thrill-seeking teenagers and he embarks on a bloody rampage. Here’s a fun fact for you: Punky Brewster aka Soleil Moon Frye had a starring role in this 1994 sequel.
The franchise was brought full circle in the third film of the series, with actor Lance Henriksen reprising his role as Ed Harley. The people of the small town summon Pumpkinhead through the mummified body of Ed after they find out that the local mortician has been selling the organs of their deceased loved ones and dumping their bodies in the swamp. The film stars Doug Bradley as the Doc Frasier, the infamous “Hellraiser” villain Lead Cenobite.
Last but not least, the final film of the franchise incorporates the Hatfields and McCoys (seriously, I’m not kidding). Young Jody Hatfield and Ricky McCoy are star-crossed lovers from feuding families. When the Hatfields kill a McCoy, the McCoys summon Pumpkinhead to kill the Hatfields, leading to a bloody battle that no one can possibly win.
The original PUMPKINHEAD was produced by the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group headed up by Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. De Laurentiis went on to produce “Hannibal” and “Red Dragon.” For the rest of the franchise, the Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA) headed up by Brad Krevoy took the reins and is now back to produce the rebooted series. Krevoy also produced “Dumb and Dumber,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” and “Bio-Dome.”
Although these movies haven’t aged well at all (the CGI alone is embarrassing), nostalgic horror fans remember them fondly. If MPCA can get this project off the ground with a respectable budget, perhaps Pumpkinhead could be the next Freddy Kruger or Jason.