Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings (1994)

Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings

Written by Constantine & Ivan Chachornia
Directed by Jeff Burr

Jenny Braddock...Ami Dolenz
Sean Braddock...Andrew Robinson
Danny...J. Trevor Edmond
Marcie...Soleil Moon Frye

A group of teenagers looking for kicks in the small southern town of Ferren Woods inadvertently conjures up Pumpkinhead, the mythical spirit of vengeance. He scrambles around the town in a traveling thunderstorm, slaughtering local yokels in what at first appears to be an undiscerning manner.

But if the opening scene is any indication, there's more of a method to this monster's madness than meets the eye.

Sean Braddock is the sheriff in town, a once-local boy who has just returned from a lengthy stint in the big city. He investigates the series of murders without realizing that his daughter Jenny was one of the jackasses responsible for summoning the titular creature.

The original Pumpkinhead is one of my favorite horror flicks of all time, so it's odd that it took me so long to seek out the sequel. But, as expected, the follow up simply can't compete.

What made the original so effective was the sympathetic relationship at the movie's core. Lance Henriksen and his son had a bond more believable than almost any ever caught on film, and so when the boy died, the father's pain was our pain as well. We understood why he sought vengeance against those who killed his son. And what's more...we rooted for him!

Here, we have no connection to any of the characters. They're all stock stereotypes ripped from a thousand other horror movies, spouting lame-ass dialogue at the drop of a hat, and we couldn't care less about their "motivations" or final fates.

Pumpkinhead has such a rich folklore behind him, and could easily be a genuine myth in any rural American locale, but it's not played up nearly enough this time. There are few if any references to the first film, and the past seems pretty much ignored completely (it really should have been Lance Henriksen's character "behind" Pumpkinhead, should it not?).

Despite the mediocrity of this supernatural slasher, the scenes with Pumpkinhead in them are still worth the watch, thanks to the fellas at KNB effects. Even if he DOES throw some poor schmoe in a backbreaker like a WWE superstar.

Rated R
88 Minutes
United States

"Some folks say she's a witch."


  1. I always find myself defending this under-appreciated sequel to my unrelentingly* critical cohorts. Sure, it ain't GREAT, but it's serviceable, and besides, I always feel kinda bad for the retarded kid.

    *yay! Spelling error. Corrected.

  2. I like the sequel as much as the first movie.

  3. I always felt for the retarded kid too, but that hardly makes up for this one throwing out the mythology of the first movie (the Linnea Quigley scene almost does though - not to mention the backbreaker).

    The third movie was a little better but I think it also ditched a lot of what they set up in the original.

    - Aaron


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