11/18/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

MGM Studios DVD presents
Pumpkinhead (1988)

Ed: "God damn you woman!"
Swamp Witch: "He already did, son. He already did."



Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: August 07, 2000

Stars: Lance Henriksen
Other Stars: Cynthia Bain, Jeff East, Joel Hoffman.
Director: Stan Winston

MPAA Rating: R for (graphic violence, language)
Run Time: 01h:26m:00s
Release Date: August 02, 2000
UPC: 027616851512
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+C-B+ D+

DVD Review

Pumpkinhead is something of an important event in the realm of horror films. The movie marked the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston, whose career has spanned movies like Aliens, Edward Scissorhands, the Terminator movies, and too many more to mention. Despite the low budget nature of the film, the end result is a very well done horror movie, with an excellent creature. Though it was followed by weak sequels and copycats, Pumpkinhead marks a stylish high-point for the 80's horror boon.

Lance Henriksen stars as Ed Harley, a simple country store owner with a little boy, Billy. One day, a group of careless youths from the city tear into the small town. When they recklessly race around on dirtbikes, they accidentally kill little Billy Harley. Filled with outrage, Ed recalls memories of his childhood when a strange demon known as "Pumpkinhead" was said to be called forth to avenge people who had been wronged. So, he seeks the help of a mysterious swamp witch and manages to conjure up the demon Pumpkinhead to kill the kids. Once the evil creature starts cracking skulls, Ed Harley starts to see that his decision was rash, so he tries to stop Pumpkinhead. He realizes, though, that there is no way to undo the evil he has unleashed and must pay the extreme price for his vengeful ways as the demon ravages the countryside.

Lance Henriksen has always been one of my favorite actors, and I think Pumpkinhead is probably one of his best starring roles. In the mid-to-late 80's he was in quite a few low-budget horror and sci-fi movies, but many of them were weak to say the least. It wasn't until he landed the role in the TV series Millennium that a wider audience appreciated his versatility as a central character. The curious aspect about the character of Ed Harley is that he is both the villian and the sympathetic hero. We can understand his rage, but at the same time we deplore the way he seeks vengeance. Not all the acting is top-notch, though. The city kids are basically your average cast of any low-budget slasher pic.

Of course, Henriksen is often upstaged by the wonderful creature, Pumpkinhead. Designed by Stan Winston and brought to life by his crew, the giant spooker is one of the best film monsters in recent years. You don't see too many great screen creatures anymore, and this one might just end up giving you nightmares. Despite the film's name, the creature is NOT a goofy, giant pumpkin, but a rather a tall, lanky, zombie-esque creature with super-long fingers and nails.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Would a review of "Ugh" suffice for this disc? Maybe I've just lost my tolerance for bad prints of movies from big companies. Pumpkinhead is watchable, but it's scarcely above VHS quality. The print is extremely muddy and even blurry at times. The black level seems almost too low, and many scenes are overly dark. The print is washed out, grainy, and results in a few compression artifacts here and there. If you like the movie already, it won't bother you, but I wouldn't recommend this disc as a demonstration of your new DVD player.

There's has been a little bit of talk over the improper aspect ratio. If I recall correctly, Pumpkinhead was originally matted theatrically. This full-frame image has removed the matting and, from all reports, looks fine even on widescreen television sets. Unfortunately, many video companies seem to not acknowledge the difference between a film SHOT in full-frame and a film FORMATTED into full- frame. As a result, Pumpkinhead is labelled that it "has been modified to fit your screen", the classic, confusing sentence that has left many viewers scratching their heads, no doubt. In reality, I think the matting was simply removed.

Image Transfer Grade: C-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio track (Stereo Surround) is surprisingly good, and I certainly don't remember the original versions sounding like this. The front channels are extremely well-balanced with a lot of directionality and imaging. Center channel handles dialogue very sharply; most sound effects and ambience is handled by the other fronts. The surrounds aren't really used at all, but it doesn't particularly deaden the soundtrack. The LFE channel isn't used for anything special either. The film sounds much better than it looks.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The sole extra here is the theatrical trailer. Otherwise, the presentation is a little funky, for lack of a better sounding term. The menus use a strange, extremely cheesy looking pixelized font, and there is no kind of interesting booklet. The keepcase insert merely provides chapter stops. I think something more could have been done for this film. Stan Winston is infamous for being fairly eager to do added things to films he has worked on. I think he would have gladly done an interview or commentary track if asked.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

Pumpkinhead is a solid, well-directed film. It might not be as flashy as higher budget monster films, but it certainly has a great heart to it. Though it does have violence, it's not ridiculously gory or bloody and could easily be watched by the average moviegoer. Recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store