I think my brain is getting fried from watching so many slasher flicks. See, I vividly recall watching Pumpkinhead for this blog, yet I can't find an entry for it. Weird, huh? Anyway, that's what we're watching for Halloween week(Yeah, I know it's mid-November, I'll explain what happened at the end of this one, okay?). Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me SPOILERS I can eat!
The movie begins with a young boy named Ed Harley, living on a farm with his parents, in 1957. As Mama is putting Ed to bed, Papa is busy making sure that the barn is shut, and that the house is secure. When Papa Harley returns, Ed watches as his folks have a strange conversation, with the mother asking if she should be afraid. As they get settled in front of a cozy fireplace, a man outside by the name of Clay Heller is running around in the dark, apparently because something is chasing him.
His screams of fear can be heard from inside the Harley home, and all 3 members of the family get tensed up. Then Clay arrives at the front door, and begs them to let him inside. Mama Harley asks her husband to reconsider helping Clay, but Papa insists that they have no right to intervene in whatever's about to happen. Ed gets himself worked up, so his mother tries to console him.
Harley picks up a shotgun, and demands that Clay get away from their property. Clay then reveals that he was accused of murdering a girl, but he says that he's innocent. Then Clay's pursuer arrives, and kills him as he tries to escape again. Ed sneaks a quick glimpse out of a window, where he sees a large, deformed creature moving back through the woods.
Then it's the present day, and Ed is now much, much older. He's burning away some brush near his home, while his kid, Billy, plays on the front porch with Gypsy, the family dog. Ed gives his son a hug, then they wash their hands and head inside.
Ed promises to tell his son a story, but Billy makes him wait. He gives his father a necklace that he made, and Ed promises to always wear it. Then Ed launches into a story, making his son laugh with his antics. This is very sweet and wholesome. Something awful is going to happen to these people...and it better happen soon!
Then we meet another group, made up of "teens", who all look to be in their twenties. There's Tracy, Joel, Steve, Chris, Maggie, and Kim. They're out in the country, because one of them supposedly has a cabin in the woods. No, that wasn't me making that same dumb joke, it's actually a trip to the cabin...which happens to be in the woods. Serendipity, huh?
Anyway, Ed takes Billy to work with him, which turns out to be the local gas station and convenience store. Then we get a folksy little montage of them setting up shop together, while the young tourists horse around on the open road, even going so far as to tease one of the grungy locals. They decide to get some gas and snacks at Ed's store.
Gypsy runs out of the store, and barks at the strangers. The leader of the group, Joel, makes fun of Billy's thick glasses, but none of his friends join in, finding his joke to be in poor taste. Ed hears the comment as well, but just heads back into the store.
Not content with being ignored, Joel decides to unchain a pair of motorbikes that were hitched to his vehicle. He loudly revs one up, then scoots away into the countryside. Almost instantly after he rides off, a battered truck pulls into the store, driven by an old coot by the name of Wallace. 5 dirty and wild-looking children jump off the truck to follow him.
While Mr. Wallace is in the store, his kids are busy playing with Billy, his dog, and the teens. One of the younger kids, Jimmy Joe, takes a ball that Gypsy was playing with, so an older Wallace sibling warns him that Pumpkinhead will punish him if he misbehaves. Then the other Wallace kids begin to chant Pumpkinhead's name over and over again.
Ed can hear the teasing, and he gets a nasty flashback to the creature he saw when he was a kid. The teasing finally stops, but Ed realizes that he forgot to bring in a bag of feed that Mr. Wallace was going to purchase. He promises to deliver it personally, and Wallace agrees.
Joel begins showing off on his bike, and his brother Steve grabs a second bike to join him. Ed tells his son that he needs to make a quick trip back to the house for the bag of feed. He makes Billy promise to stay inside until he returns. Yeah, I'm sure that everything will be just hunky-dory.
After Ed drives away, Gypsy starts to get agitated by the sound of the motorbikes. The dog rushes outside, so Billy chases him to try to calm him down. Maggie sees both of them take off in the direction on the noise, and she and Tracy both realize what's about to happen. Sadly, neither of them is quick enough to keep up.
Sure enough, Billy and Gypsy are standing at the foot of a hill that the bikes are about to fly over. Steve misses them by a mile, but Joel slams into the young boy, which sends him flying away like a rag doll. Everybody crowds around poor Billy to try to help him, except for Joel. He's too busy attempting to get the bike back to the truck and make a getaway. It seems that he was drinking earlier, and that he's worried that the local law enforcement will severely punish him. Gee, ya think so?
Several of his friends try to force Joel to stay, but he drives away with his girlfriend. Steve insists that the rest of them should get to the cabin and call for help, while he remains behind with Billy. They take their truck and go roaring away in a cloud of dust.
Ed returns a short time later, and grows concerned when he fails to find Billy or Gypsy inside the store. Steve gets his attention, and Ed is heartbroken when he sees his son's lifeless body on the ground. Steve tries to explain what happened, but Ed just stares at him with a crazed look in his eyes. Then Ed puts Billy in his truck and leaves the scene.
At the remote cabin, Tracy gets inside, where she finds Joel and his girlfriend just standing around, She starts to dial up the local emergency number, but Joel rips the phone jack out of the wall. See kids, back in the day, the only phone you had was the one in your house. Waaaay back in a glorious era called "before the 1990s". It was truly magical.
Anyway, Joel's girlfriend reveals that he was already in another vehicle-related mishap, and that this one would definitely lead to a jail sentence. Then the rest of the car group walk in, and Joel attacks Chris when he tries to subdue the killer. He attacks Chris with a thick log, so we may actually have 2 deaths to blame him for by now. Sheesh!
Ed takes Billy home, and tries to get him cleaned up a little. Billy calls out to him, but then stays silent. Even the family dog seems to be having an "Oh shit!" reaction to the proceedings. Y'know, replace "Billy" with "Gage", and this seems an awful lot like Pet Sematary.
Steve is the last to arrive at the cabin in the woods, and he discovers that his brother has got Chris and Tracy trapped in one of the bedrooms. Steve tells Joel that Ed took his son and left, and that he was told that what happened was just an accident. Well, that's settled then. What could possibly go wrong after that?
Ed takes his son's body even deeper into the country, and he finds Mr. Wallace at home. While Ed shows Mr. Wallace what happened to his son, Wallace's son Bunt takes the bag of feed out of the truck. Ed asks for help in locating a local woman rumored to be a witch, but Mr. Wallace refuses. He says that the witch will send them straight to Hell, and he advises Ed to return home and bury his son's body.
Bunt overhears the conversation, and manages to catch up as Ed drives away, by using a shortcut. He tells Ed that the witch is named Haggis, and that she lives in a remote area called Black Ridge. Ed pays him for the information, then demands that Bunt show him where she lives. Bunt takes Ed most of the way, then tells him how to find her when the road ends.
Ed walks to a haunted-looking shack, where he finally meets Haggis. She greets him as if she was expecting his visit, then bluntly tells him that she can't raise Billy from the dead. He tells her about the creature he saw when he was a child, and she tells Ed that it's something that gets summoned to commit acts of vengeance.
Ed REALLY likes the sound of that, so he gives her all the money he could scrounge up, and asks her to summon the creature. Haggis tells him that it's buried in a secret graveyard at a place called Razorback Hollow, and that he must dig up the body and bring it to her. Ed agrees, and is also told to leave Billy's corpse with her when he goes on his search.
Ed finds the correct grave underneath a foggy pumpkin patch, and soon reveals the body of Pumpkinhead. Then there's a short scene with the teens, showing that Joel still refuses to take any blame for what happened earlier in the day. Oh, and Maggie has been in a state of shock ever since the accident, and her friends are starting to wonder if she'll ever snap out of it.
Ed returns to Haggis, and brings the corpse of Pumpkinhead over to a table that she points out. She explains that each body in that special graveyard is a demon representing a specific sin. Pumpkinhead is the spirit-demon of vengeance. Haggis then cuts Ed's hand, and has his blood drip into a bowl. While Ed bandages his wounded hand, Haggis makes similar cuts into Billy's corpse. Then she pours the blood on Pumpkinhead's shrouded face, where it sizzles.
As Pumpkinhead comes back to life, Ed gets weaker and weaker. He eventually passes out, and Haggis revives him some time later. She tells him to return home, and that the vengeance has begun. Ed drives back to his farm, but the loss of blood nearly causes him to have a collision. He pulls the truck over, then jumps in fright as the bloody body of his son sits up, demanding to know what he did. Don't fret, it was only a hallucination.
Another brief moment at the cabin leads nowhere, then we see Ed telling his wife what happened at her tombstone. He digs a hole next to her grave, so that she and Billy can have adjoining rooms. Hell, I was half-expecting him to dig her up as well!
Steve and Maggie decide that they need some air, so they leave the crowded cabin. They walk out to a dark spot near a tree, have a heart-to-heart chat, then share a hug. Oh, and then Pumpkinhead pulls Steve up into the tree by his neck, presumably to die.
As Ed finishes burying his son, he suddenly has a vision of the murder. He sees Pumpkinhead tear into Steve's body with long claws, throw him to the ground, then drag him by his feet deeper into the woods. Maggie helps Steve by standing still and crying.
Joel finally discovers his balls, so he pledges to do the right thing. He starts out on his road to redemption by letting Chris and Tracy out of the bedroom. Then Maggie rushes in, while we see Pumpkinhead mauling Steve. Chris and Joel grab weapons, then go looking for Steve.
While the girls huddle together behind locked doors and the guys hunt for a monster, Ed is back home, still recovering from the weird vision he experienced. He decides to get drunk, and the dog just watches him. Then Kim is told by Maggie that God is the only force strong enough to intervene in whatever's happening to them. Right on cue, Pumpkinhead slides right by the kitchen window, somehow managing to remain undetected.
Joel and Chris find what's left of Steve, and quickly realize that they should have stayed with the girls. As they rush back to the cabin, Kim nearly kills them at the door with a meat cleaver. Everyone goes into panic mode, then it's Maggie's turn to run outside like a raving nitwit.
Pumpkinhead drops Steve at the front door, then snatches Maggie up by her hair. Tracy and Chris chase after the monster, while the others drag Steve's body inside. Anyone else finding these shenanigans to be a bit repetitive?
Ed has another fit, and sees Maggie getting her face scratched up by Pumpkinhead. Despite not being entirely in control of his faculties, Ed somehow gets to his truck, and begins to try to track the monster down. Yeah, I'm sure he'll be a big help in his current condition.
Steve's face is examined by his friends, and it looks like chunks of it were bitten off. Ed, in the meantime, has stumbled into the cabin where he encountered Haggis earlier. She calmly informs him that the seizures will pass as soon as Pumpkinhead is finished, and he replies that he'll find a way to stop the creature himself. Either way, Haggis tells him that his soul is now damned.
Pumpkinhead lifts up Maggie's body, using it to taunt the frightened teens at the kitchen window. He breaks the window to leave the corpse on the counter, then leaves again. Joel picks up a knife and runs outside, telling the creature that he's the one it wants to kill.
When it grabs Kim instead, Joel attacks it. Chris and Tracy go along with him to find her, and he's pretty much just a rambling lunatic at this point. They discover Kim up in a tree, where Pumpkinhead is swinging her by the neck. The monster hurls her to the ground, the impact kills her, and the chase resumes.
Ed arrives, but now the cabin is empty. He surveys the damage, even stopping to examine Steve's mangled face, while he ponders his next move. That Ed Harley, he's a real deep thinker!
Tracy, Chris and Joel find another house, but the woman inside refuses to help them. Her husband shoots at them, ordering the trio to get away from his house. He tells them that he can't help them in any way, because they've been "marked". Before they can get him to explain what that means, Pumpkinhead arrives.
A bullet hits the creature in the shoulder, but it wasn't from the homeowner. Nope, this blast was delivered by Ed Harley, who arrived just in the nick of time. Joel kicks the monster and fires another bullet into it, only to have it grab him by the ankle. Pumpkinhead then stands over Joel, impales him on his own shotgun, then tears at the body with his huge claws.
Chris and Tracy run away yet again, and then we see Bunt looking out the window of his family's tiny shack. Mr. Wallace orders Bunt to get away from the window, then sends him off to bed. When Chris and Tracy begin to pound at the front door, the adults pretend that they don't hear a thing.
Bunt trudges to bed, but decides to take it upon himself to help the teens. His sister, Hessie, tries to talk him out of it, but Bunt has his mind set. He swears her to secrecy, then climbs out the bedroom window.
Chris and Tracy freak out when they see him, but he offers to get them to a safe place. They decide to trust Bunt, and follow him. At about the same time, Ed finds Joel with the gun protruding from his torso, and decides to grab the weapon. First smart idea he's had all day.
Bunt leads the couple to a wrecked house, and he tells them that it was supposed to be a church, but that it was abandoned before the construction was finished. Then he suggests that, because it's a holy place, Pumpkinhead might not be able to enter into the structure.
Bunt explains what Pumpkinhead is, and tells them about Ed's visit to Haggis. Then Pumpkinhead shows up as the wind turns into a near-hurricane, and he seems to have no trouble at all terrorizing them. I guess Bunt was dumber than he looked. How is that humanly possible?
They run away for the zillionth time, and Pumpkinhead stops in front of a large cross. He picks it up, then demolishes it. Yeah, holy ground has no effect on this guy, Bunt. It was a nice idea, though.
Ed shows up at the Wallace home, where he's told that no one will help him. Then Chris is attacked when Pumpkinhead ambushes the trio. Tracy helplessly runs away with Bunt, leaving Chris behind. Ed finds them, and they escape in his truck.
Ed gets them into his home, where Tracy thanks Bunt for being so heroic. Then she goes outside to speak to Ed. She tells him what happened to Billy, then begs him to call off Pumpkinhead. He tells her that he can't, but he has a plan: he shows Tracy his souped-up blowtorch, and tells her that he intends to send the demon back into Hell.
Bunt, surrounded by spooky candles and photographs of Billy, gets the wits scared out of him by the damned dog. Yeesh. Then Ed has another spasm, and Pumpkinhead arrives at his house with a barely-alive Chris. Chris crawls weakly across the floor, while Pumpkinhead looks for a new victim.
Tracy tries to help Ed, then sees that his eyes have become opaque. He leers at her like Pumpkinhead, just as the monster itself discovers where Bunt is hiding. Heck, even the family dog had a hiding spot picked out!
As Tracy helps Chris, Pumpkinhead grabs Bunt. Ed tries to intercede with the weapon, but catches his arm on a pitchfork, injuring him. He then sees that Pumpkinhead seems to feel the pain from the injury as well, which slows it down. While Ed pulls his arm away from the pitchfork, the monster growls in pain.
Tracy picks up the flamethrower, while Ed staggers over to his truck. While she distracts the monster, Ed pulls a pistol out of the glove compartment, and lifts it so that the barrel is up against his temple. He fires it, and Pumpkinhead falls down. Ed is still alive, so Pumpkinhead makes another attempt to kill Bunt and the couple.
Tracy gets the gun from Ed, and then hesitates as both he and Pumpkinhead watch her. She decides to shoot Ed, firing several shots into him, and both he and Pumpkinhead finally die. She, Bunt and Chris see Pumpkinhead burst into flames, and the necklace that Billy made for his father gets destroyed by the fire. THE END
Wow. Downer ending, man. Sorry this one took so long, but my internet vanished for about a month. I'll try to watch another one in a few days, see if I can catch up on my lost weeks. Also, I'm still not 100% certain that I didn't do this one in the past(for the blog), so my deja vu sense is going haywire.
Good special effects, sucktastic script. They really should have put some thought into the kills, maybe had a larger area for them to run around. I don't really remember much about the sequels, save fort the fact that Bill Clinton's brother was in one of them, and that's not exactly a good sign. Still, I'd give Pumpkinhead a 3.5 killer trees out of 5, fror at least having a good creature.
And what did I learn from Pumpkinhead?
-Never trust a witch named after a Scottish food.
-Half-built churches won't protect you.
-Demons have a private graveyard, but hillbillies have to dig their own graves for loved ones.
No idea what's up next. Maybe I'll browse the On Demand menu to see if something grabs my interest. We'll see. See you in a few days...I hope! I'll catch back up to the once-a-week format, hopefully before I get worn down by all of the stress of the holidays!