Review: Pumpkinhead – Blood Feud

January 15, 2012

So, yeah. A day late on this one, but don’t blame me, blame Fable III for being awesome. And me for being lazy.

I think, before we get into the actual film, we need a little background on Pumpkinhead.

The first film, aptly titled Pumpkinhead, was released in 1988, with the general plot that campers run over Lance Hendriksen’s son. He takes his son to a local witch, the son comes back as the titular Pumpkinhead and proceeds to murder the campers.

The second, Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings has precisely fuck all to do with the first. A bunch of dumbass teens find an evil spell and resurrect Pumpkinhead, who proceeds to turn on them and the townspeople. And Roger Clinton plays the mayor of the town for some reason. Yes, as in brother of former president Bill Clinton. A game followed, Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead’s Revenge, which itself had fuck all to do with the movie. I can’t give you any more information about the game because I don’t condone torture.

A third, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes completely ignored the events of the second, dealing primarily with a mortician who harvests organs of the deceased and dumps them in the swamp, and the Pumpkinhead-reanimated corpse of Lance Hendriksen.

Which brings us to this week’s film, Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud.

The movie starts out with two people on dirtbikes fleeing from what I assume to be Pumpkinhead because of the red filter in the shots. One of the men hits a log in the road and the fireworks that he was apparently carrying in his engine go off, setting the bike on fire. He is then set upon by Pumpkinhead in what have to be the worst special effects I’ve seen since Silent Night, Deadly Night and its sequel, while an ill-defined third man in a cabin in a equally ill-defined location feels everything Pumpkinhead puts the downed biker through.

The biker’s friend, another nameless, arrives at the cabin and begs the man to call off Pumpkinhead, and we finally begin to get some story. The man in the cabin summoned Pumpkinhead after the men on the dirtbikes ran over his daughter in their truck. The biker tries shooting Pumpkinhead to no effect, he shoots the summoner, finding out that it also affects Pumpkinhead. He kills the summoner, Pumpkinhead vanishes, and then…oh no…please, anything but that!

It’s Lance Hendriksen. Lance Fucking Hendriksen. Look, I know he was in all the other canon films in the series, but Sean Connery was in Highlander, and it only took one sequel for him to realize that the franchise was sinking  and jump ship like the first white bitch off the Titanic. Lance, please, fire your agent, maybe look into doing some theatrical plays. You were in Aliens and The Quick and The Dead, for God’s sake.

Hendriksen tells the biker that Pumpkinhead will keep coming after him, and then the opening titles start. We’re only five minutes into this. After more names that I’ll have to add to my enemies list, we cut to five years later, where the Hatfield-McCoy feud is still somehow going on, despite having ended in 1888. Only now, instead of being fought by southern gentlemen, it’s being fought by drunk fucks in trucker caps. And in true redneck stereotype fashion, a bar fight breaks out between the two when the Hatfields show up at a McCoy wedding.

I’m not entirely sure how they managed it, but they made me not give a rat’s ass about a fight scene. Actually, now that I think about it, I do know why I don’t care: because it’s never explained what any of this has to do with Pumpkinhead. The Hatfield patriarch explains that the feud started because in the 1930s the McCoys hit his brother Abner with their car, paralyzing him.

It seems like the main theme of the Pumpkinhead series is children getting hit by cars.

Uncle Abner catches the girl sneaking out to go see Ricky McCoy, but promises not to snitch on her, and I swear to God, Ricky looks like Sean from Boy Meets World. Two of the Hatfields force Abner to tell them where the girl went, and then jump Ricky’s sister (playing look out for them), and then one of them tries to rape her. And I thought this movie would have some redeeming qualities. She runs through the woods and falls down an embankment, hits her head on a tree, and dies. At least she’s in a better place – anywhere but this movie.

I’m going to summarize the rest, because I just don’t care. I am officially out of fucks to give this movie.

Ricky finds his sister’s body by the tree and wants revenge. He takes her to the witch from the first movie with the intention of summoning Pumpkinhead to kill the Hatfields. The witch tells him the cost of summoning Pumpkinhead, and he agrees. Pumpkinhead kills most of the Hatfields and some of the McCoys, it dawns on Ricky what he’s done, and he grabs Pumpkinhead and jumps down the well.

This one was a tough one. Not because it’s necessarily bad, but because it’s so boring. The first five minutes is completely irrelevant, the Hatfield-McCoy feud is only there because it’s a name people would recognize, and I don’t know if anyone else had this problem, but half the time I wanted to start yelling “WHY SHOULD I CARE!” at the movie. If you really want to see it, I suggest waiting for it on SyFy (God, I hate that name).


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