Pumpkinhead (1988)

Stan Winston directs Lance Henriksen, Cynthia Bain and Jeff East in this hillbilly gothic horror where a grieving father unleashes a vengeance demon on the city kids who killed his son by accident.

This was one of those terrifying posters in the video rental shop of my childhood, a movie that existed as a nightmare in my imagination, unsullied by the realities of its actual limitations until now. A gory adult fairytale with excellent practical FX. Of course it has, it is directed by creature feature guru Stan Winston. Henriksen puts in a dedicated shift as the emotionally distraught dad. Florence Schauffer makes a good impression under mountains of make up as the hag who controls the curse. The kids though are rote, annoying and mere cattle. It looks pretty sweet, has some surprisingly humane moments but never really scares or escalates beyond its basic premise. Worth seeking out even if you won’t fall in love with it.


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