Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings
The movie begins with a black-and-white flashback to the 1950's which details the death of a deformed young man named Tommy at the hands of a gang of teenaged boys. Our background material thus supplied, we come back to the present day to find Sheriff Sean Braddock (Andy Robinson, Star Trek's "Garak") returning to his home town after a career as a big city cop. Braddock looks forward to the change of pace as a small town Sheriff ("No traffic, no pollution, no gangs..."), but his daughter, Jenny (Ami Dolenz), is depressed at the sudden downturn this means for her social life.
Faster than you can say "got in with a bad crowd," Jenny hooks up with the town's juvenile delinquents, including Danny Dixon (J. Trevor Edmund), son of the local judge, and Marcie (as played by tv's Punky Brewster, the now-grown-up Soleil Moon Frye). They teach her the ins and outs of the little town she lives in and soon she's involved in a quick bit of black magic which apparently raises a dead body -- Tommy's, natch. The details are a bit confused, but soon thereafter a large-headed, anthromorphic demon is spotted killing off select townspeople, leaving others unharmed. Sheriff Braddock and his spunky coroner sidekick (huh?) must determine who the monster will kill next and how to squash him.
Part of Pumpkinhead's problem is that the set-ups for each kill are too complicated for a monster of his kind, as in the scene where he attacks Judge Dixon. The judge enters his study and finds the walls painted with little symbols. Only after the judge has time to take it all in does the P-ster make his entrance. Are we supposed to belive that Pumpkinhead, slobbering hellbeast, sneaked into the judge's mansion, brought some paint (or maybe blood), painted the symbols, then retired to another room, probably to watch Friends (he is a hellbeast, after all) until the judge got home?
Also, the portable thunderstorm that Pumpkinhead totes around with him from place to place provides some terrific atmosphere, but doesn't make much sense. Why all of that wind and light suddenly appears when the big P is in kill-mode is never satisfactorily explained.
Pumpkinhead II does little to distinguish itself from the hordes of mediocre horror films lurking on the shelves of a video store near you. If you've watched the original, you've seen all there is to see here (the creature) and even a fan who thought the first movie was smashing may find that the fluffy plot and empty-headed acting drives him out of his gourd.
Review date: 3/5/99
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