Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings

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Our rating: two lava lamps.

Information about this film in the Internet Movie Database.

Pumpkinhead II
"Avon Calling!"
Although it's difficult to imagine a movie monster with a dumber name, the original Pumpkinhead movie managed to garner some respect among horror fans for its spectacular effects and back-to-the-basics storyline. Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings muddies those waters a bit by adding to the Pumpkinhead legend without enhancing it. Still, those looking for a bit of blood splattered by a hideous monster in the name of mindless revenge will find it here.

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.

Pumpkinhead II
Dolenz makes her bid for the title of scream queen.
Pumpkinhead II suffers from a bad case of the blahs and some pathetic storytelling, but these are par for the course in the horror genre -- the real test of a horror movie is in its villain. Although the monster himself is pretty menacing in a Scred* sort of way, he's not actually scary. Pumpkinhead just couldn't make us jump out of our seats the same way Michael Myers does.*

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
Andy Robinson... caught on 1960's Bat-cam!
Robinson's acting is competent if disinterested; he's not surrounded with actors of even a Star Trek caliber, so you can't really blame him for falling asleep at the wheel. Ami Dolenz and Frye aren't scream queens, exactly, but they'd fit in on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer just fine. The funniest appearance by an actor here is presidential sibling Roger Clinton as the town's mayor, who thinks that Pumpkinhead could make a great tourist attraction. Also present for the carnage is topless-scene-queen Linnea Quigley, whose five-minute appearance is probably part of a bid to increase the film's popularity by appealing to Quigley completists.

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.

Rent or Buy from Reel.

Review date: 3/5/99

This review is © copyright 1999 Chris Holland & Scott Hamilton. Blah blah blah. Please don't claim that it's yours blah blah, but feel free to e-mail it to friends, or better yet, send them the URL. To reproduce this review in another form, please contact us at guys@stomptokyo.com. Blah blah blah blah.

































* Those of you who watch Saturday Night Live reruns on Comedy Central may have seen Jim Henson's Planet Gorch segments featuring darker muppets such as King Ploobis, The Mighty Favog, and Scred. Scred also appeared on The Muppet Show with Vincent Price. Go back!























































* Boy, we nearly peed ourselves, we were so terrified of him in Waynes' World 2. Oh, you thought we meant someone else! Enough of this silliness, back to the review.