Bluray Review: PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS

image002 (6)Earlier this year, the folks at Scream Factory did an excellent job giving fans a great collector’s edition Bluray of Stan Winston’s 1988 creature film, PUMPKINHEAD. Soon after the first film’s special edition was announced, it was always stated that SF would also be releasing PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS, the direct-to-video sequel to Winston’s film, and though it might make a decent amount of people curious as to why it’s being put out there, it’s actually yet another release that shows that even the odd choices from Scream Factory are treated with love.

Giving fans not only a fun movie, but a decent amount of hilarious special features, it’s one to look out for.


THE FILM:

PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS exists in the same world as a lot of direct to video releases of the ’90s: having very little in common with its previous film, but being somewhat entertaining on its own. Instead of the heartfelt story of a man devastated by the accidental death of his young son and seeking revenge on the young group who were at fault, PUMPKINHEAD II goes for the angle that is very common in both the horror revenge films of the ’90s AND today. Told via a flashback, a deformed kid wearing overalls (aka- Victor Crowley before Victor Crowley) is picked on and ultimately murdered by a group of bullies. It’s far from an accident like the first film, no, these kids hang the kid up and slice at him with a switchblade, before stabbing him and dropping him into a well.

When the film jumps to present day, we’re introduced to the town’s new sheriff (HELLRAISER and DIRTY HARRY‘s Andrew Robinson), who has relocated his wife and daughter to the small town, after something had happened in the city involving his daughter Jenny (Amy Dolenz). Without hesitation, Jenny falls into the wrong crowd (who are also the most tame badasses ever), and while creating trouble one day, their hijinks end in not only hurting the witch mother of the kid killed in the beginning, but also the ritual in which a new Pumpkinhead (the dead kid) is risen from the grave to exact revenge.

The film’s plot is really that simple, and what’s very absent from it, is the sympathy for the characters that the first film helped make you feel. The group of kids who unleashe Pumkinhead this time aren’t good kids who made a mistake, they’re cocky and rebellious kids who actually have it coming to them, unlike the original movie. Taking away the sympathy from the teens, and not giving viewers a really solid character to care about does exactly what a lot of horror sequels from the ’80s and ’90s did: bypass giving interesting characters in favor with making them side with the monster. We WANT Pumpkinhead to off each character in this one, and though that sounds like a bad thing, it’s not, as it really works for the film.

PUMPKINHEAD II isn’t a GOOD film by any means, it’s not one that horror fans will cite as their favorite film of all time. What it IS though, is a horror film, full of great special effects, over the top acting and a general good-times feeling to it. With its many warts and all, it’s still a very fun film to watch, one that brings you a smile as you see cameo characters played by Kane Hodder, Linnea Quigley, R.A. Mihailoff and well…Roger Clinton (brother of Bill, and the ONLY person who seems to not be in on the joke) show up and systematically get slaughtered. It’s clear as water that director Jeff Burr knew what kind of film he had to work with (something he mentions in one of the special features), and instead of making a serious film that would end up bad, he went with making a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. With the exception of Clinton, you can tell that everybody had fun making it, and it shows in their performances, as PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS is just that: a fun, silly movie.


SPECIAL FEATURES:

PUMPKINHEAD II‘s special features are good enough to warrant picking up the disc just to see and hear some of the funniest stories involving making the film. A brand new commentary from director Jeff Burr is always good, as the guy can talk, but it’s both the new video interview with Burr and the Effects-based interviews that are hilarious to watch. Burr goes for more of a serious “this is how the film came to be” route, but on the special effects interviews, KNB maestro Greg Nicotero and Co. tell some of the best stories I’ve heard in ages, including getting kicked off of the set for being too rambunctious. It seems that everybody had a blast filming the movie, and the stories and laughs that fill up the interviews show that quite often.

If you’re wanting a fun time, or are just a big fan of the PUMPKINHEAD franchise, Scream Factory’s PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS Bluray is definitely worth picking up.

 

Comments
One Response to “Bluray Review: PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS”
  1. Crazy J says:

    Though an interesting film in its own right its an unworthy follow up to Stan Winston’s 1988 cult classic chiller, this movie was only made to capitalise on the VHS sales of that original movie, Pumpkinhead deserved better than the lame sequels it got.

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