Sunday, October 27, 2013

Horror Challenge 82: "Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings"

I don't really know when this movie decided that playing it big and broad and campy was the way to go.  One of the things I liked most about the original "Pumpkinhead" was how dark it was and how seriously it took itself.  The main character was a father who lived for his son, and when his son is killed by some reckless drivers, he has nothing else to lose, so he gives in to his desire for revenge and summons the demon Pumpkinhead to kill those responsible for his son's death.  It was almost like a fairy tale, a cautionary tale, an origin story telling us what becomes of us when we give in to our darkest impulses and seek revenge at any cost.  I'd heard that the sequel wasn't as good as the original, but I've been wanting to see it for a few years, so I bit the bullet tonight and watched it.

First of all, I agree with most everyone else: this movie is ridiculous.  I mean, the actors don't even seem to take the thing seriously.  It could have been a dark and mean-spirited story of revenge like the original, but everyone involved is playing their roles as big and campy as possible, so it's hard to take anything even remotely seriously.  that's a shame, because I really think this movie could have worked better if someone in charge of making it had said "you know what?  Let's pretend we're professionals and actually do our jobs well" but alas, no one did. 

In this sequel we have a deformed boy being killed by some teenagers in the 50s, jumping to the present day when a new sheriff takes over the town, a man who was born there but moved when he was a young boy.  He's back to raise his teenage daughter away from the corrupting influence of the big city, but of course she gets corrupted by small town evil, joins up with some teenagers who are used to getting a free pass to do what they want, and soon they've committed negligent homicide and accidentally raised the demon Pumpkinhead again (great job, guys).  Pumpkinhead soon begins killing off a bunch of the town's good old boys, leaving sketches at the murder scenes (drawn in blood) of a pair of bloody wings, which is a clue that takes the cops way too long to figure out.  The thing that bothers me the most I think is that this movie could have been a lot better with some better acting and if everyone had given a shit about their jobs making this movie, but as it stands, it's a disappointing follow-up to what I still believe is a great horror film.

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