REVIEW: PUMPKINHEAD II – BLOOD WINGS / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JEFF BURR / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: ANDREW ROBINSON, AMI DOLENZ, SOLEIL MOON FRYE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Pumpkinhead was the directorial debut for make-up and special effects guru Stan Winston; he even penned the story himself. It starred Lance Henriksen and his peculiar brand of stripped-back acting. It was an atmospheric and moody monster revenge movie that wasn’t half bad. Pumpkinhead was, and remains, an underrated screen monster, even if it is just a xenomorph knock off. The squash-headed 1993 sequel, however, has none of these attributes.
It conjures the cheap aesthetic of the video nasty, but minus the bite or attitude. It’s an amateurish affair from director Jeff Burr (responsible for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 and a few additions to the Puppet Master franchise, among others), who has seen far too many Wes Craven movies.
The only standout performance is from Andrew Robinson and that’s simply because he’s that bloke from Hellraiser. The film is full of thoroughly unlikeable characters who stand around telling each other plot points.
The effects and make-up are sadly lacking, which, given Winston’s reputation and deft touch on the first outing, is a shame. It’s a surprise the audio-visual stays in sync (mostly), though, when you take into account the uninspired score, perhaps that’s not a plus. A power ballad does close the credits, after all.
Still, there’s nothing quite like a bad low-budget horror to make you loony with laughter, and it should appeal to fans of movies of the so-bad-they’re-good variety.