Episode 165 – Stan Winston’s Pumpkinhead (1988)

Episode 165 – Stan Winston’s Pumpkinhead (1988)

People who grew up in the 1980’s and loved those trips down the aisles of the VHS rental stores with their cool box covers lining the horror section were always looking for something new. Well, at the end of the decade, a highly marketed film with a very unusual and some ways silly title started being promoted. The 1988 film, Pumpkinhead, was a must see film for the horror fan. Getting a planned wide release, the film unfortunately was owned by a production company that was having major financial difficulties. So all the hype around the wide theater release kind of faded out. Didn’t this just happen to Eli Roth’s Green Inferno? Well, same thing.

Either way, the film was co-written and directed by long time special effects icon, Stan Winston, who folks may know behind the dog kennel scene in John Carpenter’s The Thing along with James Cameron’s Aliens and even Predator, Terminator 2, and the Steven Spielberg adaption of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. Stan Winston, a four time Academy Award winner (and nominated 10 times) gives us, as the marketing campaign stated at the time, a grim fairy tale of a vengeful demon nicknamed Pumpkinhead for its oval shaped cranium.

Dark Discussions, with the newly definitive release on blu-ray of the movie by Scream Factory, decides to take a stab at discussing this film with its huge cult following. Now 26 years later, the movie seems to be revisited every Halloween by genre fans. Starring Lance Henriksen in a heartbreaking performance of a father’s loss of his young boy in a tragic accident, the film uses the slasher film mystique under the guise of a monster movie. But most interesting, the film in ways is a predecessor to the modern South Korean revenge films.

Dark Discussions Podcast
Episode 165 - Stan Winston's Pumpkinhead (1988)

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