We are counting down to Halloween with Nerdipop’s Top 80’s Horror Movies!
Next up we have a horror movie from the master of special effects – Stan Winston and Lance Henriksen – about a man who made a deal for revenge, but who discovers too late that there is always a price to pay for anything. It’s the 80’s classic Pumpkinhead.
Synopsis: As a young boy, Ed Harley saw an evil demon kill a man. Many years later, Harley and his young son are running a grocery stand in Nevada that is visited by six city youths on their way to a cabin. While Harley is away on an errand, one of the boys accidentally kills Harley’s son with a motorcycle. Remembering what he had seen that night years ago, and what he had heard, Harley pays a visit to a reclusive witch who helps him invoke that demon – known as Pumpkinhead – to avenge his son’s death. As he sees the youths being killed, one at a time, through the eyes of the demon, Harley discovers that a horrific price must be paid…
Did you know?
Gypsy the dog is also Barney from Gremlins (real name: Mushroom).
The one scene that made Lance Henriksen most want to take the role was where the deceased Billy sits up and asks his father what he’s done.
Pumpkin head was the directorial debut of Stan Winston who is most known for his special effects.
Lance Henriksen gathered all of the silver dollars himself by visiting several pawn shops. He said that most of them fell through the floorboards of Haggis’ shack, where they may still lie.
Lance Henriksen had a set of dentures made to give him a more rural look. He also gathered all of his own props and wardrobe, including a WWII pump-action shotgun, his cap worn throughout the film and the silver dollars which he gives to Haggis.
The origin of the story was a poem written by Ed Justin entitled Pumpkinhead.
Although the FX team created the titular monster, Stan Winston was so busy with directorial duties that he was unable to directly supervise their work.
The full poem that inspired the movie: “Keep away from Pumpkinhead, Unless you’re tired of living, His enemies are mostly dead, He’s mean and unforgiving, Laugh at him and you’re undone, But in some dreadful fashion, Vengeance, he considers fun, And plans it with a passion, Time will not erase or blot, A plot that he has brewing, It’s when you think that he’s forgot, He’ll conjure your undoing, Bolted doors and windows barred, Guard dogs prowling in the yard, Won’t protect you in your bed, Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead!”