Wednesday, June 8, 2011

REVIEW: Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings (1994)

This movie has hurt me. It has hurt me so deeply that I can think of only one course of action! I will summon the ancient vengeance demon known as PUMPKINHEAD to wreak havoc on everyone involved in this movie. He will tear their arms from their sockets and tear their heads off! Revenge will be mine even if I have to suffer all the pain upon myself for it…well, on second thought, that doesn’t sound so good. Why don’t I look over this film again before such a drastic conclusion?

Director: Jeff Burr
Starring: Andrew Robinson, Ami Dolenz

“This beats the hell out of delivering mail!”
-A guy clearly not talking about the movie at hand

It kicks off with a flashback to the 50s, which, as we all know, was the decade where everything was actually sepia-toned. An old lady in a bonnet cooks something out of a cauldron – well, I guess George Foreman grills weren’t around yet so they needed something – and feeds it to her mentally deformed mutant crack baby. Maybe he and Jason should have a play-date sometime.

So then a group of kids with 50s style hair, led by a guy that could probably stunt-double for Ray Liotta, drive up and decide to have their daily party-on-the-side-of-the-road party. Oh what fun it will be! They chase down the mutant crack baby through the woods, mugging to the camera all the while, and kill him brutally. This whole scene could easily be improved by adding the Benny Hill theme.

We then switch to the modern day where some doofus is getting ready for his first day as town sheriff, a position which he got even though he has apparently been gone from the town for years. He says it’s the perfect job because there’s no crime or gangs or anything in the town. But then he also says that he hopes their rebellious teenage daughter won’t get into any trouble. Did he just…magically forget what he just said?

He gets a shot for some reason, as I guess all sheriffs need rabies shots in this town (a fact I came to find more sensible after seeing the rest of this stupid film), and the mayor comes in. The mayor is a ridiculous looking 90s caricature with a bizarre suit/mullet combination that just makes him look like…well, a character in a horrible 90s film. Some guy says that he's ready to come in now...he walks in...asks for a guitar…they give it to him…and he leaves. WTF? That’s about all I can say. The mayor needs a guitar, so he stores it in the police station? He had to make a special appointment with the sheriff just to come in and get it before leaving again? Why?

"My mullet is so big it EATS all the answers to those questions!"

Then of course we see the daughter herself as she gets into a car with a bunch of morons and goes to hang out at every teenager’s favorite hot spot: the exact place where that mutant crack baby was murdered in the sepia-toned flashback just moments ago! DUN DUN DUN. This one guy just starts making out with her unprecedented, and of course she’s totally OK with it, being an idiot and all. I guess she always just goes with the first guy who sexually harasses her as long as he’s good looking! That’s truly the path to a good relationship.

So after her dad tells her NEVER to see the kids she was hanging out with again (because even though there’s no danger in town, he can apparently TELL they're up to no good by just looking at them...maybe that's why he was given the sheriff job), she sneaks out and sees them anyway. This time, they show her another one of their hobbies, driving down the road at night and screaming like lunatics for no reason. And here we see a true example of their worth as human beings as they TURN OFF THEIR HEADLIGHTS while driving on a dark road at like 70 miles an hour, at least. Why? Does it really enhance the thrill that much? I mean, they could seriously hurt someone…don't they have any consideration for those around them?

OK, OK, stupid question...

And that’s exactly what does happen. They end up hurting the crazy old witch-lady that apparently lives nearby. Why was she outside in the middle of the road at night? Because the movie’s plot demanded it for convenience. After the idiot boyfriend agonizes over the damage done to his car – isn't this guy such a stand-up, model citizen? – they finally decide to go to the witch-lady’s house, as she has disappeared (how?!) and they want to go apologize.

Inside, they find some spooky voodoo witchcraft junk, taken from the Closet of Cliché Horror Movie Props, and as convenience has it, one of the girls in their group knows about witchcraft and can show them what to do with it. The old lady kicks them out, but not before they take a bunch of crap used for an occult ritual that they don’t even know what it does. Why are these kids so bent on performing an occult ritual anyway? I just love how readily they accept it, without even questioning it at all. You'd think they'd just shrug it off and go back to being delinquents, but nope; the next scene is them in the graveyard reading the spell out loud. But hey. Anything to move the plot forward, right?

So their meddling somehow sets the house on fire! Fine, fine, just go with it, even if it is monumentally ridiculous. They all go home. The next day, cops investigate the scene and determine that there was a fire! What geniuses they are! Then some hick gets murdered and is found with his arms and head cut off quite cleanly, with bloody markings all over the walls, so naturally the cops suspect that that and the fire are connected. OF COURSE!

Truly an astute deduction!

But the real cincher for their brilliance in the detective field comes when they have a conference at the sheriff’s house about this baffling case, and the FIRST THING THE SHERIFF SAYS is that it must be the ancient legend of Pumpkinhead behind the whole thing. Oh yeah! Couldn’t just be a serial murderer, right? Has to be supernatural folklore behind the whole thing. There’s no other plausible explanation! That would just be silly.

So then we see a fat guy having sex with a blonde lady. As she leaves to go to the bathroom or something, he calls after her: “This beats the hell out of delivering mail!” Well, thank you, stock character. Thank you for providing us with that Eureka moment, that having sex is better than delivering mail. Although I can’t say it speaks much for your companion’s, erm, skills when you have to weigh those two options against one another.

Anyway, Pumpkinhead kills him, to a riveting soundtrack of 80s bubblegum pop. The worthlessness just astounds, doesn’t it?

"This does NOT beat the hell out of delivering mail!" 

OK, so our next pair of stock characters to be killed are a pair of brothers who have a deaf-mute sister. One of them likes to pick on her and the other likes to, apparently, sleep with her. Well, those two are complete wastes of life and deserve whatever death they get, so I’ll just skip this one.

The movie then decides to provide us with some important exposition from the burnt witch lady, who dies but then resurrects herself magically to make sure the viewers are not too confused - although what she says mostly just creates even more questions, and not all of them good ones. Apparently the mutant crack baby from the opening was actually called Tommy, and he was the lovechild of the old woman and Pumpkinhead. That’s…so wrong on so many levels that it would take DAYS to fully go into it! How would Pumpkinhead even do that…? WHY would the woman even…ugh! That’s just too creepy to consider! I think this movie’s going to give me nightmares.

Apparently Tommy must have…inherited Pumpkinhead’s superpowers in the gene pool, or something, because yeah, he’s back for revenge now after 35 long years. And there’s some trite plot about how the sheriff saved him from dying once as a kid, and the Judge of the town is actually the bad guy now, and yadda yadda yadda, who cares? He kills a lot of people but is stopped, again, by the Judge, and the movie ends. What did we learn from this, kids? That having sex is definitely better than delivering mail.

But seriously, this has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen that probably didn’t mean to be. It’s just so…silly! It’s absolutely priceless, and if you have a chance to see it, do so for the unintentional comedy. The movie itself is crap, but it’s the kind of crap that makes you laugh. It's stupid, there are tons of plot holes, but it is also pretty hilarious at times. And I guess I want to take back that stuff I was saying at the beginning of the review. Heh. I think such a revenge might be a little harsh. Heh. I can do that, right? RIGHT?