The original Pumpkinhead was an inspired horror film, though too often forgotten, with great special effects and a strong story. Pumpkinhead II is an inferior sequel, which should *really* be forgotton, with dodgey special effects and a derivative story. So if I haven’t made it clear by now, Pumpkinhead II is a straight-to-video waste of time.
A group of rowdy teenagers break into the shack of an old witch, because that’s just the sort of thing damn teenagers do these days. Well, quite by accident, they set the shack on fire and the old witch burns to death. What those meddling kids *don’t* know, is that the witch mothered a poor deformed boy back in the 50’s, who was killed by a group of teenage jocks (god damn teenagers!). Well, she placed a curse on the boy, and after her death, he rises from his grave as the gnarly Pumpkinhead. Pumpkinhead seeks revenge on the teenagers that killed his mom as well as the stupid jocks that tortured him as a boy. Meanwhile, Andrew Robinson plays a sherrif who tries to uncover the mystery and blah blah blah.
Let me get one thing straight, Pumpkinhead II is either in a different continuity from the first film, or features a different Pumpkinhead who just happens to look exactly like the other one. The continuity issue has to do with flashbacks. The flashback Lance Henrickson’s character has in the first film shows a man being killed by Pumpkinhead in 1957, the flashback at the beginning of this film featuring Pumpkinhead’s origin takes place in 1958. So either there are multiple Pumpkinheads running around out there, or there’s no continuity between these two films.
Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way: this movie sucks.
The origin provided for Pumpkinhead completely vaccuums the air of mystery out of the villain and robs him of most of his imposing power. I mean, instead of being a demon from Hell used as a tool of revenge for the exchange of someone’s soul, now he’s just a monstrous retard who got pushed down a mineshaft when he was playing with his trucks. I mean, really, that’s just stupid.
Pumpkinhead, realized in this film by KNB Effects, is a far-cry from the Stan Winston monster from the previous film. This movie screams “straight to video” quality from start to finish, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the effects used for the title villain. Considering their budget, KNB couldn’t exspend much time or effort on the Pumpkinhead puppet, particularly in the painstaking effects involved in making him look like he can walk. So, as a result, you never see Pumpkinhead from the waste down while moving. This looks pretty awful, and you can tell after a while that someone is just pushing him along on top of a shopping cart.
On the bright side, Pumpkinhead from the waste-up looks alright. That’s about the only bright side this film has, save for Andrew Robinson from Hellraiser putting in an appearance. But even then, his character is so hackneyed it doesn’t do his acting skills much justice. The classic Pumpkinhead poem appears in the film (spoken by Robinson, no less) but with Pumpkinhead’s origin made perfectly clear, it just isn’t as cool, anymore.
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings does not compliment the first film well at all. And with the lack of continuity between the two, it’s completely unnecessary to even bother watching it. A very half-assed attempt on all fronts.