The original Pumpkinhead was a no-nonsense, straight forward horror/fairy tale hybrid with a simple and entertaining story line. Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings is a convoluted mess that epitomizes the best and worst of direct to video 1990’s horror. Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser, Dirty Harry) was seemingly paid to chew the scenery as the films lead, Sheriff Braddock. Robinson’s overly melodramatic character spends most of the film acting with his eyebrows to show how he feels about a situation. As a veteran actor who can really bring it, it shows just how little he really cares about this film, and you can’t blame him.
To start off with the, the plot of the movie is really bad. At no point is it respectful to the original, and it cheapens it at every turn. Somehow Pumpkinhead had a kid named Tommy, and surprise surprise, the kid is autistic. Shunned by the community, Tommy is eventually killed by a Varsity Club named the Blood Wings. Flash forward thirty years later, and Tommy’s mom is trying to bring him back to life when a group of teens crashes into her home, and for whatever reason decide to finish bringing Tommy back, before accidentally burning his mother to death.
They are successful in their attempts, and Tommy comes back in the form of Pumpkinhead to seek revenge on his now adult tormentors and the teens responsible for his mothers death. The rest of the film is a fun ride as Tommy rips a bunch of people apart and there is lots of blood, strobe lights, and Andrew Robinson’s eyebrows. The first film had the sense to regulate Pumpkinhead to the shadows to help keep him frightening, and also as a way to hide how shoddy the FX were. Keep in mind the effects were done by Stan Winston, and they still felt a need to keep the monster from being seen clearly. Pumpkinhead 2 doesn’t care about any of that and shows the foam latex beast as much as they possibly can. I suppose they thought as a sequel it had to be more over the top, and didn’t realize just how bad the creature looked or thought it beside the point. It’s still a cool looking monster, and thankfully done back in the day before CGI.
Even though the plot is horrible, the film itself held together nicely by director Jeff Burr, who gave us some fun horror sequels during this time period. His work includes The Stepfather 2, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, and Puppet Master 4 and 5 . Burr’s films never really take themselves to seriously, and such is the case with Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings. It moves at a brisk pace, is colorful, and stylish in that 90’s horror way where everything was edited like a music video. Pumpkinhead 2 is a guilty pleasure and it’s taken me twenty three years to admit I like it, so there ya go. Also, how can you hate a film that has Bill Clinton’s brother, actor Roger Clinton singing it’s theme?