The fourth and final (as of August 2019) Pumpkinhead movie was released in 2007, one year after the release of Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes. Written and directed by Michael Hurst, it stars Amy Manson, Bradley Taylor and Lance Henriksen.
While the first film can be rightfully called a classic of the 80s, that’s not case with the sequels that followed. They’ve been getting steadily worse leading to the horrid Ashes to Ashes. You can read our reviews of the series so far below.
So considering how bad the third film was, expectations were low going into Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud. However, in a nice surprise it turned out to be a decent horror flick that shared more in common with the original then any of its sequels.
It begins with a bang, two men on motorbikes being chased down by Pumpkinhead. One is knocked off and killed by the monster while the other (Dallas) escapes arriving a log cabin where he finds the person who summoned Pumpkinhead. Dallas pleads with the man inside to call off the monster but the man refuses. Realising there is no escape, Dallas tries to shoot Pumpkinhead but the bullets do nothing. He turns his attention to the man who summoned the monster and shoots him, killing him. This causes Pumpkinhead to disappear.
Dallas thinks he is safe but when Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) appears he learns that Pumpkinhead will return and claim what is his.
It’s a long intro but important as the character of Dallas (Rob Freeman) plays a big role as the film goes on.
Five years later we’re introduced to two waring families, the Hatfields and the McCoys. The two families hate each other, well, all except Jody Hatfield (Amy Manson) and Rickey McCoy (Bradley Taylor). Those two love each other and have been secretly meeting using Jody’s sister, Sarah as a lookout.
It’s one of these secret meetings that spell disaster as some of Jody’s brothers follow her to see where she goes. They come across Sarah and get a little ‘hands-on’ with her. She manages to escape and while running through the woods, falls and is accidentally killed.
After an unfortunate run-in with the Hatfield boys, Ricky finds his sister dead and believes they killed her. Furious, he goes to the local witch demanding his revenge. She agrees to summon Pumpkinhead for him but warns Ricky of the cost.
The two families will have to settle their differences if they are to survive the wrath of Pumpkinhead.
It’s a good story, well told and well paced even if it doesn’t push the boat out too much. A huge bunch of characters, far too many slow it down occasionally and very few get much in the way of character development. Even the main cast, Jody and Rickey are underdeveloped and it’s hard to care about their relationship when we really didn’t get to see much of it. It’s not an acting issue as there are no bad actors. Just some who are a bit cheesy, playing up to the ‘hick’ side of their characters a bit too much.
Where Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud stands out is with its gore effects and creature design. It’s so good to see it move away from so much CGI. Here Pumpkinhead is a costume and it looks so much better for it, more in keeping with the original design. It’s a little less gangly but still exudes power. It’s not on par with effects from the greats of monster horror but when compared to what we got in part 2 and 3, it’s vastly improved.
The final 15-20 minutes is a blast as we get a frantic and very violent finale. Pumpkinhead spares no-one and while the ending can be seen coming a mile off, it still does the job.
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud is the best entry since the first film. Not as good but hits enough high notes to make it a worthwhile watch.
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud