|“|| 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.
|~ Ed Justin (the poem that inspired the character)|
Pumpkinhead is the central antagonist of the Pumpkinhead franchise - a powerful demon of vengeance who has varied origins depending on which film he appears in he is a demon that is much more alien in appearance than usual, being incredibly powerful and sharing a link with whoever summoned it.
Pumpkinhead appears to have a lumpy head and thick legs, along with long arms and two bulbs objects that sprout from his shoulders. Pumpkinhead has white unseeing eyes that appeared to have reptilian eye pupils in the first film. Pumpkinhead has a tail like that of a Devil and long skinny fingers with long claws used for marking those for death or killing. Pumpkinhead has a thick feet which are part of his digitigrade legs with dinosaur like feet. Some areas of Pumpkinhead's body have very thin skin allowing his blood veins to be seen. In the third and fourth films, Pumpkinhead looks pretty similar to his first and second appearance, however he has spikes on his shoulders instead of bulbs objects and a spiked tail with a more human-like posture.
In the movie, Pumpkinhead is described as having been the "Demon of Vengeance" who can be called upon by one whom has been wronged to avenge their kin by wiping out its target (or targets) one by one until the duty is done. However if a man or women were to call upon Pumpkinhead, they would be damned for all of eternity and become one with the demon forever, as the summoner or summoners begin to take on Pumpkinhead characteristics as Pumpkinhead kills his victims. The summoner also feels all of the pain related to Pumpkinhead's killings as the victims feel also.
Original Movie (1988)
In the original movie Pumpkinhead was summoned by Harley, the bereaved father of a young boy who was accidentally killed by a group of youths - unable to forgive them for what had happened Harley brought Pumpkinhead to life to exact vengeance on his behalf: however as the film progressed Harley couldn't live with the brutality he had unleashed (sharing a psychic link with Pumpkinhead - which was violently killing anything it came across).
Tracking down Pumpkinhead Harley attempted several unsuccessful attacks on the beast, only to realise that it was now a part of himself (a manifestation of his own rage and hate, perhaps) - in order to stop the demon once and for all, Harley decided to kill himself with a shotgun to the head - as he died Pumpkinhead perished with him.
Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen) owns a small store in the country. He briefly leaves his young son alone while he runs an errand. A group of teenage campers stop by Harley's. While riding their dirt bikes, they mortally injure Harley's son. One teen, Steve, stays with the boy until his father's return; the rest flee the scene.
At their cabin, the campers fight about whether or not to call the police. Joel, who is responsible for the boy's injury and is on probation for a similar incident, knocks one of his friends unconscious and locks two others in the closet to stop them from contacting the authorities.
Harley goes to see a supposed witch, who says she cannot bring his son back. After Harley says that as a boy, he saw the witch controlling a mysterious creature, the witch agrees to help Harley seek revenge, but she warns him that vengeance comes with a powerful price. On her orders, Harley goes to an old pumpkin patch, digs up a disfigured corpse, and brings it back to the witch's home. The witch uses blood from father and son to resurrect the creature's corpse.
Back at the cabin, Joel begins to experience remorse for his actions, and determines to turn himself in to the police. The monster, however, has already arrived. One of the girls, Maggie, hears a voice whispering her name. Seemingly hypnotized, she follows the voice outside the cabin. Steve brings her out of her trance, but he is then attacked by the creature and killed. Harley experiences the murder through the creature's eyes.
While the campers search for Steve, a clawed hand seizes Maggie, dragging her away. Harley has a vision of the creature killing Maggie and he returns to the witch, begging her to stop the monster. The witch laughs and says nothing can stop the monster. She warns that Harley will die too if he interferes.
Joel confronts the monster with a knife, but the monster swats him aside and drags off another of the teens. The three remaining campers beg the locals for help, but the locals refuse, saying the three campers are "marked." Harley arrives and shoots the creature, but when Joel checks to see if it's dead, the creature impales Joel on his own rifle.
A local boy, Bunt, helps the two living campers, Tracey and Chris, reach an abandoned church. Bunt relates the legend of the monster Pumpkinhead, explaining that the creature avenges one who was wronged. If anyone tries to stop Pumpkinhead, that person becomes marked as another victim. The creature attacks and throws Chris against a tree, then drags his body back to Harley's house, where Tracey, Bunt, and Harley have taken shelter.
Bunt is caught when Pumpkinhead enters the house. While Harley experiences the murder, Tracey is terrified to see that his face has changed to resemble the monster's. She runs outside and finds Chris struggling to crawl away as Pumpkinhead prepares to kill Bunt. Harley stumbles out of the barn but is accidentally stabbed in the arm by a pitchfork. Both Harley and Pumpkinhead cry out in pain, and the creature releases Bunt. Harley notices that Pumpkinhead's face is turning more human, then realizes that he and Pumpkinhead are one. The only way to kill the creature is to die himself.
The creature grabs Tracey by the neck, but before it can kill her, Harley shoots himself in the head. Both he and Pumpkinhead momentarily collapse to the ground. Pumpkinhead grabs Bunt again. Tracey grabs the gun, and Harley begs her to kill him. Harley, now fully changed, tries to attack Tracey. She shoots him several times until both he and Pumpkinhead fall to the ground, dead. Tracey, Bunt, and Chris then watch as Pumpkinhead bursts into flames. Later that night, back in the pumpkin patch, the witch buries Harley's now-disfigured corpse in Pumpkinhead's grave. The film ends showing his corpse still holding onto the necklace his son Billy, made him.
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994)
In 1958 in Ferren Woods, a small backwater town, an old blind witch, Ms. Osie, feeds a deformed orphan named Tommy; he is the offspring of Pumpkinhead. As Tommy eats, a car of six teens pull up and notice him. Convinced that he is some demonic monster, they chase him with switchblade knives and baseball bats; eventually, they corner him at an old iron mine, where they bludgeon him and drop him down into the mine, killing him.
35 years later, Sheriff Sean Braddock, his wife, and his daughter Jenny have come into town. Sean grew up in Ferren Woods and returned when offered a job as the local sheriff. At school, Jenny meets a group of wild kids, one of whom is Daniel "Danny" Dixon, whose dad, (who was one of the teens who had taken part in Tommy's murder 35 years ago), is the town judge. The teens sneak off one night and pilfer Sean's car. Danny inadvertently hits Ms. Osie, and when they go to her cabin to check on her, they find a spellbook and vials of blood, which she is planning to resurrect Tommy with. After Ms. Osie catches them, she orders them out. Danny knocks her down and escapes with a vial of blood.
Danny and his friends attempt to resurrect Tommy's corpse. Jenny notices Ms. Osie's cabin on fire and Danny and his friends flee. Ms. Osie is badly burnt and ends up in the hospital. Unbeknownst to Danny and his friends, the spell they'd attempted worked, resurrecting Tommy in the form of Pumpkinhead. Soon, Judge Dixon's friends begin to meet grisly deaths. Jenny's father investigates and begins to come to terms with the fact that Tommy is responsible for the murders. Ms. Osie dies, but not before revealing to Sean some clues. Sean discovers the connection between the victims and Pumpkinhead, realizing that the judge is next.
Judge Dixon calls his posse to assist him in killing whatever is murdering his friends. Before they can arrive however, Pumpkinhead brutally murders Judge Dixon. Now that Tommy has avenged his own death, he begins going after Danny and his friends. Sean and the town doctor go into the woods to find Jenny. By this time, Pumpkinhead (Tommy) has murdered Danny and his 3 friends. He then chases Jenny to the iron mine. Since Sean had saved his life years earlier as a boy, and because Jenny was innocent of hurting Ms. Osie, Tommy allows Jenny to step down to her father safe and sound. However, the judge's posse arrives and shoots Tommy back into the mine, where he had died 35 years earlier.
Pumpkinhead: Ashes To Ashes (2006)
The third movie was more loyal to the first movie in terms of story and focused on how the townspeople became enraged at a local mortician stealing and selling the organs of their loved ones before disposing of their bodies in the swamp rather than cremating them: seeking vengeance they have Haggis (a witch who appears in many of the movies) summon Pumpkinhead once more via reviving the mummified remains of Harley - the reanimated Pumpkinhead then proceeds to exact a brutal revenge on all responsible for the desecration.
At the same time a character by the name of Doc Fraiser rushes to kill those who summoned Pumpkinhead so as to kill the demon before things get totally out of hand.
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud (2007)
The final installment of the series is a 2007 made-for-television sequel (I had not been able to watch this film so can not give details on it's plot - if anyone has details please add them as soon as possible, thank you) The film begins with two men on their motorcycles driving away from Pumpkinhead. One of the men hits a tree branch in their path, falling from his motorcycle and allowing Pumpkinhead to catch up to him. As the man is being killed, the film cuts to a man in a log cabin who seems to share the pain inflicted by Pumpkinhead on the fallen man. The surviving man, named Dallas, rides to the log cabin, and the man who conjured Pumpkinhead, begging him to call the demon off. Pumpkinhead smashes through the window and Dallas attempts to fend him off by shooting him with a small pistol with little effect, and is clawed in the chest by the demon. When Dallas realizes that his bullets have no effect on Pumpkinhead, he swears to take the summoner with him, shooting the man and killing him, causing Pumpkinhead to vanish. Ed Harley then appears telling Dallas that Pumpkinhead will return and there will be no place to hide.
Five years later we are shown the family of the Hatfields and McCoys ongoing feud started because of a car in the 30's. The Hatfields then trash the McCoy wedding. Jody Hatfield sneaks out to see her true love, Ricky McCoy. Ricky brings his sister, Sarah, to look out for him and Jody. The two then start to make out.
Jody's brothers find and kill Sarah by accident and try to kill Ricky. Ricky then finds his sister's body and goes to Haggis for help. Haggis tells him of the price it costs to summon Pumpkinhead and Haggis is shown talking to Ed Harley's spirit. Haggis states that her choice does not matter in the end; only the summoner may make the decision to kill Pumpkinhead. The two invoke Pumpkinhead to kill the Hatfields.
At the end of the film most of the Hatfields are killed, as well as some of the McCoy family. Ricky realizes what he has done and takes Pumpkinhead with him to fall down a well. This is the first film in the franchise that does not imply that Pumpkinhead is still alive.
Powers and Abilities
- Supernatural Strength: Pumpkinhead's physical strength was immense, as it shown able to drag a log easily like drag a broom to block the church's exit as well as overpower multiple foes.
- Invulnearability: Pumkinhead's body is seemingly impervious against anything, as it cannot be killed/harmed by conventional means or weapons. The only way to stop it was kill those whom summon it.
- Tracking: No matter wherever his targets hiding, Pumpkinhead can found them easily.
- Internal Rupturing: Pumpkinhead possibly possessed this, as anyone whom strangled, slashed, or stabbed by it's tails or claws often instantly died with much blood came out from their nose, wounds, and and mouths.