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|“|| "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 titular central antagonist of the franchise of the same name. A powerful demon of vengeance who has varied origins depending on which film he appears in, he is a demon who 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.
Pumpkinhead embodies the conjurer(s)' hate, desire for vengeance, and their unforgiving of their wrongdoers. This makes Pumpkinhead an unforgiving monster who brutally kills people. He appears to enjoy the agony he puts his victims through and sometimes lets his targets escape him deliberately, just to draw out his 'cat and mouse' game even longer, just for his victim's suffering and his amusement.
In the movie, Pumpkinhead is described as having been the "Demon of Vengeance" who can be called upon by one(s) whom have been wronged to eradicate their offenders by wiping out its target(s) one by one until the duty is done.
The first thing to do is to dig up a corpse in Razorback Holler. The corpse is needed as a vessel for the demon. Then, the witch whom would conjure the demon would take some of the summoner(s)' blood is poured onto the corpse, causing it to come to life and transform into Pumpkinhead. 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(s) begin to take on Pumpkinhead characteristics as Pumpkinhead kills his victims. The summoner(s) also feels all of the pain related to Pumpkinhead's killings as the victims feel also. They will also begin to see the killings themselves through Pumpkinhead's point of view. Pumpkinhead doesn't feel this pain.
These factors usually lead to the summoner(s) regretting the summoning of Pumpkinhead. And, because the demon and its conjurer(s) share each other's pain, the only way to kill the demon and stopping his killings is to kill its summoner(s). Anyone who interferes with Pumpkinhead's mission is considered "marked" and they will also be killed. Successfully stopping the demon will damn that person's soul. And that person's only hope of salvation is to be murdered by the next Pumpkinhead that is conjured. If there are any survivors from Pumpkinhead's onslaught, Pumpkinhead will seek after those old targets and finish it's previous assignment before finally going on to it's new task.
After the summoner(s)' demise, their soul will be stuck in a limbo. And their corpse will be used as the next vessel for Pumpkinhead the next time it's summoned.
Pumpkinhead was summoned by Ed Harley, the boy who secretly witnessed a doomed man being caught and butchered by Pumpkinhead in 1957, and, years later, 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 could never 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 realize 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 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 WingsIn 1958 in the small backwater town of Ferren Woods, an old blind witch named 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.
The sequel has extremely little to nothing to do with the first or any of the other films. Instead of having Pumpkinhead or Haggis, it instead features Thomas Parnell (referred to as "Tommy" in the film). Tommy is apparently the son of Pumpkinhead; born as a result of Pumpkinhead mating with a currently unknown human female under unknown circumstances. Tommy is an orphan who is adopted and cared for by an old blind woman named 'Ms. Osie'. Osie herself is highly hinted to be a witch of some kind. Who shares a similar bond with Tommy similar to a bond between Pumpkinhead and it's summoner(s). Seeming to feel each other's pain. When Tommy is resurrected, he has a body similar to that of his father's. Making him able to commit the same grisly murders as the original Pumpkinhead. Although, unlike the original, Ms. Osie's death does not kill Tommy, nor does he seem to be visibly effected by it (although he is able to sense it). He also seemed to actually grieve and become enraged at her death, making him the only demon in the series to display such feelings towards it's 'summoner'. Tommy is also the only form of the demon to show any kind of mercy. He spared Jenny a grisly death, as he realized that she was actually Sean's daughter. Because before his death, Tommy befriended Sean. And truthfully, Jenny was innocent in Ms. Osie's death (which was why it went after her and her friends; for hurting Ms. Osie and refusing to help save her). Tommy is also the only Pumpkinhead that's actually killed with regular means. Being able to be harmed with guns (unlike his father, who's body is impervious to physical harm).
Pumpkinhead: Ashes To AshesThe 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 (who was the true mastermind behind the desecration) rushes to kill those who summoned Pumpkinhead so as to kill the demon before things get totally out of hand.
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud
The final installment of the series is a 2007 made-for-television sequel.
2 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 is immense, as he is shown able to drag a log easily like a broom to block the church's exit as well as overpower multiple foes.
- Invulnearability-Level Healing Factor: Pumkinhead's body is seemingly impervious against anything, as it cannot be killed/harmed by conventional means or weapons. Even if he injured, the would would instantly regenerate. The only way to stop it was kill those whom summon it.
- Tracking: No matter wherever his targets hiding, Pumpkinhead can find 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.
- Intelligence: Although incapable of speaking English, Pumpkinhead is deceptively smarter than he appears. Pumpkinhead was able to smash and trash the cars and bikes of the teens to prevent them from escaping him. In this scene, he appears to let out something of an evil laugh. He also seems to know how to use the environment in his hunt of the 'marked ones'. He also faked being hurt by Joel's rifle to get him to let his guard down. He also blocked the exit to a church to prevent anyone from escaping.
- Storm Conjuring: Pumpkinhead's mere presence seems able to bring very powerful storms and winds. It's unknown if this is intentional or just an unconditional side power. Tommy also displays this ability.
- Claws: Pumpkinhead's main weapons are his claws. His claws are extremely strong, able to easily rip apart flesh and bone and other inorganic materials.
- Tail: Pumpkinhead's tail has a large sharp barb used for impaling victims.
- The Environment: Like many other slasher villains such as Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, Pumpkinhead is extremely smart and resourceful, so he uses many objects around his surroundings in his killings of the marked ones. Although he has only killed two people using actual weapons, he kills Joel with a rifle, and a Hatfield is killed with a wilderness knife. Although he didn't actually shoot Joel, instead impaling him with it.
List of Pumpkinheads that have been summoned so far
Opening Man's Pumpkinhead
The first Pumpkinhead shown in the franchise. It's summoner(s) or the reason it was summoned is still unknown. It is shown hunting down an unnamed man in the first film. Pumpkinhead follows the man as he runs to the Harley's house. He begs Tom Harley to let him inside, but the man is killed by Pumpkinhead. Edward Harley witnesses the grisly murder through his window as a child.
Edward Harley's Pumpkinhead
The main Pumpkinhead of the first film is summoned by Ed Harley to get revenge on the teenagers responsible for the accidental murder of his son Billy Harley. This Pumpkinhead is killed by Tracey when she shoots and kills Ed. Ed's corpse is later used as a new vessel for Pumpkinhead in future films.
Edward Harley's corpse is used as a vessel for Pumpkinhead in the third and fourth films.
The 'Pumpkinhead' used in the second film is the corpse of a deformed orphan named Thomas Parnell (known as "Tommy" in the film). Tommy is resurrected by "Ms. Osie"; who was his caretaker in life. Because 35 years prior, Tommy was brutally murdered in the woods by a motor gang of teenagers called the Red Wings. The reason for his murder being that the drunken teens believed Tommy to be a demonic creature of sorts. Most of the details of the ritual are unknown. But the Pumpkinhead part is caused by the meddling of a group of teens who stumble upon it (one of which was the son of one of the teens responsible for Tommy's murder).