Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (2006)

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (2006)

He threw their loved ones into a swamp. Now they want revenge… But when a demon does their dirty work, it comes at a price.

When the residents of a small town discover that their local mortician has been illegally selling organs and burying the corpses of their loved ones into a swamp, rather than properly cremating them, they seek the assistance of a witch named Haggis to mete out justice. Haggis summons the demon Pumpkinhead to kill those responsible for the desecration.

 

The original Pumpkinhead was a pretty decent 80s timewaster featuring an average revenge plot and a kick ass monster carving up teenagers with its massive talons. It was popular enough for a sequel to follow which didn’t do an awful lot wrong – it just didn’t turn up any trees in the process. So thirteen years later, someone decided to film a couple of straight-to-DVD sequels for some unknown reason. Granted I could see the logic in a follow up a year or two later. But thirteen years? Someone is really desperate to cash in. In the days of modern horror where classic films are remade and sequelised (if that’s not even a word, someone please add it to the dictionary because it sounds good), it was logical that another film featuring Pumpkinhead would come along eventually.

I might as well get down to the important matter on hand because no one watching a second sequel to a minor 80s horror hit is going to be watching for anything other than the big orange baddie of the title. Pumpkinhead always looked pretty reasonable in the other two films and it’s a trait that is continued for much of this one. The actual suit/make-up effects look pretty solid and there are plenty of full-body shots of him striding across a room or street to give you the full look. However there’s also an annoying use of CGI for a lot of scenes where the monster is required to do silly things like climb up the side of a church. The CGI in these scenes looks lame and you’re glad to see it back in its natural form as soon as possible. It’s also quite busy during the film and there are plenty of minor characters to eliminate so except lots of blood and guts. The 18-rating that it received in the UK is certainly put to good use!

Unfortunately that’s about all the film is good for. The story itself is very sluggish and doesn’t get going until a good third through the film. The focus on a group of immoral characters like the doctor and his cronies is a bad idea because you’re rooting for Pumpkinhead to kill them all for what they have done.

Doug Bradley stars as the sinister mortician and it’s actually a good role for him because he’s just basically reprising his Pinhead character (from the Hellraiser series…if you didn’t know). He’s got plenty of morality speeches, rants about pain and generally does nasty things you could see him doing in the outfit of a Cenobite. I’m not too sure about that Southern accent though. Lance Henriksen reprises his role of Ed Harley from the original and I can only assume that is to link the films together. He doesn’t do an awful lot in the film and it’s yet another cheque to cash for Mr Henriksen. When is this guy ever going to get a decent role? Or is he ever going to get a decent role? I only ever see him in straight-to-DVD crap now with the exception of his role in Alien Vs Predator. The rest of the characters aren’t worth mentioning. You’ve got your redneck hired help, a slutty teenager and some other stock characters all padded out enough to be ripped apart in suitable fashion.

 

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes is an OK follow-up to a couple of probably long-forgotten films. Was it a good idea to make a sequel to the original after so long on the shelf? I personally don’t think so but hey, if it gets today’s teenagers interested in some of the older cult flicks out then I’m for it.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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