There is no word in the English language more offensive to me than the R-word or Rwords, I should say. You can call me the C-word all day long and I will take it on the chin like a champ, but the R-word? You kiss your mother with that mouth?
I am of course referring to the word remake or its more pretentious cousin, reboot. I don’t know what it is about the word reboot that makes me want to drive my car into a tree. Maybe it represents a point where all creativity, every ounce of imagination has been flushed down the proverbial toilet. Maybe I’m just over sensitive. I don’t know and I don’t really care. The word makes me want to punch a baby right in the face and then administer a chainsaw enema to everyone I have ever met.
Well, get ready because that word is being thrown out again, and it appears that a movie, for which I am very fond of has fallen into the imagination vacuum that the mainstream horror genre is becoming.
That movie is Pumpkinhead. Remember Pumpkinhead? Pumpkinhead was a 1988 movie directed by special effects legend Stan Winston. The film told the story of a father, played by Lance Henriksen, who becomes so grief stricken at the death of his son, that he visits a Witch to help him summon a vengeance demon to punish those responsible. Those responsible in this case are a group of youths on motorbikes. Those bloody youths.
What I like most about Pumpkinhead, other than its deep south setting and gloomy atmosphere is the design of the demon itself. Sure it’s big and slow and lumbering, but it just looks so cool. I’m also very fond of the musical score. Utilising strings and harmonica’s to great effect in creating a creepy, southern sound that really adds to the atmosphere of the movie. I play it a lot when writing as it puts me in the right headspace.
Apparently it was reported, back in 2016 that Saw producer Peter Block was interested in remaking Pumpkinhead, believing it to be ripe for the reboot machine. I must have missed this piece of news, or maybe my head was buried in a sandy pit of denial. Either way, I don’t agree with him. If he truly believes there is plenty of story potential, why not just make a good sequel? Do we really need everything remaking in order to make it marketable?
Last week, Block told Rue Morgue’s Michael Gingold:
“Pumpkinhead is a movie I just love… and while the original Pumpkinhead is a great movie, I think that there is more that can be done with that idea. Sometimes I loathe remakes and reboots because I don’t see the reason for them, but Pumpkinhead is one of those where I believe that the story and the themes of it are so good, but there’s also a way of updating it where less focus on the creature in the beginning will add to a lot of the suspense.”
Now I know I’m a cynic and I would love to be proven wrong but I’m just not onboard with this. Sequel yes. Remake No. Hopefully, when this project eventually comes to fruition, I will have to sit and eat my words. Just don’t forget that I told you so, should the film turn out to be a GGI crapfest.
I know that the sequels that followed the 1988 original got worse with each release, but should my predictions be correct, at least we will always have the original. Maybe if the film sucks, I can summon a demon to punish the producers.
Why not at the original to your collection by following the link:
UK Readers can find it here: