Pumpkinhead 3 Review
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Plot:Involves an eccentric smalltown doctor who moonlights as an orchestrator of unauthorized organ donations.
My Thoughts:A step up from "Bloodwings"
Review:What the hell is a "bloodwing" anyways? Anyhow, "Pumpkinhead 3:Ashes to Ashes" marks the third installment of the series which comes to us from director Jake West who tries to right the many wrongs from "Pumpkinhead 2".
This installment is set in a smalltown where the people live in an amish like community of sorts, dressed in the typical amish attire. Among these people are also a few more normal looking and dressed people, and before anyone get's any ideas that this might be a prequel..."Pumpkinhead 3" has many references to the drug crystal meth which of course we know wasn't around back in the 1800's. The presence of Lance Henriksen in the film as the ghost of Ed Harley, and numerous flashbacks to his story from the first "Pumpkinhead" also solidifies the movie as a clear cut sequel. Unlike the first two "Pumpkinhead" films, "Ashes to Ashes" has much better fleshed out characters and some great veteran additions like Doug Bradley from the "Hellraiser" films. Bradley steals the show in this movie, which has a family seeking vengeance upon the towns crooked doctor who is moonlighting as an organ donor. When he desecrates the corpse of that families dead relative in his attempt to snag a kidney, they learn of Pumpkinhead, a vengeance seeking demon who can be used to right certain wrongs. Of course in typical Pumpkinhead fashion, it's easier said than done as once he's raised once more the summoners fail to grasp what powers they're dealing with and thus pumpkinhead runs amok killing anyone in his path. This third film plays out really well mainly because of the dark renassance setting and the solid performances. Doug Bradley does an excellent job of course but the young actors he's surrounded by also act out their roles in solid fashion. Pumpkinhead is of course the star of this show and while he looks okay for a lookalike of the vengeful demon, I found myself longing for the pumpkinhead of old who was taller and more fearsome looking. This pumpkinhead was obviously a CGI creation, which is especially obvious in a scene where he's scaling a church wall. That sort of hurt his overall look, and I wondered why couldn't they just have used the creature FX version of Pumpkinhead from the first sequel. Granted it would've cost more but "Bloodwings" didn't exactly look like a very expensive film to these eyes and if anything "Ashes to Ashes" probably costed more to make considering the set and costume designs. One good thing this cgi pumpkinhead does give us are some pretty cool deaths, including one where he impales a character using his tail...something that's never been seen before in the previous movies. The story is pretty thin but it's carried along well enough by the characters to keep the movie interesting from a viewer standpoint. The odd and eccentric characters and every now and then betrayals also help to keep the movie from putting the viewer to sleep. But this film would honestly have suffered without the presence of Lance Henriksen who as the ghost of Ed Harley who has apparently picked up a twisted sense of humor during his time in the afterlife, and Doug Bradley who is clearly the villain but also dabbles a bit into the realm of playing the anti hero. "Pumpkinhead:Ashes to Ashes" is a solid third installment into a series which seemed to be dead in the water after such an awful first sequel. So was reviving the series ultimately a good thing? Well we'll have to wait and see when "Pumpkinhead 4:Love Hurts" hits SCI-FI next October.
Positives:Great directing by Jake West, solid story albeit a bit thin. Great performances specifically by Lance Henriksen and Doug Bradley. Decent kills.
Negatives:CGI Pumpkinhead looked really bad in some spots.
Overall:Worth a view.
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