Directorial debut for Stan Winston, the man responsible for bringing H.R. Giger's Alien design to life. It also stars Lance Henriksen so there's two things going for it. And it's totally ridiculous which makes it three for three. A winner.
Henriksen is a dude who lives out in . . . well, let's just say "the sticks", though from the look of the area it's definitely Southern California. But let's say it's not so that the hillbillies who live near him make a little more sense. Mayim Bialik, star of TV's Blossom, makes a brief appearance as one of the little Deliverance kids. So that's four things going for it. Whoooa.
Anyway, Henricksen lives out in the sticks with his little son. They run a small grocery store along the highway. One day, some rowdy teenagers stop in on their way to "the cabin". With them they have their dirt bikes and they decide to start riding them there and then while the girls go in to fetch sodas and other sundries. One of the teenagers accidentally runs over Henriksen's kid and kills him. They bail to the cabin to avoid the consequences (since the most New Jersey-est of them already is on probation for. . . something really cool, I'm sure).
Henricksen, understandably distraught over his son's death, heads out to find Haggis the Witch so that he can find some way to avenge his son's death. The witch has him follow some instructions that wind up resurrecting a demon that will kill everyone responsible for the death. The catch is that Henricksen starts to become one with the creature (Pumpkinhead, duh) and sees the deaths and feels the pain of the monster. After a couple of the kids are killed off, Lance decides he wants no more of this and decides that Pumpkinhead must die.
This is the kind of movie where hillbillies call their children "young 'uns" and refer to outsiders as "city folk". It's the kind of film where every set is filled with fog and smoke and good and bad are black and white. It's the kind of film where dialogue, story and continuity simply mean shit as long as the monster is sufficiently cool looking. And it is, more or less. It's a big, gawky looking rubber thing that kind of looks like a cross between Giger's aforementioned Alien and Eddie. It's obviously a guy on stilts, but whatever, are you really criticizing anything in a movie about a monster named "Pumpkinhead"?
I was very entertained, but wished there was more blood and gore. Otherwise, a great teen monster movie. Followed by a slew of sequels.