Monday, March 2, 2009

Pumpkinhead and The Other Side

Pumpkinhead is a movie from 1988 directed by the late Stan Winston from a script by Mark Patrick Carducci. Of course, Winston's company handles the effects. It tells the story of a father (played by Lance Hendriksen) who invokes a powerful demon to get revenge on the people who ran over his son and left him to die...but, of course, the demon's services come with a hefty price.

Some spotty writing aside, it's a solid story with a really good cast, some great special effects, and some ace cinematography. This was the first time I saw it and while I knew it was an American flick, I couldn't help by draw parallels between this film and the Clive Barker story Rawhead Rex, which I also haven't seen yet. Doesn't look like Netflix has it either. Ah well.

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The Other Side was written, directed, and edited by Gregg Bishop and tells the story of a young man named Sam who comes back from hell to solve his murder and rescue his girlfriend. He's pressed for time, however, as three Reapers (Hellbound Headhunters) are after him and a large group of escapees including perpetually horny Mally and Oz, who is determined to not go back to Hell.

Plot issues and script inconsistencies aside (you won't hear me say that very often so you may want to read that again), this was a well made little flick. Everyone loved the material and that comes through in the performances and in the care taken with (some of) the effects. The acting was all pretty top notch and the cinematography, editing, and score were well done.

The cast and crew put a lot of heart into the movie and I feel that does make up for the writing issues...of which there were many. It's kind of convoluted and there are times where one's suspension of disbelief is tested pretty mightily, but it was well made and I think that definitely says something and makes something worth watching.

One little strange thing that bugged me: there was a base-side scratch on the left hand side during a couple of shots (it was shot on Super16.) This film was made in 2005-6. Why was there still a scratch, especially on the wide DVD release?

2 comments:

NoelCT said...

I caught PUMPKINHEAD for the first time a couple of years ago and was floored by the skill on display. It's a shame Winston didn't direct much more during his amazing career because he certainly had a knack for it.

Marvin the Martian said...

I love Lance Hendriksen. I will have to look for P-head.