|Year Of Production||1988|
|Running Time||83:23 (Case: 86)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Stan Winston|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Pumpkinhead was the directorial debut of creature effects genius Stan Winston. Made in 1987, the film stars Lance Henriksen, who was then hot off the success of James Cameron's Aliens. The story relies on an oft-used horror staple - revenge. A farmer, Henriksen, is wronged when a group of rampaging teenagers accidentally kill his young son in a dirt bike accident. Henriksen seeks revenge on the group by conjuring up the spirit of Pumpkinhead with the help of an old witch. Once re-awakened, Pumpkinhead exacts a bloody revenge on the teens.
What makes the film a cut above the average monster movie is the brilliant creature design by director Winston, who unsurprisingly doubles as the special effects supervisor. The creature is 9 feet of gothic Lovecraftian terror come to life. This is not a man in a monster suit, it is a finely crafted animatronic work of art. It is also the film's saving grace. The actual story is full of clichés and second rate performances, with the exception of veteran character actor Henriksen who always does his best. On the positive side, the cinematography is appropriately atmospheric, a trick learned from years of working with Cameron I would suggest and the pace of the film is not slow. At the end of the day, Winston should rightfully be proud of this first effort as it is a better than average low budget horror film.
Universal should be ashamed of themselves for releasing this awful print.
The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:33:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced. The film was originally shot in 1:85:1, and we have received a full frame version of the film.
Sharpness levels are fairly atrocious with an overall soft picture that resembled the quality of a bad VHS tape. There is very little shadow detail with dark colours and shadows blended together to form a murky blur. There are frequent grain problems, but on the plus side there appeared to be no low level noise problems.
Colours were washed out, but adequate compared to the rest of the print.
There are constant film artefacts throughout the film, but they are a minor annoyance compared with the soft picture.
This is undoubtedly one of the worst prints I have seen in quite some time, and there is no excuse for a full frame transfer. A remaster is definitely in order.
Pumpkinhead is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.
Dialogue is always clear and there are no audio sync problems.
The film's music is well-suited to the picture and is not intrusive.
Surround channel usage is essentially non-existent, with directional effects undetectable.
The subwoofer helps where it can with redirected bass, but it is fighting a losing battle.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The R4 misses out on a menu, a trailer and scene selection menus.
The R1 is the winner, but both are very ordinary discs.
Pumpkinhead is a better than average monster movie that is noteworthy for its awesome creature effects. The DVD is appalling and is an example of how not to present a film.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||LG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony HT-K215.|