VENGEANCE: THE DEMON
The central three-metre tall title creature is amazing. Stan Winston allows his lighting cameraman to go overboard on the mood lighting, transforming the forest into a realm saturated in perpetual blue mist it is like Ridley Scotts lighting scheme for Alien (1979) transformed into some demented outdoor disco. On the minus side, there is surprisingly little effect to all this atmosphere. The teen victims are entirely faceless and their dispatches are conducted with frustratingly little ceremony or surprise. Pumpkinhead is a noble attempt to create a new type of monster movie, but placing a new monster in old surroundings is not enough for that to work and the film as a whole is disappointingly routine.
Stan Winstons greatest successes come from his cast. Florence Schauffler, in old age makeup that makes her look around 110 and with a creaky backwoods accent that reveals a disturbing intelligence cackling inside, is terrifying. Lance Henriksen maintains a fine grasp of regional accent and creates a good deal of conviction in what should have been a role of considerable moral ambiguity. Unfortunately it never is and the film displays little affinity for the tapping of Henriksens wrath and hurt. The journey to the graveyard and revival of the creature should be emotionally wrought scenes after all, they do involve Lance Henriksens selling his soul to the Devil but instead are routine.
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings/The Revenge of Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994) was a sequel. In the 00s, the franchise was revived for a series of further sequels with Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (2006) and Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud (2007). Lance Henriksen does not appear in Blood Wings but returned for the subsequent two sequels.
Stan Winstons next and only other directorial outing was the terrible Upworld/A Gnome Named Gnorm (1991) about a cop partnered with a gnome. There were persistent rumours for several years that Winston would direct a remake of the sf classic Forbidden Planet (1956) but this did not emerge and Winston returned to doing what he does best, creating creature effects, up until his death in 2008. In other genre material, Stan Winston also co-directed T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1991), the Universal Studios theme park ride based on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and the 38 minute videoclip for Michael Jacksons Ghosts (1997). Winston also served as producer on the cable tv series Creature Features, a series of films made using the titles of 1950s B movies The Day the World Ended (2001), Earth vs. the Spider (2001), How to Make a Monster (2001), She Creature (2001) and Teenage Caveman (2001). Winston also formed Stan Winston Productions, which produced Wrong Turn (2003) and The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007).