As I sit down to write this review, I am only one day removed from my initial viewing of the 1980s set, British horror film Pumpkins. The problem is that I am struggling to remember anything about the movie of any significance. It is so incredibly dull that I am reasonably sure I actively forgot moments of the film while it was still on. That is most assuredly, not a good sign. But, as best I can, here’s what Maria Lee Metheringham’s slasher is all about.
A farmer (Terry Wood), who is obsessed with growing pumpkins, gets scared to death, literally, by two hooligan teens. Due to being buried on supernatural land, he is resurrected as Pumpkin Man (co-writer Will Metheringham), and he is looking for blood. Not revenge really, just indiscriminate killing without much motivation behind it.
“…gets scared to death, literally, by two hooligan teens…is resurrected as Pumpkin Man, and he is looking for blood.”
A group of hardcore campers has enlisted the help of guides Lance (Roland Martial) and Denise (Sarah Jayne Curry) to take them deep into the woods for an intense outing. Of course, they run afoul of the pumpkin-headed murderer, who, along with his living pumpkins, begins taking them out one by one. One of the campers, Pam (Dani Thompson; I think, but this might be incorrect) escapes to a nearby town, only for the local pub crawlers to laugh in her face. Is anyone safe? Does the revelation that the farmer’s niece Shelly (Maria Lee Metheringham) is helping Pumpkin Man add any sense of gravitas or dramatic weight? Will the audience care one bit?
The answer to those three questions in order are–this is a slasher film, so no, not in the slightest, and absolutely not. To be fair, Pumpkins shows promise in a few areas. The cinematography, by Gary Rogers, is pretty good. While it is hampered by a dull script and poor pacing, the director of photography aims for atmospheric shots and low, intense lighting. It pays off with a slick-looking film, though scares are few and far between.