pumpkinhead remake

The normal human reaction to hearing the news of another movie getting remade is to moan and groan and fling your keyboard across the room before shouting at the sky and demanding to know why Hollywood is out of ideas. And then you begrudgingly leave your home to go buy a new keyboard.

However, I cannot imagine anyone on the planet needing a new keyboard after hearing the news that the 1988 horror movie Pumpkinhead is getting remade. In fact, Pumpkinhead is the exact kind of movie that should be remade! Why waste everyone’s time producing new versions of beloved films (yeah, yeah, title recognition, etc.) when you can take a movie with a great premise and mixed execution and give it another shot?

Although Pumpkinhead has developed a cult following in the 28 years since it debuted, most genre fans will agree that the chief appeal is the monster of the title, which falls somewhere between the Xenomorph and the Predator. And that’s appropriate, since Pumpkinhead is one of only two feature films directed by the legendary effects artist Stan Winston, who designed creatures and make-up for Aliens, Predator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park, and many, many more films before passing away in 2008. A potential remake already has a killer monster brought to life by one of Hollywood’s true special effects geniuses and a tremendous skeleton of a story – all it needs now is a little polish.

Could that quality be supplied by Saw producer Peter Block? He has the rights and he has a screenplay and he certainly has the enthusiasm (via EW):

Pumpkinhead is one of my favorite horror films of the late ’80s, early ’90s. Stan Winston sits on that Mount Rushmore of iconic filmmakers because of his creature designs, and that was his first directing effort. The creature’s great but the emotional story is wonderful as well. I got the rights to Pumpkinhead, and hooked up with a great young writer called Nate Atkins, and we developed our script, which is really solid.

I can’t join Block in the Pumpkinhead fan club, but there is definitely promise here. The original film followed a grieving father (played by the reliably gruff Lance Henriksen) who seeks the aid of a witch after the tragic death of his son. One magical ritual later, a gruesome creature is hunting down the teenagers responsible for his pain and our hero must decide if vengeance is worth the cost of admission and so on and so forth. There’s one hell of a movie sitting inside that concept.

There is no director attached to the new Pumpkinhead yet, but Block hopes to get cameras rolling in 2017. And, of course, he’s promising a practical monster and a focus on practical effects. If you’re going to remake a Stan Winston project, even a bad one, you need to do it right. Oh, and there had better be a juicy role for Mr. Henriksen.

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