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Pumpkinhead (1988) – Episode 169 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“For each of man’s evils, a special demon exists. You’re looking at vengeance; – cruel, devious, pure-as-venom vengeance.” And a fine demon it is! Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr –  as they go in search of the special demon known as Pumpkinhead (1988).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 169 – Pumpkinhead (1988)

After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.


Pumpkinhead is Stan Winston’s first film as a director but you would never know it by the result. Crystal has always been impressed with the full-body creature and the great story the film tells. Pumpkinhead is hands-down, Lance Henriksen’s best performance according to Chad, who also places the movie in his top 10 horror movies of all time. Bill is impressed by the relatively unique creation of a new, well-constructed, and well-realized creature, and he also points out Pumpkinhead’s place as a member of the folk horror subgenre. Jeff is thoroughly impressed with the film’s look this time around and finally realizes what a quality film Pumpkinhead is.

If you haven’t seen Pumpkinhead for a while, the Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew strongly recommend this underrated horror gem. As of this writing, the film is available to stream on Amazon Prime and on physical media as a Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray and a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, both from Scream Factory.  

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Chad, will be Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.