We’ve already seen the first Christmas film of the year, Holiday Hell. So it’s only fitting to follow it up with the first Halloween themed film of the season, Pumpkins. And what could be a better way to celebrate the season than a film about a pumpkin farmer back from the grave? With a jack o lantern for a head and a thirst for blood no less. Sadly, the answer is just about anything.
Pumpkins begins with an unnamed pumpkin farmer being goaded into a heart attack by a pair of wannabe tough guys. He collapses into the liquid fertilizer he was putting on the crops. His niece Shelly (Maria Lee Metheringham, Mask Of Thorn, Adult Babies) finally goes looking for him that night. What she finds is a pumpkin-headed giant (Will Metheringham) killing one of the goons. She, in turn, takes a knife to the other.
A couple of random randy victims later Denise (Sarah Jayne Curry) and Lance (Roland Martial) manage to lead their wilderness survival class onto what was the farmer’s land. From here we get the usual stalk and slash among the trees.
That is until Tommy (Craig Edwards, The Snarling, The House Of Screaming Death), decides to carve a pumpkin and it fights back, biting off his fingers before rolling away. Meanwhile, Sam (Marcella Edgecombe-Craig) has survived long enough to find Stan (Stacey Gough) and Pam’s (Dani Thompson, Cute Little Buggers,Pandamonium) pub. Now Pumpkin Man and his orange minions have to face the challenge of killing people in two places at the same time.
Pumpkins, to put it mildly, is a mess. The script from director Maria Lee Metheringham and Will Metheringham can’t even be bothered to give its killer a name or backstory. He’s referred to as Uncle in the credits and all we know is he’s a grumpy farmer who hates trespassers. That’s hardly the way to create an iconic new killer. Something the post-credits scene indicates they’re aiming for.
Likewise, we get no explanation for his resurrection and transformation. Or the suddenly sentient gourds. Even some lame gossip about him being suspected of devil worship and/or fertilizing his crop with human bodies would have been an improvement.
If the kills had been up to snuff, (so to speak), Pumpkins might still have been salvageable. But most are off-screen and the headless corpse looks very fake. And despite a bit of tease, none of the actresses show their pumpkins. So it fails even on even the lowest levels of a horror film, blood, and boobs.
High Octane Pictures will release Pumpkins to DVD and digital on October 15th. Check its Facebook page for more info.