Peter Block, executive producer of the Saw franchise, has acquired the rights to Pumpkinhead. He intends to start shooting a remake of Stan Winston’s cult classic horror film early next year, according to Entertainment Weekly. Block has enlisted the screenwriting talents of Nate Atkins, and is currently seeking a director for the film.
The original Pumpkinhead isn’t a great movie, but it’s a seminal work of creature horror. It’s one of the best man-in-monster-suit films of the eighties, a Southern folk tale of revenge and witchcraft. Lance Henriksen (Aliens) plays Ed Harley, a loving single father in the rural south. When a careless teen kills Ed’s young son in a motorcycle accident, Ed finds an ancient witch who grants his wish for revenge. Together, they perform a blood ritual that summons Pumpkinhead: a demon who will stop at nothing to hunt down and kill the teenagers that Ed holds responsible for the death of his son. But this revenge comes at a steep price. With each kill, Pumpkinhead comes closer and closer to owning Ed’s soul.
Block tells Entertainment Weekly that the new film won’t be a beat-for-beat remake, but will share “a similarity of theme and a similarity of story.” Audiences can expect to see “iconic shots and iconic lines” from the original film, but Block ultimately wants the film to be “a different kind of experience.” Who should direct the new Pumpkinhead? Well, it has to be someone who’s comfortable with practical monster effects. An understanding of fairy tales and folklore on film is a must.
They’ve got to be a good visual stylist, too — none of the four Pumpkinhead movies look very good. Here’s a pie-in-the-sky choice: I’d love to see The Witch‘s Robert Eggers take on Pumpkinhead. That’s not going to happen. Eggers already has projects on his plate, and he’s probably not capable of producing the tone the film needs. But when it comes to depicting American folklore and blood magic in chilling and beautiful ways, Eggers has that down.
Hopefully, Block, Nate Atkins, and the film’s eventual director can get this right. Pumpkinhead is an iconic monster with only one good movie to his name. He deserves another.