Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (2006)

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Movie Review
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Pumpkinhead_Ashes to Ashes

Directed By: Jake West

Starring: Doug Bradley, Lance Henriksen, Douglas Roberts, Lisa McAllister, Tess Panzer, Emanuel Parvu

Subgenre: Creature Feature, Demons & Possession

Synopsis: When the local mortician is caught farming organs from the deceased and dumping the bodies in the swamp, the local townspeople ask the old witch to summon Pumpkinhead to exact his revenge.

Thoughts: Pumpkinhead may be one of the more underrated horror movies to come out of the 80s.  I’ve never understood why the movie and the creature didn’t rank higher on people’s lists.  Part of the reason may be because it was a standalone movie for many years.  That has since changed, as it now has 3 sequels, for better or worse.

Ashes to Ashes, the third movie in the series brings a pretty heavy hitter to the game with Doug Bradley, famous for his iconic role as Pinhead, playing the main antagonist.  It’s always good marketing to bring a horror icon into your cast, as that immediately sparks interest from fans.  I thought Bradley did a fantastic job here, playing an unscrupulous mortician that was out for money more than serving mankind.  Bradley was easily the high point in the casting, as the rest were pretty forgettable.

As I was researching Ashes to Ashes, I knew that director Jake West was a familiar name to me, but I couldn’t place it.  A quick search showed he also directed Evil Aliens and Doghouse!  Both of those entries are better than Ashes to Ashes, but I’m not convinced that is due to direction.  I thought the story was actually very good, and was very similar to the first movie.

One of the biggest issues I had with this movie was the wide ranging quality of the special effects.  At times, they looked really, really good.  Other times it looked about as good as what I put up in the garage for Halloween!  Sadly, you could tell where the money was spent, and what shots were saved for last.  It was the disparity that made it difficult to watch.

Ashes to Ashes is worth a watch, but sadly, the poor FX really detract from what could have been a winning sequel.  It’s a shame to see a solid storyline go to waste in this day and age, but I think that is what happened here.


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