30th Oct2019

‘Pumpkins’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Maria Lee Metheringham, Dani Thompson, Terry Wood, Will Metheringham, Craig Edwards, Samantha Hindman, Marcella Edgecombe-Craig, Georgia Annable, George Walker, Stacey Gough | Written by Maria Lee Metheringham, Will Metheringham | Directed by Maria Lee Metheringham

Pumpkins-Key-Art

There aren’t too many horror flicks set in the county of Yorkshire, so when one comes along, my Yorkshireman ears prick up and I’m there, my northern soul ready to soak in “some ‘er that ‘orror”. Pumpkins is directed by Maria Lee Metheringham (The Photographer 2: Inside the Dark Room) who also wrote it with Will Metheringham (Snuff Reel), and is a full on traditional-style slasher picture set in North Yorkshire.

We meet a farmer who really loves his patch of pumpkins and encounters a couple of scumbag hooligans who torment him to death, quite literally. Unluckily for the douche-bag thugs who sent him to his grave, the farmer (Terry Wood) fell into some sort of fertiliser and returns from the dead as a pumpkin-headed psycho, Pumpkin Man (co-writer, Will Metheringham). This monster-man is out for some bloody revenge, along with some… erm… pumpkins come to life. We’re introduced to some survival types who wander upon this unfortunate part of Yorkshire and we are soon in the midst of a survival horror slasher film, with Pumpkin Man himself being given a hand by his niece, Shelly (played by director Maria Lee Metheringham). Poor bastards.

I’m all for new fresh slasher flicks, because when it’s done well, the slasher genre can be a hell of a lot of fun. This is an odd one, because while it isn’t the most original slasher film, it does tug at my nostalgic horror heart, reminding me of the wacky creepy horror videos I’d see on the video shop shelves in the 1980s. Sure, the death sequences are the most original or inspired that I’ve seen, not even remotely so, but they’re still fun, and it’s in the blood and guts department that Pumpkins finds itself at its strongest, not shying away from delivering a fright-fest fresh out of low-budget horror-wood in 1987. Hell, even the score sometimes reminded me of Halloween and the like.

The cast do a nice job, and I particularly enjoyed Maria Lee Metheringham here, who managed to kick some butt in a trifecta of ways, as an actor, director and writer. Pretty damn cool. The special effects do tend to look a little cheap from time to time, but I did think the main stuff looked solid, especially the design of Pumpkin Man himself. He looked creepy and original, a nice fresh face of horror for modern nostalgic times.

If you want something groundbreaking and completely out of the blue in concept, then perhaps you won’t find that here, but if you fancy a fun trip down massacre lane, with some cool ideas and throwback feels, then Pumpkins might just do it for you. I had a good time with this movie. It gave me what I was in the mood for, and sometimes that’s just right.

*** 3/5

Pumpkins is out now on DVD and Digital from High Octane Pictures.

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