[[caption-width-right:300:Eh, maybe a little pumpkin-like.]]

->"''Bolted doors and windows barred,\\
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,\\
Won't protect you in your bed,\\
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.''"

''Pumpkinhead'' (1988) was special effects guru Creator/StanWinston's directorial debut and essentially deals with a monster [[NonIndicativeName that doesn't actually have a pumpkin for a head]].

The quote above is said to be by Ed Justin and the inspiration for this movie making it possibly the only movie Based On A True Poem. However since nobody has ever heard of anything else to do with this Ed Justin some people (by which we mean someone at TheOtherWiki) wonder if he really exists, making this possibly BasedOnAGreatBigLie while not claiming to be based on any actual fact.

The plot is actually the fairly common "Man summons demon to seek revenge" horror plot. It has the common hallmarks: the {{Jerkass Victim}}s do deserve some revenge, but he takes it too far (they did a hit-and-run on the guy's son), there is one guy who was actually trying to help the victim but is targeted for revenge anyway, the victims are a bunch of bland teens, cue MyGodWhatHaveIDone and then RedemptionEqualsDeath.

Followed by one DirectToVideo sequel (1994's ''Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings'') and two {{Made for TV Movie}}s on [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi Channel]] (2006's ''Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes'' and 2007's ''Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud''). There is also a FMV videogame based on the second movie, ''VideoGame/BloodwingsPumpkinheadsRevenge''.

!!These films provide examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The knife Billy Bob is forced to amputate his own leg with in ''Blood Feud''.
* AccidentalMurder
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie
* AntagonistTitle: Pumpkinhead is a demon keen on DisproportionateRetribution.
* AntiVillain: Ed Harley from the first movie
* BigBad: Pumpkinhead, master of DisproportionateRetribution.
* BigNo: Two instances in ''Blood Wings''
** The first is by Tommy when the Red Wings [[MoralEventHorizon drop him down the mine]] [[DisproportionateRetribution for being physically deformed]].
** The second is by Sean when [[spoiler: the judge's posse shows up and starts opening fire on Pumpkinhead]].
* BloodierAndGorier: Each installment tries to one-up the previous.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Ashes to Ashes'' and ''Blood Feud'' ignore ''Blood Wings''.
* TheCavalryArrivesLate: The FBI agents at the end of ''Ashes to Ashes''.
* CorruptHick: In ''Pumpkinhead 2'', Mayor Bubba wants to keep the deadly monster alive so its existence could attract tourists. The sheriff doesn't react well.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Pumpkinhead specializes in these.
* DarknessEqualsDeath: Pumpkinhead never kills anyone during the day, for some reason.
* DealWithTheDevil: The one summoning Pumpkinhead makes one with a witch. Though she actually warns them there's a heavy price to pay for summoning him and their body is used for the next Pumpkinhead.
* DefeatEqualsExplosion: After being riddled with bullets and hung at the end of the second film, Pumpkinhead explodes into a ball of flame.
* DeepSouth
* DirtyCoward: In order to avoid the legal trouble it would have brought Joel chose to sacrifice ''a little childs life'' despite the fact that his life was not even at stake. He did show that even he had loved ones he would risk his life for,[[spoiler: but by that time most of his innocent friends (including his brother) were dead so it did not do much good.]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: While many, if not all, of Pumpkinhead's victims deserve to be punished, Pumpkinhead takes it ''way'' too far.
* DolledUpInstallment: ''Blood Wings'' was retooled into a Pumpkinhead film overnight by its writer according to director Jeff Burr.
* DontGoInTheWoods
* DownerEnding
* DramaticThunder: ''Blood Feud'':
--> '''Dolly:''' "Does that mean the monster's coming?"
--> '''Jodie:''' "No. Just a storm. Normal, harmless storm. Nothing to be scared of."
--> '''Dolly:''' "... Then how come there's thunder and lightning and no rain?"
* EyeScream: Pumpkinhead getting shot in the eye with a handgun in ''Blood Feud''.
* FateWorseThanDeath: It's implied that the summoners of Pumpkinhead [[spoiler: are trapped in a sort of limbo between life and death till the end of time in exchange for summoning him.]]
* FeudingFamilies: The Hatfields and [=McCoys=] from ''Blood Feud''.
* FluffyTheTerrible: Pumpkinhead isn't exactly a menacing (or indeed, [[NonIndicativeName accurate]]) name.
* ForcedToWatch: An interesting variation: Pumpkinhead's summoner is forced to see and feel the deaths of the demon's victims, as if he were killing them himself.
* GenreSavvy: In the original film, Joel makes sure to fire a second round at the downed Pumpkinhead even after Ed initially fells him with a round from his own rifle. Unfortunately for Joel, it's still not enough to actually harm him.
* HealingFactor: Pumpkinhead heals instantaneously.
* HeelFaceTurn: Most of the people who turn to summoning the titular Pumpkinhead experience this after realizing what they've unleashed.
* HeelRealization: Joel in the first film comes to acknowledge how much of a prick he's been around the halfway point.
* HollywoodDarkness: Utilized ''excessively'' in the first film. You'll be hard-pressed to tell the cast members apart after you've been squinting at the screen for half an hour.
* HolyBurnsEvil: Averted. As shown in ''Ashes to Ashes'', holy water has no effect on Pumpkinhead.
** He's also able to enter a church in the first film (though the sight of a cross pisses him off and he destroys it). Although the church was only half-built before it was abandoned, so it's possible this wasn't true holy ground.
* ImmuneToBullets: Pumpkinhead. Subverted at the end of the second film, however.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: With a rifle. Pumpkinhead must have gotten tips from [[Film/Halloween4TheReturnOfMichaelMyers Michael Myers]].
* JerkassVictim:[[spoiler: Joel]].
* TheJuggernaut: Pumpkinhead will ''not'' stop until he's completed his mission. The ''only'' way he can be beaten is if his summoner is killed.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope
* KnightTemplarParent: Ed Harley
* LaserGuidedKarma: In Blood Wings, a CorruptHick organizing cockfights gets his head rammed into his chicken coop, where the terrified chickens [[EyeScream peck out his eyes]] and slash up his face.
* LeftHanging: The comic ''Pumpkinhead: The Rites of Exorcism'', which was supposed to be four issues, was cancelled after two.
* ManOnFire: The death of the priest (batted on to a table full of candles by Pumpkinhead) in ''Ashes to Ashes'', and how one of the Hatfields dies (firing his old shotgun while soaked in moonshine) in ''Blood Feud''.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Due to seeing and feeling Pumpkinhead's murders, the summoners often ultimately end up with this reaction by the end. So far, the only exception has been Molly Sue from ''Ashes to Ashes'', who tried to skip town while Pumpkinhead did his thing, outright stating she didn't care what happened when confronted.
* NonhumansLackAttributes: There have been male and female Pumpkinheads. You'd never know.
** Averted on one action figure, which did have a sculpted flaccid penis and scrotum
* NonIndicativeName: As mentioned, the titular demon's head doesn't really resemble a pumpkin. It gets its name from the fact that summoning it involves digging up a corpse that's been buried in a pumpkin patch.
* NumberedSequels
* OnlySaneMan: The Sheriff from ''Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings''. It helps that he's played by [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Andrew Robinson]], who may be letting his own incredulity at the script seep into his performance.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Ed Harley's in the [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi]] [[Film/SyfyOriginalMovie sequels]].
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Though justified in this case, since Pumpkinhead can ''only'' be defeated if the summoner is killed.
** While not the summoner, the Sheriff in ''Blood Feud'' pulls a YouShallNotPass on Pumpkinhead, holding him off for the survivors to escape and the heroine to get through to his summoner despite knowing he's going to get killed, so he can atone for the two deaths he had to cause before the first film.
** Similarly, in the original movie Joel starts off as a gigantic asshole and is the one whose primarily responsible for the death of Ed's son. Eventually he decides to face the consequences of said actions and turn himself in to the authorities, and dies attempting to protect the rest of his friends.
* {{Revenge}}: Why Pumpkinhead is summoned is to carry out revenge, though it's normally not long before the summoner realizes that Pumpkinhead always takes it ''way'' too far.
* [[MurderByCremation Suicide By Cremation]]: End of ''Ashes to Ashes''.
* SlashedThroat
* StingyJack: Pumpkinhead himself.
* StockCharacter: All the teenage characters in the original. Each one is a SlasherMovie stereotype in distilled form.
* {{Synchronization}}: The summoner feels the deaths of Pumpkinhead's victims, and Pumpkinhead feels any injuries inflicted on the summoner.
* SuitWithVestedInterests: Mayor Bubba from ''Blood Wings''.
* TheVoiceless: In the first film, Pumpkinhead ''could'' talk, but it mostly just said character names. In the sequels, it is silent.