B Movie review: The Pumpkin Karver

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The Pumpkin Karver (2006)

Directed by Robert Mann
Writing credits Robert Mann Sheldon Silverstein

Amy Weber …. Lynn Starks
Michael Zara …. Jonathan Starks
Minka Kelly …. Tammy
Terrence Evans …. Ben Wickets
Misty Adams …. Yolanda
Briana Gerber …. Vicki
Charity Shea …. Rachel

Further proof Showtime can be a real go to when it comes to bad movies. This week’s showing: The Pumpkin Karver. Yeah that’s right with a K! Now at some point this plot could have been interesting but confusion and boredom win out with this movie. I enjoy B movies as much as more than most. I watch them religiously. I give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to judging them. They can be bad but they need to be entertaining. That being said The Pumpkin Karver whiffs in every attempt that it makes. I had hopes for it because man the killer has a mask made of a rotting pumpkin and carves smiles into his victim’s faces. Anyhoo Let’s sit down and dig into this rotted pumpkin.There may be some spoilers in here:

Halloween night, Jonathan (who starts the movie off creeper than the killer) sits at the kitchen table carving a pumpkin. As he obsessively does this we meet his older sister and her caricature moron boyfriend. He tries to sex up the sister and then when she leaves (to get in costume) he takes the time to hassle her brother.

Spoiler Alert!
When you think back to this opening scene with him later on, it becomes harder and harder to believe that his “evil” spirit could possibly be behind the killings to come.
End Spoiler Alert!

Big sis then gets paid a visit by a pumpkin-masked, knife-wielding maniac, who she believes is her idiot boyfriend until he attacks her.

Spoiler Alert!
Jonathan rushes in and bludgeons the masked psycho to death with his carving knife only for it to be revealed to be her boyfriend. It was all just a Halloween prank gone wrong.
End Spoiler Alert!

Jump forward a year and we find Jonathan and sis living in a new town. The town name you ask why it its none other than Carver. Yeah Carver is a town that apparently specializes in growing/carving pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns. Yeah you read that right.

Spoiler Alert!
That makes total sense for a mom (we never meet) to move a son who killed his sisters boyfriend in a pumpkin mask with a fricking pumpkin carving knife to a town named carver. Did I mention he has to take pills to control the visions of said pumpkin masked guy?
End Spoiler Alert!

It’s Halloween time again. Jonathan’s sister has semi set him up with a local chick. Her ex boyfriend (a big oafish looking guy) is not happy about this. He doesn’t think they’re broken up and also seems to think physically assaulting one’s her and her friends is a good plan to win her back. This movie may be about how horrible Boyfriends are as they come across as real ass clowns in it. We’re also introduced to a variety of other potential young friends for Jonathan, and one would guess for the killer to kill off. Not so fast my friend. Many of these poorly written/acted characters will get way too much screen time for people that never get killed. Hell these cutout “youths” are rarely in any danger. From there, characters go to an outdoor Halloween concert, characters sit around playing party games, and characters wander around and talk to one another. It is here we get the creepy old guy to warn everyone. He never really warns anyone though. We do find out that he is an old pumpkin carving guy. He just keeps showing up to rant and raves like a psychopath. He almost becomes a red herring but the movie maker’s efforts with him really become too heavy handed. Jonathan it seems keeps having visions of the pumpkin-masked creep-o attacking him, and in a shocking move said pumpkin-masked killer actually bothers to kill somebody. He is a very lazy killer.

The Pumpkin Karver tries to be successful as the typical B movie slasher flick, but it simply doesn’t make the cut. It has most of the formula down pat. You know teens having a late night Halloween party in a remote area, a killer shows up. A few scares Yadda, yadda yadda lots of gore. The problem was the movie lacked in both the quality scares and gore. The scares were virtually non -existent. I mean they couldn’t have gone with the old standby of character hears noise-character investigates noise and after tense seconds a cat meows? Have these people even seen a horror movie-ever? The movies kills were pretty weak as a whole. The plot becomes nothing more than look kiddies its Halloween and someone is killing people. The problem with that is the killer really doesn’t even make an appearance or a kill for nearly the first hour. Further that with the “victims” not there are many don’t even realize what is happening till there is about 20 minutes left. The movie did kill off a character that you wouldn’t normally expect to be killed off, but that is not enough to save the movie. The carving smiles into the faces of those he kills thing—turns out really only to happen to the first and last victim. I will give props for the fact that they were pretty cool when actually done. In reality this slasher flick is nothing more than a story based around a bunch of stock characters (who offer us nothing in terms of kills and thrills) that seems to be more of a way to waste time until the highly confusing/implausible coup de grace. Again have any of those associated with the making of this movie ever seen an actual slasher flick? Cool mask and all Pumpkin-masked killer dude is not even in the same sport let alone league of Michael Myers or Jason. Overall production isn’t too horrible though there are some fun slip ups to catch.

Gore factor: 0
Writing: 1
Scares: 0
Watchability: 1

Half a Lugosi out of 5!

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3 Responses to B Movie review: The Pumpkin Karver

  1. carissajaded says:

    Umm so the killer carves faces into his victims? Hmm.. weak as it may be this sounds like one that I will have to see for myself.

    Totally off subject, but kind of since your talking about film… I watched Jay Duplass’s Bag Head the other night and was actually kind of impressed! If you haven’t seen it you should check it out…

  2. Susan says:

    Yay, this one is my favorite!!! I love it! 😀

  3. […]   ‘ …this slasher flick is nothing more than a story based around a bunch of stock characters (who offer us nothing in terms of kills and thrills) that seems to be more of a way to waste time until the highly confusing/implausible coup de grace. Again have any of those associated with the making of this movie ever seen an actual slasher flick? Cool mask and all Pumpkin-masked killer dude is not even in the same sport let alone league of Michael Myers or Jason. Overall production isn’t too horrible though there are some fun slip ups to catch.’ From the Cheap Seats review […]

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