Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sometimes Death is Better, or Thoughts on Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary (1989), from the Stephen King 1983 novel of the same name, is technically a zombie movie, by way of W. W.  Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw and with a dash of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1972) by director Mary Lambert of Siesta (1987).  The screenplay, also by Stephen King covers all the highlights of the novel; Louis’ dirty feet after he meets Victor Pascow, Church being found frozen to the ground, the Zelda flashback and Gage’s funeral.  It’s like a live-action greatest hits of what the author considers his darkest book, but it’s a lot of ground to cover in 103 minutes.
The movie was filmed in Maine and features two songs by The Ramones, one of Stephen King’s favorite bands, and you can see the author’s influence, or inspiration in every frame.  It remains, along with Brian DePalma’s Carrie (1976) and John Carpenter’s Christine (1983) one of the most faithful adaptations of his books.  Gage’s death while painful to watch, is filmed with sensitivity and taste, or at least as much taste as you can expect from a horror movie, and is a tribute to Mary Lambert’s skill as a filmmaker.
Dale Midkiff from Time Trax (1993) plays Louis Creed, the friendly doctor who never should have moved his family to Ludlow, Maine.  Fred Gwynne, who you will always remember as Herman Munster is perfectly cast as Jud Crandall, while Denise Crosby, (Bing’s daughter, which makes her Hollywood royalty), stars as Rachel Creed.  This was one of her first movies after leaving that show about treks and what has become to date her most iconic role. 
Stephen King has a cameo as the minister at Missy Dandridge’s funeral.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).