Pet Semetary 2 (1992)
Director: Mary Lambert
After the accidental death of his thespian mommy, Jeff (Furlong) moves to Ludlow, Maine with his pops (Edwards) and eventually stumbles upon the pet cemetery that revives the dead. Do the math and remember these two words: "THE GUS"!
Where the original "Pet Sematary" (also directed by Mary Lambert) was a dark, daring character driven piece that asked some dangerous questions, "Pet Sematary 2" bypassed all the “genius” that was its predecessor to go straight for the more obvious genre shots. The attention to the story was half-assed at best, the rules established by the first one were blatantly ignored and the plot turns had no momentum whatsoever. This sequel’s worse sin though was botching the evolution of its lead (Furlong) from a grieving son to an obsessive, mad corpse burier. I had "nada" invested in Jeff and since he was the central character that nullified the emotional impact the flick should’ve had.
Character-wise, the town in the movie should’ve been called “one dimension land”. Some folks had victims written on their foreheads, others were either “types” (fat kid-bullies) or simply a-holes...alive or dead. The stakes were so much higher in the original when it came to its players. Innocent and caring people came back as evil entities to hurt “fleshed out individuals” that we cared about. Now that whooped my ass to graveyard heaven! Here, I didn’t give a “Betty Crocker” about our heroes or the situation. The last nail in this one’s head was having its narrative filled with trivial and un-credible turn of events. Most of the twists here happened because the story HAD to go in that direction to serve the “gory action”, not because it made logical sense, even within the supernatural world of the picture.
Now…are you ready for the upset? I still got MUCHO KICKS out this sad sack. I know I should be ashamed of myself and drink “Liquid Drano” as punishment, but Pet Sematary 2 not only moved at a lightning pace, but it also dared to be extremely brutal in its delicious violence and I LIKE THAT! It’s “out of line” black humor, insane visuals and groovy ass tunes also entertained me to the max. And then they were the unintentional laughs. The tacky and over-directed dream sequences had me giggling like a hyena sniffing glue! What was up with that chick with a dog-head showing a tit shot? Was that supposed to be frightening? COME ON! The chick had a dog-head! Fuck me man…I can’t get over it.
But the cherry on top of this bloody bowl of ice cream had to be the “master” in the arts of being a bad guy. Yes, you know him well…Sir Clancy Brown (Gus)! This crazy mofo owned the show like nobody’s business and even though he was a side player in this horror playground; his story and incredibly enjoyable presence easily overshadowed our leads’ tale. Consequence: I cared more about “The Gus” than brooding Jeff or tubby Drew (McGuire). SKIN THOSE BUNNIES COMPADRE! SKIN THEM ALL! Tag to all that, a badass evil dog causing all kinds of ruckus (why doesn’t anybody notice he has yellow glowing eyes...HELLO?), admirable ties to the first film and exciting chase/crash sequences and you get candy for the eyes, ears and horror taste buds.
When all was said and buried, I could say that I had derived lots of smutty kisses from Pet Sematary 2. Sure, it can’t spit-shine the first one’s shoes as a mature, well-written and shocking horror dish, but it delivered in the shameless rollercoaster ride department. It's crap but well-directed, gory, rock 'n roll and Clancy Brown-laced crap! Its good crap! Yes, that exists! Jump in the bin and have a blast!
DIG IN PEDRO! We get gooey dog bites, disgusting open wounds, a face ripped off, bullet hits, a drill inserted in a wound, melting burning flesh, an exploding head, dead kittens, skinned rabbits and more!
Edward Furlong (Jeff) does okay, but the script didn’t give him much to play with. So he stares a lot and acts with his pretty boy looks. Sad stare-insane stare…that’s that. Clancy Brown (Gus) RULES this movie and goes all out with the part. He’s a riot! Think his “The Kurgan” part from "Highlander", but even more extreme. I LOVED HIM! Jared Ruston (Clyde) plays the one-dimensional bully to a T. Jason McGuire (Drew) was believable as the “Stand by Me”-like chubby kid. Lisa Waltz (Amanda) played it very grounded and I got to care about her character even though she had little exploration. There was just something about her. Darlanne Fluegel (Renne) didn’t have much to do, but she looked the part and showcased one well-executed emotional scene.
T & A
Darlanne Fluegel (Renee) shows her breasts (although I smell "body double" on that one) and we also get a quick glimpse of Lisa Waltz’s (Amanda Gilbert) ta-ta’s (the scene is not pleasant though). The female of the species get Clancy Brown and Anthony Edwards shirtless.
Gone is the subtlety and restraint that Mary Lambert injected into the first film. Here she goes bonkers and shifts 100% in “rock video” mode. Bluish lighting, slow motion galore and all kinds of kool angles. The flick was a joy to gaze over, but the over-direction often hurt some of the “scary” scenes-- making them funny instead of frightening.
OH YEAH! This one be kicking! We get "Shitlist" by L7, "Reverence" by Jesus and Mary Chain, "Poison Heart" by The Ramones and even a Tracy Lords song (ex-porn star) called “Love never Dies”. The score by Mark Governor also hit all the right somber notes.
If I take into account the original "Pet Sematary", this sequel blows Kibbles 'n Bits all over the kitchen floor. But if like me, you can forget the original and acknowledge that this follow-up is an over the top gory comedy, than you might get to enjoy it too. I sure did! Where “Pet Sematary” was that special someone you marry in a Gothic Church, this sequel was the airhead Hoover you visit and re-visit from time to time for those dirty thrills and spills. Which one are you in the mood for? HOW ABOUT BOTH? Are you going to play that game?
This film was shot in Georgia USA.
The Ramones also contributed a slick tune to the first “Pet Sematary” called…well…”Pet Sematary”.
Mary Lambert also directed "The in Crowd".
Stephen King (who wrote the original) disowned this sequel. His name is NOT on it.