Shock-O-Rama: Pet Sematary -

Shock-O-Rama: Pet Sematary

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Shock-O-Rama: Pet Sematary

Do's and Don'ts of Reanimation

By Chuck Francisco     December 01, 2012

If there's a better form of birth control than Gage Creed, the murderous reanimated toddler from Pet Sematary, I'm having trouble thinking of it. If you aren't freaked out when Gage wickedly coos "Now I want to play wiff yew", then your heart's made of stonier stuff than mine (and you show very little concern for your trees).  As a cat person, the brutal scenes of Church's deaths struck a harsher cord with me. I can understand, however, that most folks' unease with this film stems from the death of, and subsequent reanimating of the child Gage. In an effort to increase the survival rate amongst parents of babies interred in curst Native American burial grounds, I've prepared a list of do's and don'ts. Simply book mark this page, and if you ever find yourself in the same unfortunate situation as the Creeds of Pet Sematary, you can reference my tips on your smart phone while your zombie toddler hounds you from the shadows with a scalpel.
Install a Fence
An amazing, unbelievable home, on a beautiful parcel of land, and at a steal of a price (in Maine)? First, check to see if you are actually inhabiting a world of Stephen King's making. If you are, might be time to invest in a cyanide caplet to hide under your false molar, because something horrid is going to happen in the near future. Once you've got that covered, perhaps your second action would be to investigate further. Find out if this wonder property perhaps borders an ancient native people's burial ground, or if massive semi trucks blaze a white hot trail of speedy death right through your front yard. After you've established one or both of these things, you have three choices: you could (and should) negotiate the hell out of your offering price; or you could find a completely different home to purchase, avoiding the horrible fate which likely lay in store for you; but since this is a King film, you're going to buy the house like the on screen fodder that you are. So, in that case, why not install a handy safety fence in front of your new murder house? Surely, it's an investment which pays dividends. 
Save all patients with grisly wounds
As a medical professional, it's likely you'll try and fail to save a badly wounded young person in your holistic travels. Since your home purchasing choices have already established that you are indeed living in a King film, one of these unfortunate unsavables is likely to haunt you in specter form. Maybe they've become a spirit of vengeance, promising you no peace until their dying wish is fulfilled. But it's far more likely that their purpose is to serve as a warning against some dyer outcome in your future. Since the unwritten rules stipulate he or she appear exactly as they did at death, do yourself a tremendous favor by actually saving all those patients under your care who've suffered massive facial and/or head trauma. There's nothing worse than having to take seriously the ravings of a viciously mauled ghost.
Insist on cremation
There's a reason the Vikings insisted on funeral pyres. I don't know what that reason is, but I'm certain it was related to avoiding reanimated murdering sprees. You should also insist on this method, especially if you living within spitting distance of cursed earth. The temptation to use the evil demon soil will be overwhelming, so much so that your only real choice is to give yourself no choice at all. Trust me, this will save you all the back breaking labor of exhumation, the creepiness of your reanimated child taunting you over the phone, and your eventual death at the hands of your zombie Tasha Yar wife.
Leave your doctor's bag (replete with scalpel) within reach of your zombie kid
This should certainly go without saying. If you are going to reanimate your truck smashed offspring in soil already established to be wicked, perhaps it's prudent to place any viciously sharp surgical implements well out of their reach. This may seem like common sense advice for any household; part of any solid kid proofing regimen, but if you're short sighted enough to not install a fence between massive trucks and your toddler, then this is probably necessary advice.
Reanimate your badly mauled wife
Yes, Denise Crosby is quite the attractive catch. This beauty is called into question once half her face has been brutalized by the zombified fruit of her loins. Honestly, she looks like a side of beef left out in the sun for a week when we last see her in the film. How about instead of bringing her back, you apply the old "many fish in the sea" adage by signing up for a e-dating website? There's only a slightly higher than average chance that you'll meet a Kathy Bates ala Misery psycho. Besides, your marriage was on rocky ground before she died, what makes you think that it would magically right itself with the additional of mystery madness mojo?


Mess with the laws of nature
Some laws are immutable. This isn't the same thing as driving five miles per hour over the speed limit, or tearing the tags off of mattresses. You're preparing to cross the impenetrable barrier of death. Whenever have you ever heard of that coming off without any nasty complications? Face facts Bub, you aren't a Dungeons & Dragons cleric; Morgan Freeman isn't around to play a whimsically funny God; and that's not incense. Sometimes, dead is better. Sometimes people are just gone. Using an evil burial ground to bring back zombie children is going to end in massive trauma to both your body and psyche. So, don't be a selfish prig, leave your toddler truck fodder in the ground.
The last don't is more an informal plea. Don't bother watching Pet Sematary 2, unless you're working on a complete "young star rising" Edward Furlong marathon, and you've already watched Terminator 2 and Brainscan. Believe me, somethings are better off dead.


Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Saturday Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a horror co-host of two monthly film series at the world famousColonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA (home of 1958's 'The Blob'): First Friday Fright Nights and Colonial Cult Cinema. You can hear him on awesome podcast You've Got Geek or follow him out on Twitter. 


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ultrazilla2000 12/1/2012 3:25:52 PM

Fun article, I've always loved this movie.  The book is even creepier, but they did a great job bringing it to the screen.  Amazing start to that little kid's career too...he also played Heather Langenkamp's son in Wes Craven's New Nightmare, and was a recurring character on Full House among other things.  I'm actually curious to see how a remake would turn out, but I think a prequel would be cool, showing how the burial ground came to be.

rkngl 12/2/2012 2:50:01 AM

"I think a prequel would be cool, showing how the burial ground came to be"


Injuns died, got buried, end of story.

ultrazilla2000 12/3/2012 4:47:42 AM

Well...apparently for simpler minds I should have the supernatural qualities of the burial ground came to be.  People die and get buried every day, but they don't resurrect with an evil spirit inside. 



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