1992 / Director. Mary Lambert.
Before she was reduced to making movies like URBAN LEGEND 3 and MEGA PYTHON VS GATEROID director Mary Lambert announced herself as a formidable talent within the horror community with her adaptation of Stephen King's PET SEMETARY. It's a film that has stood the test of time well and continues to build it's audience. When looking for inclusions to WOMEN IN HORROR month I felt she was an important figure to focus on. PET SEMETARY was a wonderful film but I personally think her most underrated movie is the 1992 sequel PET SEMETARY TWO. The sheer audacity she committed to in forging a follow up to an adaptation of which the original novel stood on its own was nothing less than gutsy. Add to that the fact that Stephen King didn't approve, nor did he support, a sequel... every indicator Mary Lambert faced would have said NO. Nevertheless with David S Goyer and Richard Outten contributing to the script, she kicked against the pricks and made a surprising and original sequel that built upon the original film rather than repeating it. Such tenacity sadly closed a lot of doors on her. PET SEMETARY bombed at the box office, was torn to shreds by critics and audiences rejected it. It's strength was clearly lost on everyone at the time. As a teenager I loved it and I preferred it over the original. As an adult, I still love it and still hold it in a higher regard to the original. The story uses the previous movie's story as a foundation for this second exploit with the Creed murders becoming a local legend and a reason for teenagers to host Halloween parties as the old pet semetary. The story focuses on two outcast teenagers, Jeff and Drew, who resurrect a pet dog who was killed by Drew's abusive step-father. When the zombie dog then kills the step-father it's then his turn for resurrection. Clancy Brown plays the brutal step-father and relishes the role. His performance is hilarious, scary and totally balls-to-the-wall. PET SEMETARY pushed the horror further and demands more from the viewer. It requires a deeper understanding of horror to what the first movie did. This is not a Stephen King story. It's something more. Something more evolved and more fantastic in the true sense of the word. Mary Lambert was courageous to tempt such a film. There was no need for it. There was no demand for it and the strange surrealistic nature of it makes it more than just a typical cash-in sequel. I love it and I hope it's status becomes cult. More people should revisit and revaluate it. Great stuff.