Against all odds and in defiance of all common sense, I absolutely loved Pet Sematary 2. As you might recall, I covered the original last year as part of my Zombie Movie Marathon and found it pretty bad (read it here). Well, Pet Sematary II isn’t pretty bad. It’s absolute garbage, but so completely ridiculous and over-the-top that it circles right back around to awesome. To borrow a term from the immortal sage Mr. T, it’s absoludicrous!
Apart from a couple of mentions of “the Creed murders” and the titular pet cemetery, there isn’t much connecting the two movies. No characters return. This is not an adaptation of a best-selling Stephen King novel. It was not an inexplicably popular movie. It does have the same director and, strangely, a more talented cast. The script is worse, but so much worse it ends up a lot better.
The story — oh, the story. It’s kind of convoluted for such a dumb movie, but bear with me and we’ll try to hit the highlights. Jeff, a teenage boy played by Edward Furlong of Terminator 2 fame, watches his actor mother die in a freak on-camera accident, then he moves to Maine with his dad, a veterinarian. There he gets picked on by bullies and befriended by the local fat kid, who is the sheriff’s stepson. One day Jeff takes his kitten to school and the bully runs off with it for the sole purpose of introducing the pet cemetery. Then the fat kid’s dog gets shot by his asshole stepfather/sheriff and he buries it in the magical pet cemetery behind the regular pet cemetery. The dog comes back with glowing eyes and a really shitty disposition.
On Halloween, everyone is partying in the pet cemetery, telling ghost stories about the Creed family, like you do. Asshole stepfather/sheriff shows up and starts beating the fat kid and his demon dog rips stepdad’s throat out. Bummer. Then genius fat kid gets the plan to bury asshole stepfather/sheriff in the pet cemetery, rather than saying good riddance. Why? Apparently he feels it’s his fault since he resurrected the dog in the first place, but whatever. Asshole stepfather/sheriff come back zombified and mean, naturally. Rapes mom (making this the third or fourth movie this time around with a zombie rape…), causes a ruckus at the dinner table and ends up killing the bully kid when he catches him bullying Jeff. The asshole stepfather/sheriff buries the bully in the magical pet cemetery, murders his wife and the fat kid and digs up Jeff’s mom.
Jeff’s dad (Anthony Edwards of ER and Top Gun fame!) catches Jeff setting up his mother’s things in the attic and realizes shit has gone off the rails. Jeff heads up to the cemetery to bury mom and dad gets attacked by the zombie dog, then has to fight for his life against the zombie sheriff/asshole. Then zombie mom murders the housekeeper and Jeff has to fight the bully and asshole/sheriff. Mom comes down on the side of the bully and asshole, because zombies stick together. But Jeff kills them all in various creative ways, including burning mom up in a sweet melting sequence, and rescues dad and they leave town with the kitten to lead a zombie-free life elsewhere. The end!
So, yeah. The “story” is basically a long sequence of random things barely stuck together. I actually left out some things that are arguably just as “important,” but the story was so haphazard it hardly matters. If I had to guess, I’d say they made it up as they went along, but who knows, maybe it was all planned. As you might gather, it’s all pretty ridiculous. The acting is awesome, but not for its subtle nuance. Clancy Brown (Highlander!) is fantastic as the meancing brute of an asshole/sheriff/stepdad. Edward Furlong looks either butthurt emo or kind of snarky/evil (his only two expressions, it seems). Anthony Edwards seems way out of place, but hey, he pulls his weight and then some.
I spent the entirety of this movie in stunned awe at how ridiculous it started and how every single minute made it even more so. It just couldn’t have been any better. Well, it could have ladled on more gore — it seemed kind of skimpy at times, like they were shooting for PG-13 and missed, but couldn’t be bothered to cut it back enough to get the rating they originally wanted. Or not, who knows? I’d actually really love a commentary track for this one … anyone know if such a thing exists? The DVD is long out of print.
Again, due to an incredibly late start I had to skip the short. And also, if you’re keeping track, last night should have been Invisible Invaders, but I had to move it again, one more due to logisitical difficulties (Netflix, you are letting me down!). Tonight is the night for that one, I think.