Running Time: 100 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Anthony Edwards (MIRACLE MILE, ER, ZODIAC), Edward Furlong (TERMINATOR 2, AMERICAN HISTORY X), Clancy Brown (HIGHLANDER, EXTREME PREJUDICE), Jared Rushton (BIG, OVERBOARD), Darlanne Fluegel (TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., BULLETPROOF, RUNNING SCARED), Jason McGuire (LEAP OF FAITH, FORREST GUMP). Written by Richard Outten (LITTLE NEMO: THE 80S MOVIE) and vaguely, but not really based on elements from PET SEMATARY, by Stephen King.
Tag-line: "Raise some hell."
Best one-liner: "No brain, no pain... think about it."
PET SEMATARY TWO boldly asks the question, "Can a movie be worse than PET SEMATARY ONE?" The answer is "Yes... well, kind of."
Aside from the presence of bullies and the general idea of a supernatural cemetery whereupon pets and and occasionally humans can be buried only to rise from the dead and become (at best) soulless versions of their former selves, or (at worst) evil killer zombies, this really has nothing to do with anything Stephen King ever wrote. As such, it sort of feels like PET SEMATARY fan-fiction. Still, it is important to note that PET SEMATARY TWO is not abjectly terrible. In fact, there are quite a few things to like here. Seven, in fact:
#1. Sullen Anthony Edwards.
Pre-ER Anthony Edwards plays a medical professional (a veterinarian) who has lost his wife and is trying to raise moody, early 90s Edward Furlong.
Pictured: moody, early 90s Edward Furlong.
Interestingly enough, Edwards' deceased wife is played by Darlanne Fluegel, an actress who got a tremendous amount of niche work as "practically the only woman" in movies that are otherwise jam-packed with male character actors, and this is no exception. (Also see: TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., BULLETPROOF, LOCK UP, RUNNING SCARED.) Weird.
Anyway, Edwards is pretty great– so great, that you'll really regret that he didn't play "Louis Creed" in PET SEMATARY 1, since Dale Midkiff didn't really have the chops to pull it off. Maybe the tremendous pathos of Anthony Edwards could have "saved" PET SEMATARY 1– I guess we'll never know.
#2. The awkwardly exclaimed line, "Thanks for screwing up our Halloween, dumb shit!"
which is laughably uttered by a small town bully– thus making it officially the most "Stephen King-ian" thing in the movie.
#3. Clancy Brown. Longtime readers of this site know of my ongoing appreciation of his work, which ranges from evil sons of bitches (HIGHLANDER) to badass good guys (STARSHIP TROOPERS, EXTREME PREJUDICE, THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI).
Here, he gets to play the Kurgan (from HIGHLANDER) again, essentially– he starts off as an abusive dad/uptight town sheriff, and after being killed and resurrected, turns into a spectacularly psychotic, scenery (and lima beans) chewing maniac.
There's a great scene where his overweight son apologizes for not being the "stud" Clancy is.
And there's an even better scene when an undead Clancy smashes unidentifiable dinner goop and lima beans into his mouth and laughs maniacally for at least twenty seconds.
No, PET SEMATARY TWO is not a good movie, but the beauty of Clancy Brown's deranged performance occasionally fools you into thinking it is.
#4. These creepy twin girls who reveal, for a fleeting moment, what it would look like if THE SHINING were directed by, say, the makers of FULL HOUSE.
#5. DEATH BY SPUDS!
How would you like your potato, sir? Baked? Roasted? Mashed? Stuffed? Scalloped? HOW 'BOUT RAINING DOWN ON YOU IN A MURDEROUS, SKULL-SQUASHIN' DELUGE?!
Honestly, in the annals of film history, I don't think there's ever been a "death by potatoes" scene quite like this one. Nice job, PET SEMATARY TWO!
#6. The magnificence of the following scene, whereupon an undead Clancy Brown attempts to murder Anthony Edwards with crazy-eye and an electric drill, loopily hypothesizing, "No brain, no pain... think about it!"
#7. While The Ramones unfortunately don't give us "I Don't Wanna Be Buried in a Pet Sematary (Again)," they do indeed again provide the rockin' beats of the closing credits with the song, "Poison Heart."
In closing, PET SEMATARY TWO ain't great– and you didn't need me to tell ya that, I'm sure. Still, a couple of spit-take worthy moments and some killer potatoes push this up to... two and a half stars.