Pet Sematary 2

A young boy's life is shattered when he watches as his movie-star mother is accidentally electrocuted while she is filming a scene for a horror film. Geoff and his dad, Chase, travel to Rene's hometown in rural Maine for her funeral. Geoff adored his mother and because he's so distraught by her loss, Chase, a veterinarian, decides to move his son out of Los Angeles to Rene's hometown, where they can both make a fresh start. Chase and Geoff are cleaning up the former vet's office, where Chase will set up his new practice, when they discover a litter of kittens. Geoff adopts one of the kittens, which he names Tiger. Drew, a boy Geoff's age, comes into the office with his dog, Zowie, who needs treatment for scratches he received while chasing rabbits. Geoff and Drew become good friends. The shy, grief-stricken boy becomes easy prey for bullies at school. When Geoff sneaks Tiger into school, hidden in his jacket, Clyde, the lead bully, grabs Tiger away from Geoff and takes off with other boys on their bikes with Geoff in hot pursuit. They lead Geoff to a deserted area where a fist fight ensues in which Clyde gets the better of Geoff. Clyde attempts to frighten Geoff with a story of a place where the dead come back to life when buried there. Clyde tells Geoff that Tiger had an accident and died, so he left the kitten in the pet cemetery. Geoff and Drew go to the pet cemetery and find Tiger, unharmed. Drew's sadistic stepfather, Gus, is the town's sheriff. Gus keeps cages of rabbits for sale. Zowie finds the rabbits irresistible, so Gus rigs a noisemaker and electrified wire to shock anything coming near the cages. One night when Gus hears the noisemakers, he grabs his gun and shoots at Zowie, as the dog runs into the woods. Drew follows his pet into the woods, where Zowie dies in his arms. The next day Geoff goes with Drew to bury Zowie in the pet cemetery. After they arrive at the cemetery, they change their minds and bury him instead in the nearby Indian Burial Grounds, where the dead come back to life. Unfortunately, when the dead return, they return as malevolent creatures wreaking havoc upon the living. Zowie is the first to return with a vengeance, setting off a chain of disastrous events that culminate in Geoff's horrendous reunion with his much adored mom.

  • Starring: Edward Fulong and Anthony Edwards
  • Director(s): Mary Lambert
  • Producer(s): Columbus Circle Films
  • Screenwriter(s): Richard Outten
  • Distributor: Paramount Pictures
  • Release Date: Tuesday, May 12, 1992
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

There's intense animal action throughout this horror film. Although fake and mechanical animals were used in some of the more gruesome scenes, the effect is so realistic, they may be too disturbing for some animal lovers. In an early scene, an elderly dog is euthanized by injection in Chase's office. The dog/actor was aged with white makeup on his fur and laid perfectly still (so still he actually fell asleep). The actor slid a blunted needle under the dog's fur and did not pierce the dog's skin. A small hidden receptacle held the fake blood that appeared on the dog's fur in a close-up. When Geoff is cleaning the former vet's office for his dad's new practice, he is surprised when a kitten leaps out at him and he discovers a box full of kittens. To accomplish this scene, the kittens were placed in a cardboard box in a cage in front of the camera. A trainer was off camera holding a kitten when the actor appeared in front of the cage. The trainer tossed the kitten onto the actor's shoulder and the actor fell down with the kitten. A second trainer called the kitten out of camera frame and the kitten scampered away. The actor had been rehearsed in handling the kitten carefully and the kitten was not frightened. As an added precaution, mats were placed on the floor where the actor and the kitten were to fall. When Drew enters the vet's office with Zowie on a leash, Zowie chases the kitten and the kitten runs under a surgical gurney to find safety. This scene was shot in cuts and the kitten was not actually there when the dog was doing the chasing. The kitten was filmed separately going from A to B, with one trainer releasing the kitten and a second trainer calling to the kitten with food as a reward. The actor opened the door, holding the leash, and the trainer then gave a verbal command to the dog to speak and then called the dog to him. The actor struggled with the dog, holding the leash, and then on cue, let the leash go as the dog ran out of frame. A scene was then filmed with the kitten under the gurney and Drew holding Zowie back as he tries to get to the kitten under the gurney. The kitten was never frightened or in any real danger as the dog likes kittens and the two animals are friends. Zowie is at the vet's office because he has scratches from the rabbits on his nose and close to his eyes. To create the proper effect, the dog was made up with non-toxic makeup and a harmless dye, "eye blood", which is frequently used on actors, was used on the dog. When the school bullies steal Tiger from Geoff and take off on their bicycles with Geoff in hot pursuit, both a real and fake kitten were used. The fake kitten was used in the majority of the scenes and the real kitten was used very briefly, primarily in establishment shots. In one of these shots, Clyde, the bully, pulls the kitten out of his jacket and holds it up in the air while he is riding his bike. To achieve this, the trainer gave the actor the kitten, which he placed inside his jacket. On action, the actor started pedaling his bike and then took the kitten out of his coat and held it up in front of the camera. The young actor had been rehearsed on how to hold the kitten safely so as not to frighten, drop or injure the kitten. The remainder of the bicycle pursuit scene was filmed with the use of the fake kitten. The scene where Zowie attempts to break into Gus's rabbit cages was shot in cuts. Gus had supposedly rigged the cages with noisemakers and an electrical surge that is supposed to shock anyone who touches it. The dog had been taught to push an object which sets off the special effects sparks which were only visual and did not shock the dog. Gus fires at Zowie with his rifle, as Zowie runs into the woods. The dog ran A to B and did not work with any actual gunfire. The sounds of gunfire were added in post production. When Drew goes into the woods after Zowie, he finds the dog lying on his side with his fur all bloodied. He holds Zowie in his lap as Zowie dies. Non-toxic stage blood was applied to the dog and the dog merely laid very still in the actor's lap for the death scene. For the scenes in which the two boys carry the dead Zowie for burial the following day, a fake dog was used throughout. A scene in which the resurrected Zowie returns to the rabbit hutch was done in cuts. There is a close-up of the dog's paws, then the rabbits run to the other end of their cage. To achieve this, air was blown very lightly at the rabbit's feet through the bottom of the cage and the rabbits ran to the other side of the cage. They were not frightened, but merely felt the sensation of air coming up through the bottom of the cage. The close-up of Zowie where his eyes glow in the dark was achieved by the use of special effects. When the boys take Zowie to Chase to tend to Zowie's wounds, Chase takes a sample of Zowie's blood. We see a syringe filling with the blood. This was shot in cuts and the dog was not given a needle and no blood was extracted. On Halloween, Geoff, Drew and other teens go to the pet cemetery where they sit around a campfire and tell ghost stories. Gus appears and breaks up the party. In a particularly sadistic and bullying mood, he is about to beat up on Drew, when Zowie appears. Zowie leaps at Gus and the two battle it out, spinning and tumbling until Gus arms himself with a grave marker cross and swings it at the dog. Zowie becomes more vicious and goes for Gus's throat, which he rips open, and Gus dies. This scene was shot in cuts with the trainer as photo double for the actor for the majority of the scenes. For the snarling close-ups, the dog wore a mouth device similar to what boxers wear in the ring, which gives the appearance that the dog is snarling. Snarling sounds were added in post production. What appeared to be a heavy cross was actually made out of foam rubber. The dog had been trained to play with this with his trainer. The trainer would playfully swing at the dog with the foam rubber cross so as not to scare the dog during filming. The dog had been trained to jump from a platform to another platform and into his trainer's arms to simulate the leap attack. This was done as part of a play/training technique and the dog actually enjoyed it as he played and wrestled with his trainer. When the dog sinks his teeth into Gus's throat, a prosthetic neck containing some purchased meat was used. For a brief scene in a pathologist's office where the pathologist is doing an autopsy and working on a dog's skull, a fake puppet was used. There is a scene in the vet's office where badly mauled and bloodied kittens are discovered. Synthetic kittens were used, and the blood was fake. Some meat, purchased from a butcher shop, was interspersed with the fake body parts and fake blood. There is a scene at a taxidermist's, where real taxidermied animals were used. The actor worked on a dog puppet. The scene then shifts back to the resurrected Gus, who is at his rabbit cage. Dead rabbit pelts are strung on a line over the cages. Gus reaches into a cage and grabs a rabbit, snaps it's neck and skins the rabbit. The dead rabbit is then strung above the cage along with the other dead rabbit pelts. This scene was accomplished by using puppets. The actor was snapping the necks of rabbit puppets. Dead rabbits, purchased from a company that supplies feed rabbits to zoos, were strung above the cage. Processed pelts purchased from a game ranch were also used. Chase has a dream that Zowie is attacking him, only to awaken in his bed and find his dream is real. Zowie's eyes seem to explode (special effects). Zowie snarls and lunges, and his teeth and jaws snap. This scene was shot in cuts. The dog did a real snarl into the camera at his trainer's command. The trainer, again, was a photo double for the actor and this was playtime and a game for the dog. Chase shoots at Zowie and Zowie escapes by jumping through the closed bedroom window as the glass flies in all directions. The sound of the gunfire was added in post production. The actor/dog had been specially trained for this particular scene. The training was done gradually, starting with the dog jumping through a plain window frame, and progressing to a point where he would go through a candy glass window without a command and with the trainer merely taking the dog to the window and the dog going through the window without any hesitation. (Candy glass crumbles very easily and does not cause injuries.) When the scene was filmed, the balsa wood frame was scored to break at particular points as was the candy glass scored so that it would break according to a previous design. The dog had some stage blood applied to him. Zowie next appears at Drew's house where he pursues Drew. Drew runs to escape from Zowie and runs up a flight of stairs through a door which he slams shut just a second before Zowie throws himself against the door. This scene was shot in cuts. One trainer held the dog and a second trainer called the dog into frame in front of the actor. The second trainer gave the dog the verbal command to stay and snarl. For the run up the stairs, the first trainer gave the actor a head start running up the stairs and then gave the dog the verbal command to "go with". The dog then ran up the stairs behind the actor. Where the dog was to jump against the door, which has just closed, one trainer would hold the dog by the collar and then give the dog the verbal command to hit the door. The dog would then run and jump against the door, which he had been trained to do. While Chase is driving his van to the cemetery, Zowie appears and attacks him. Chase grabs for his gun and points it at Zowie, firing at point blank range. Zowie is blown backwards, clear out of the car, spraying Chase with blood. The very badly wounded Zowie limps back into Gus's house, where he finally dies. The van was not moving when the scenes with the dog were filmed. The dog was shot with a toy pistol and the sound of gunfire was added in post production. A special harness had been made for the dog for the shot where he's hit by a bullet. The trainer pulled the dog out of camera range and then a fake dog was used, with the scene being shot in cuts. The spray of blood, of course, was fake blood and came from a spray gun. The trainer was the photo double for the actor. Stage make-up was used on the dog to simulate wounds and the dog's limp was achieved by a rubber band which had been placed on one of the dog's paws. Although the band did not cause any discomfort, the dog reacted to the odd feeling of something on his paw. Other animals seen briefly primarily as atmosphere are a wolf crossing A to B in an opening scene, rats moving through a crypt on a movie set, and a possum sitting on a tree stump in the pet cemetery. The large dead bug lying belly up in the vet's office was a real bug that had died of natural causes.