How the film "Pet Sematary" was filmed: footage from the filming and 15 interesting facts about the film (16 photos)
Pet Sematary is considered one of Stephen King's scariest books. When the writer finished working on the novel, both he and his loved ones agreed that what was happening was too dark to get real pleasure from reading.
1. The idea to write the book “Pet Sematary” came to Stephen King after he personally buried his daughter’s pet cat, which was hit by a car. It was then that Stephen thought: “What if the cat could be brought to life”?
But as the writer himself claims, the book seemed so creepy to him that he did not want to publish it. But still there were reasons why he did it.
Stephen King with one of the seven cats who played Church
And by the way, the script for the film was also written by Stephen King himself. The only thing Stephen King insisted on was that the film be shot in Maine. This is the writer’s home state, which he often describes in his books.
2. In the film you can see the grave of a cat named Smaki. That was the name of Stephen King's daughter's cat, which gave him the idea to write a book.
3. The film was offered to the master of horror films George Romero, but he refused.
Also, the director's chair was offered to director, actor and special effects master Tom Savini. You may remember him from his role as Sex Machine in the movie From Dusk Till Dawn. But he also refused, which he would later regret.
The director ended up being a woman named Mary Lambert, who had previously worked on the Tales from the Crypt series.
3. Work on the film was carried out under the strict guidance of Stephen King. Moreover, he himself played a small role in the film as a priest at a funeral.
Stephen King and Dale Midkiff on the set of Pet Sematary
4. Church the Cat was played by 7 different cats. This is why you may notice that the cat in one scene is different from the cat in another scene. This was done in order to have time to shoot the film on time. As a result, all cats were trained at the same time, but on different commands. And when a certain action was required from the animal, the cat that was trained for this action was used.
Young actor Miko Hughes as Gage
5. When the students are carrying the downed student Pascoe, on the wall you can see a reference to another Stephen King novel "Cujo" about a dog that is bitten by a bat. This particular novel is not mentioned, but the advertisement about the rabid St. Bernard (Rabies) clearly hints at it.
Pay attention to the flyer with the inscription "Rabies" on it there is a picture of a rabid St. Bernard. This is a reference to Stephen King's novel Cujo.
6. Director Mary Lambert intentionally wanted to emphasize that it is the neighbor who is essentially a bad person, since it is he who will tell Louis about the resurrection, which is what will start the whole mess. She decided to show this by wearing a hood. It’s very strange, because not everyone understood the reference.
7. The role of Louis’s daughter was played not by one actress, but by two twin sisters Blaze and Beau Berdahl, who replaced each other.
Twin sisters Blaze and Beau Berdahl. Photo taken from open sources
8. Rachal's sister Zelda was supposed to be played by a teenage girl, but not a single girl in the film could convincingly play the dying and pained Zelda. Therefore, the role of Zelda was played by an adult man, namely Andrew Hubacek. After watching the material, the filmmakers realized that this was exactly what they needed.
Denis Crosby as Rachel and Andrew Hubacek as Zelda
9. The resurrected Gage specially dressed in the same costume that Zelda (Rachel's sister) was wearing in the painting.
By the way, it's amazing that after Gage was hit by a truck, he looks like a cucumber, while the other resurrected people were bloodied beyond recognition, in part due to digging the grave.
Although, it is understandable. There is no need to traumatize a small child with a variety of makeup. So it looks very creepy. It is because of this that a doll was used in many scenes rather than a child.
10. With a budget of $11.5 million, the film grossed $57.5 million worldwide, which was a success. Therefore, it is not surprising that the filmmakers decided to make a second part. True, Stephen King has nothing to do with this film. But the same Mary Lambert sat in the director's chair.
Directed by Mary Lambert and written by (and also scripted by) Stephen King
11. In 2019, a remake of the film “Pet Sematary” was released, which fairly follows the plot of the original until the moment when a truck hits baby Luis. And then the film goes in its own direction.
12. According to director Mary Lambert, the hardest thing was to get the cat to eat the chop that Louis gave him.
Director Maheri Lambert with one of the twin sisters who played Louis and Rachel's daughter
13. According to King's original idea, the film was supposed to mention the Indian demon Wendigo, which was also present in the original book. But in the end, King decided that this would be unnecessary in the film adaptation.
14. Initially, actor Bruce Campbell, who became famous after playing Ash in the film “The Evil Dead” (2 parts), was considered for the role of Louis. But in the end the role went to actor Dale Midkiff.
From left to right: Dale Midkiff, Stephen King, Fred Gwynne
15. Actor Fred Gwin, who played Louis's neighbor named Jud, was not gray-haired in real life at the time of filming. He dyed his hair white especially for the film.