Pet Sematary (1989) Poster



Stephen King was present on location for most of the shooting of the film. The area it was shot in was only 20 minutes away from his home in Bangor, Maine.
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Stephen King once mentioned that the only novel he wrote that really scared him was Pet Sematary.
In Stephen King's novel, Judd mentions that a dog went wild in a nearby town and killed several people. This is a reference to the events of Cujo (1983), another novel by King. It is common for characters in King's novels to mention the events of his other novels.
The role of Zelda, Rachael's dying sister, was played by a man. Director Mary Lambert wanted Zelda and her scenes to frighten the audience but did not believe that a 13-year old girl was scary so she cast Andrew Hubatsek in the role to make something be "off about Zelda".
Two twin actresses played the role of Ellie Creed, Blaze Berdahl however was mainly credited for the role while Beau Berdahl is credited as "Ellie Creed II".
The original screenplay featured the 'wendigo' (a Native American demon) that was mentioned in the novel, but it was ultimately cut from the film. Its presence is implied only twice: firstly, in the scene where Louis is walking through the woods at night and hears something large knock down a tree. Secondly, being when Jud first takes Louis up to the Indian burial ground. There is some kind of loud crash deep in the forest followed by a long, almost feminine howl. Jud says that "it's only a loon" but it's clear that he doesn't entirely believe it himself.
Bruce Campbell was the first choice for the role of Louis Creed.
Star Fred Gwynne dyed his hair white for the role of Judd Crandall.
The film was shot on location in the same rural Maine area that Stephen King set the novel "Pet Sematary."
This was the first filmed screenplay that Stephen King adapted from one of his own novels.
In an interview with actor Brad Greenquist he said that while in his gruesome makeup for the role of Victor Pascow, no one would sit near him while the cast and crew were having lunch.
When Stephen King first wrote the manuscript for Pet Sematary he shelved it when friends and family hated it.
When Rachel gets off the semi, the numbers "666" are on it.
During the film, the character played by Fred Gwynne mentions that he a had a pet named "Spot". "Spot" was also the name of the family pet on the TV show The Munsters (1964), also starring Gwynne.
The story was inspired by actual events experienced by Stephen King that occurred while he was living in Orington, Maine with his family. King recalled that while living there his daughter's cat was killed in the highway. Much of Ellie Creed's emotional outburst was taken directly from King's own grief-stricken daughter. King also remembered that once his youngest son had nearly run into the road while a truck was speeding down it, much like Gage does in film. The character of Judd Crandall was based on the elderly neighbor that lived across the road from King. Also there was an actual pet cemetery in the woods behind the King house, which became the basis for the one in the novel.
Stephen King is a big fan of the Ramones and referenced some of their songs in the novel Pet Sematary. In homage, The Ramones wrote and performed the theme song "Pet Sematary", which is featured in the films closing credits.
The idea for this story came about when Stephen King's daughter's cat, Smuckey, was killed on the highway outside their home.
Louis claims his cat Church is named after former-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. 7 blue British Shorthair cats were acquired to play Church, and each of them were trained to do a specific action for the camera.
This was the debut film for young actor Miko Hughes, who was only 31-33 months old during production.
Stephen King required the movie to be filmed in Maine and his screenplay to be followed rigorously.
The Micmac burial ground in the film was constructed upon an actual mountain top. According to director Mary Lambert bulldozers were brought in to build the stone mounds.
Director Mary Lambert said that Fred Gwynne was her first and only choice for the role of Judd Crandall.
George A. Romero was originally set to direct but when filming was delayed, he dropped out, and Mary Lambert stepped in.
The portrait of Zelda as a child also features a gray cat at the child's feet, an obvious foreshadowing.
Tom Savini turned down the chance to direct the film.


Stephen King:  minister at the funeral.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The picture at Rachel's parents' house is a painting of Zelda as a child, before her spinal meningitis. Gage is later seen wearing a similar outfit (as well as having her red hair) to signify that Zelda has come back through him, which was Rachel's deepest fear.
Judd Crandall's house for the film was actually a facade built upon a smaller preexisting house. For the finale, where the house is burned, an asbestos shield was constructed between the two houses so that while burning the facade no damage would occur to the smaller house it was built upon.
The character of Missy is actually the blending of two characters into one. In the book Missy does not commit suicide. The only characters to die prior to Gage's death are Pascow and Norma Crandall, Jud's wife.
The factory from which the truck that hits Gage (Miko Hughes) is leaving, is the International Paper Factory (formerly Champion Paper Factory) in Bucksport, Maine.
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