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Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

  • King Stipulated That 'Pet Sematary' Should Be Filmed In Maine on Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

    (#7) King Stipulated That 'Pet Sematary' Should Be Filmed In Maine

    Stephen King really wanted Pet Sematary be filmed in Maine. Even people with only a cursory knowledge of King know that he lives in Maine and that his books are usually set in the state. Throughout the '70s and '80s, however, movies adapted from his work were usually filmed in Los Angeles, which made King bristle. His desire to have Pet Sematary filmed in Maine turned into a roadblock for the production. King said that the location added credibility to the film, but that he also wanted to financially help the state. 

    In 1990 King explained, "A movie like Pet Sematary, a movie like Graveyard Shift... should serve as commercials for the state as much as all of the movies made in California, Los Angeles, New York have served as commercials for those places." 

  • The Ramones Wrote The Theme Song In Less Than An Hour on Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

    (#14) The Ramones Wrote The Theme Song In Less Than An Hour

    Aside from the existential dread threaded throughout the film, one of the most important factors going into the movie is its soundtrack. Like many King adaptations, Pet Sematary features music by the Ramones, who wrote a track specifically for the film. The Ramones were huge fans of Stephen King (and vice versa), so they jumped at the opportunity to contribute. Marky Ramone explains: 

    Stephen King's a big fan, and he wanted Ramones songs in the movie so he chose "Sheena" and then he gave the book to Dee Dee Ramone to read, and [Dee Dee] wrote it in 40 minutes, "Pet Sematary," the main song... it was very simple. We met Stephen at his house in Maine, had dinner at his house, and one thing led to another and that was it.

    The song became a fan favorite and a mainstay of the group's live shows. They recorded a follow up song, "Poison Heart," for Pet Sematary II. "Pet Sematary" is so intertwined with the film that it was covered by Starcrawler for the 2019 remake. 

  • Fred Gwynne Lost A Child Himself, And This Inspired Him To Take The Role Of Jud on Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

    (#11) Fred Gwynne Lost A Child Himself, And This Inspired Him To Take The Role Of Jud

    There may be reanimated creatures and ghastly nightmares moving through Pet Sematary, but the real horror of the story is the Creed family's tragic loss of their son Gage. The emotions that come with losing a child hit home with the film's star Fred Gwynne, who plays Jud, because he lost his 10-month-old son in 1963 when he fell in the family pool. 

    The film's emotional stakes inspired Gwynne to take the role, and he wasn't afraid of letting people know why he was so enthralled with the work. He told the film's DP, Peter Stein, that Pet Sematary wasn't just a horror movie, but a film about life and what happens after life. It's clear that the role is important to Gwynne and he shines on screen. 

  • Charlie Sheen And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Visited The Set on Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

    (#8) Charlie Sheen And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Visited The Set

    Filming in Maine had its charms - one of them being that people from around town were comfortable just stopping by the set and checking things out. But it wasn't just the locals who were popping by the Pet Sematary set to watch the newest King adaptation become committed to celluloid; there were also some legitimately famous folks who were interested in the production, as well. 

    Charlie Sheen stopped by one day to greet David Anderson, the makeup artist, after wrapping Wall Street. Basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hung out around set thanks to his friendship with one of the film's producers. This wasn't the last time that Jabbar crossed paths with King, either - he went on to appear in The Stand a few years later. 

  • The Novel Was Only Published Because Of A Contractual Agreement on Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

    (#4) The Novel Was Only Published Because Of A Contractual Agreement

    Stephen King really didn't want to release Pet Sematary. After he wrote it, he put it in a drawer and tried to forget about it before moving on to write something new. The story came back to life in the '80s after King moved from his first publisher, Doubleday, to Viking. Due to his previous contract with Doubleday, there was a pile of money withheld from King, and in order to access it, he had to give them one more book. In 2019, King explained to Entertainment Weekly

    The money had piled up enough, so I said, "Well, what do I do about this?" And [King's lawyer] said, "You'll have to give them another book, and make it part of the agreement that they can publish the book under their bullsh*t terms. But they have to break the investment fund."

    According to the documentary, Doubleday didn't want the book from King while he was still working with them. However, after moving to Viking, they were hungry for another King hit so they agreed to his terms. 

  • Jud's Home Was A Facade Built Onto A Preexisting House on Random Interesting Revelations From Documentary 'Unearthed and Untold: Path to Pet Sematary'

    (#9) Jud's Home Was A Facade Built Onto A Preexisting House

    Since the production took place in Maine, the crew couldn't just find the perfect house the way they could in Los Angeles, but director Mary Lambert made it work. For the Creed home, she found a house that only required a tree with a tire swing to be planted in the yard to make it legitimate. The Crandall home, however, was a bit more difficult to perfect. 

    The crew had to build a facade onto the front of a different house so that Jud Crandall's residence could be across the street from the Creed home and appear in the same scenes. The actual house is a modern ranch, which is a far cry from what Crandall's house looks like in the film. To make these changes, the crew built an extra frame onto the original building, and it looked incredibly real. They essentially built a house over the house, using sheetrock on the outside of the structure and adding real shingles and trim. 

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Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is a documentary, it is a close look at the making of the film Pet Sematary. Pet Sematary is a horror movie in 1989 and based on Stephen King's eponymous novel. The documentary features interviews with the director, Mary Lambert and members of the cast, crew, locals. It is a detailed look into the production of one of the greatest horror classic movies of the 90s.

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