DID YOU READ

Five incredibly creepy “Pet Sematary” scenes

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They really just don’t make them like Mary Lambert’s 1989 Stephen King adaptation “Pet Sematary” anymore. From the extended use of flashbacks, the dreamy (sometimes bordering on soft-focus) look of the film, to the overwrought dialogue and scenarios, the film is a product of its time. It’s also really quite awesome – sometimes in a that’s-so-silly-I-love-it way, but more often in a holy-hell-that-still-scares-the-pants-off-me way. This Tuesday marked long-awaited Blu-ray release of “Pet Sematary” and the results are great. It’s easily the best the film has ever looked and a nice little assortment of bonus material makes the disc a must-buy for any horror fan.

What’s even better is the fact that the Blu-ray release gives us a chance to run down some of the creepiest scenes in the entire film. Sure, there are plenty of dated elements and silly, over-the-top moments in the film (we’re looking at you, Ellie Creed), but “Pet Sematary” actually holds up quite well, especially in its ability to frighten.


The Day Timmy Baterman Came Back

The first time that Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) asked Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) if anyone had ever buried a person in the Micmac Indian burial ground above the Pet Sematary, Jud scoffed and looked at him as if he were crazy. Well, turns out he was lying a little bit. Many years prior Bill Baterman had buried someone up there (his own son Timmy who had died in service during WWII). The results were, well, horrifying. Timmy came back from the grave like a zombie out of one of Romero’s classic films. Next thing you know he’s walking around digging up bones to chew on, tearing his own face off, and scaring the neighbors. Timmy wasn’t quite himself, so they had to burn him alive, but not before learning their lesson that “Sometimes dead is better.” The scenes with Timmy Baterman are some of the coolest (and creepiest) in all of “Pet Sematary.”


The Achilles Cut / Jud Crandall’s Death

The death of Jud Crandall at the hands of little zombie Gage Creed is enough to turn your stomach, but it’s the manner in which old Jud bites the bullet that really makes this one of (if not the most) memorable scenes in the entire film. While searching through his house for the recently undead Gage, Jud kneels down next to his bed to look under it. The next thing he knows, Church the cat is in the room staring at him with his big green eyes and hissing just long enough to distract the old man while little Gage slips a hand out from under the bed and slices Jud’s Achilles tendon! If you’ve ever seen the film and you try to tell me that this moment didn’t make you physically gasp the first time you saw it, you’re probably lying. It’s an act that you can literally feel as a viewer and one that has kept me checking under just about every bed I stand next to for the past two decades.


Sleepwalking with Pascow

The first truly creepy moment of “Pet Sematary” comes courtesy of the runner with the massive brain injury, Victor Pascow. Treated for his injuries by Louis (and ultimately dying on the table under his care), Pascow grabs the doc and promises to come to him with a message of warning. Little did we know the grotesque ghost meant that very night. In a very unnerving scene, we see what appears to be a dream sequence where Louis follows Pascow into the woods and through the gates of the Pet Sematary. It’s not just a leisurely walk though. No, no. Pascow is there to warn Louis to never go beyond the place. “The ground is sour!” he warns Creed. And sour it sure is. The creepiest part of this scene, however, comes when we get back to the Creed house and Louis wakes up to find his feet covered in dirt and mud. Woah! So it wasn’t a dream all along. Creeptastic!


The Kiss

If you’re not completely grossed out by the film’s final moments, then you’re a better man than I. It’s not so much the kiss shared by Louis and Rachel that gets me. No, it’s the disgusting ooze of puss that falls out of Rachel’s eye socket seconds before Louis starts swapping spit with her. And he doesn’t just go in for a quick peck; he dives into that kiss tongue a-blazin’. Sure, I get it. Louis is completely off his rocker by this point in the film so a little shared bloody ooze is nothing after knocking off his own son and burying his dead wife in an Indian burial ground. And, yes, I know a little zombie lovin’ never hurt anybody, but there has to be a line, right? Well, Louis Creed not only crossed it in this uber-creepy scene but he also paid the ultimate price for it. Oh, Louis… you should have learned the first time!


Zelda

I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that I don’t think there’s anything creepier in the history of cinema than Rachel’s sister Zelda in “Pet Sematary.” More than anything else in the film, Zelda scared me senseless as a kid. It wasn’t so much her illness, her deformity, or the fact that Mary Lambert hired a male actor (Andrew Hubatsek) to play the part. It’s just the general creepy-crawly-ness of Zelda that sticks in your brain. That first flashback scene where Rachel is feeding Zelda and then she spins her entire head around, choking herself to death is really frightening, but it’s the later dream sequence that really empties my bladder. Zelda standing hunched over in a corner suddenly springs to life and runs toward the camera (and us) with the creepiest smile on her face that you’ve ever seen. I’ve got the chills just writing about it. You can have your Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein; Zelda is, in my mind, the scariest monster in horror history. “Even now, I wake up and I think, is Zelda dead yet?” says Rachel at one point in the film. You and me both, sister. You and me both.


“Pet Sematary” is available on Blu-ray now.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.