Poison Heart

TRACK #158

Poison Heart by The Ramones

Odds are you’re not reading this. It’s not exactly rush hour over here at The Shindig. I’m the site administrator. I see the numbers and I wouldn’t call them encouraging.

If you do happen to be reading this though, odds are you don’t really like Pet Sematary 2. That’s just simple math. The number of people who actually like that movie divided by the number of daily visitors this site gets makes it practically fucking impossible for you to be a fan.

You may use such tempered words as “tolerable,” “serviceable,” or perhaps even “forgettable,” to describe your feelings toward it, but I’ll wager “good” probably won’t be among the ones you choose.

Cause let’s face it, it just wasn’t that great of an idea, at least not artistically. Financially, sure, in that they turned 8 million dollars into 17 million at the box office alone. I doubt anyone involved considered that a failure in any monetary sense.

As a movie to just watch (either then or 25 years after the fact) it just doesn’t do enough of anything particularly well to be all that entertaining or to justify its own existence beyond being a sound financial investment.

There are 3 positive things I can say about Pet Sematary 2 however.

  1. It’s a Halloween movie, complete with costumes and trick-or-treating, a Halloween party at the Pet Sematary and a satisfying autumnal-leafy-vibe.
  2. Clancy Brown is well cast and fun to watch. He’s fittingly menacing as the main antagonist and he definitely does all the heavy lifting here.
  3. Someone thought it would be cool if they had The Ramones provided the end credit track again.

And it was. I hope that person got at least a nice piece of that 17 million domestic gross.

Lead-in by the Friday 2-styled, sequel-requisite “tell the story of the previous installment as a spooky campfire story” move,  here’s The Ramones returning to the Micmac cemetery with Poison Heart.

PS: that voice you’re hearing is from young actor Jared Rushton, whom some of you may remember as Tom Hanks’ buddy in Big. However, astute Halloweeners may recognize and even younger Jared from Lady In White, where he locked Frankie Scarlatti in the cloak room on Halloween. Yep, Jared is a 2-time Halloween prick and honorary Shindig All-Star. Good work Jared, your agent was pretty keen. Send him a fruit basket.


Oct. 6th: Pet Sematary 2 (1992)

Sometimes dead is better,”  Fred Gwynne’s Judd reminds us in the original Pet Sematary, and I doubt I’m the first (or even the 500th) person in the last 24 years to suggest this sequel should have just heeded its predecessor’s simple ethos.

But, from the grand and seemingly endless roster of unnecessary, forgettable and otherwise ill-advised horror sequels, Pet Sematary 2 isn’t the worst you could pull. It’s certainly not the best, but it’s definitely not the worst.

Buried underneath the rocks of its cliched continuation1, contrived plot mechanics2, goofball one-liners3 and general soul-lessness4, there rises an autumnal atmosphere that works pretty well for the season. Aided in no small part by a fun (yet all too brief) Halloween sequence at the Pet Sematary, where Edward Furlong hears the murderous tale of the Creed resurrections.

Some gory FX’s from Steve Johnson and a creepy turn from Clancy Brown make this Halloween treat a bit easier to scarf down though, even when Goose is trying to be a tough guy and John Conner is acting like idiot.

Plus, it ends with another Ramones song and that’s a pretty cool move just on its own.

I give it 1 fat Dracula and a Kurgan up,.. but a shitty knock-off Jason Mask down. So I’ll hand it a comparative…

Designation: Treat

1  Hey, I’m a new kid in town. My mom just died and my dad’s a veterinarian…wink wink.

2  Why would you ever bury your asshole stepdad in the old Micmac grounds when your newly resurrected dog murdered him? It’s not like you’ll be in trouble. Look at the fucking corpse! You’re good. Clearly an animal did this…an evil zombie animal you resurrected by…BURYING IN THE OLD MICMAC GROUNDS! I get that the “ground” has a “pull” to it, but c’mon now. Lewis’ motivations are full of grief and guilt and sadness and loss. This is his dead son…ok, snap. This is his dead wife…but maybe he waited to long last time. It’s not a good idea, but its understandable. And why are zombie’s burying people there too? Are they trying to create a master zombie race? What the hell is going on here?

3  “Look’s like daddy got a boo-boo.”

4  See: film


Pet Sematary


TRACK #112: 

Pet Semetary by The Ramones

The Ramones (b) + Horror Title Track (htt) = Shinding gold (sg).

And I don’t care what hardcore Ramones fans thought or what The Golden Raspberry Committee had to say on the matter, my equation is airtight.

And just like any good equation you could substitute a lot of bands for that b variable and still get the same value or greater.

Dokken? Check. 45 Grave? Check Plus. J Geils Band? Double Plus Good.

It’s math. It just works. Numbers don’t lie.

And when Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Marky set their sights on Stephen King, the result was a horror hit for the ages. Haters be damned!

Stephen King likes to name drop songs in his novels, particularly Ramones songs and Pet Sematary is no different, as Blitzkreg Bop plays heavily into the story.

I believe the story goes that the boys were approached by the producers for the inclusion of Sheena Is A Punk Rocker in the movie. Such fans of the novel were they that The Ramones simply offered to cut an original track just for the film. And not only that, but a Title Track to boot. Don’t know where I heard that, can’t confirm it but it’s in my head and why would I just make that up? Gotta be at least a partly true, right?

It’s one of the greatest Horror Title Tracks of all time performed by one of the greatest Rock ‘N Roll bands ever. The simplicity and raw power of The Ramones lends itself to perhaps the most cartoonishly straight forward songs to ever accompany a horror film, or maybe any film for that matter. Though, there is Hard Ticket To Hawaii and The Stabilizer and thems some ridiculous ass Title Tracks.

So blow a raspberry at those Golden Raspberry farts and follow Victor to the sacred place.