Lost horror history: George Romero’s Pet Sematary


Pet Sematary was almost directed by the father of the living dead himself, George Romero! We have the details as to why this legendary project never happened.

Pet Sematary is rapidly approaching a theater near you and – I think I speak for all Stephen King fans – we cannot wait to travel once again over the deadfall and journey back to the foreboding burial ground that awaits beyond.

Many of us grew up with Mary Lambert’s take on Stephen King’s phenomenal exploration into the fragility of mortal life and the great many horrors that await the unlucky few on the other side of the grave. We learned – some of us at a very early age – that sometimes, dead is better.

For many of us, Pet Sematary was the introduction to Stephen King’s vast library of terror. We were passing along copies of the book around our Middle-School playground as if it were contraband, something we didn’t dare let our parents discover, and we read the book into the wee hours of night. All the while feeling the indisputable chills run up our spines as a fresh new perspective of horror opened up to us.

Oh yeah. We were hooked all right!

It’s unquestionable that Mary Lambert’s film holds a special place in many fans’ hearts. It would be nothing short of a colossal task to bring back the haunting visions of death, grief, and forbidden obsessions engulfing the unfortunate Creed family, but it seems the upcoming remake has won many of us over already. I for one cannot wait to sit my butt down and return to the mystery of Pet Sematary.

But unbeknownst to many Stephen King fans out there, we very nearly had – what I can only assume what would have been – an entirely different movie adaptation of Pet Sematary had both Stephen King and George Romero had their ways.

The power-team behind fan-favored CREEPSHOW almost brought us Pet Sematary. Stephen King and George Romero were buddies. The two met shortly after Romero released Martin and King’s vampire nightmare ‘Salem’s Lot was published. The two immediately hit it off and already planned to bring some of King’s books to the big screen.

Originally, King wanted his friend to adapt The Stand, but the network turned it into what became a very successful TV series. The other King book was – you guessed it – Pet Sematary. Honestly, this was a match made in (Hell) Heaven.

More from George Romero

George Romero, the father of the modern-day zombie phenomena, knew a thing or two about bringing the dead back to life in terrifying fashion. Without a doubt, Romero would have brought on another of his buddies, and horror legend himself, Tom Savini to bring the nightmares beyond death to life in macabre fashion.

Given Savini’s work on Dawn/Day of the Dead, The Burning, and Friday the 13th I can only imagine how much more unnerving Church the cat would have been. Or Zelda!

Everything was a go. King supplied the script and everyone put a lot of time and sweat into this passion project, and then, well, things happened. George Romero had previously worked on Monkey Shines and out of the blue, the studio called up insisting on reshoots. That pulled the plug on what could have been another George Romero masterpiece of pure horror.

Get ready to sign: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 trailer released. dark. Next

Nothing against Mary Lambert’s film. It’s a great scary movie. But I’m a fan of Papal Romero’s stuff and I would have loved to see what the Father of the Living Dead would have done with Pet Sematary.

Did you know George Romero almost directed Pet Sematary? Let us know in the comments!