Throughout most of that glorious decade most people refer to as the '80s, the world of cinema was besieged by adaptations of Stephen King novels and short stories that were usually questionable at best. Nevertheless, even the worst horror film offering spawned from the pages of King's scribbling somehow managed to make a buck or two at the box office or in the still-growing home video market — a lucrative factoid that was probably more attributable to the cursorily of tweens seeking a cheap thrill or horny teens hoping to cop a feel of someone's privates than anything else. It certainly wasn't about quality, that's for sure — and the 1989 horror flick Pet Sematary proves my point admirably.
We begin with the arrival of what could possibly be the world's most oblivious parents ever into a typical Stephen King setting: a nice slice of rural purgatory that is so far removed from any chance of anything even resembling salvation, that you instantly wish death upon these poor souls. Well, that's just what happens here, but let's get the characters out of the way first, shall we? There's Louis (future Time Trax star Dale Midkiff), the MD with the perfect head of always-perfect late '80s hair; his wife, (Denise Crosby, better known as Tasha Yar in some circles), who has positively abysmal taste in clothes, and who also has awful hair; and his two children, Ellie (Blaze Berdahl) and Gage (Miko Hughes).
Finally, there's the obligatory old creepy man in this tale. Here, he is named Jud, and he is portrayed by a withered Fred Gwynne, who appears to be channeling not only his inner Leslie Nielsen the whole time, but who also took accent lessons from that guy who used to narrate those old Pepperidge Farm commercials.
So, anyway, the happy Nuclear family moves in with their cat — only to have all that happiness dissipate as soon as they open the doors of their late-model station wagon. The cat dies when Louis' wife and kids go to visit his in-laws, which motivates Jed to take Louis on a mountain-climbing trek to an ancient Micmac Indian burial ground. Naturally, the cat comes back as a zombie kitty with a very vicious mean streak (had the cat been Siamese, however, no one would have probably noticed!), and things only go from bad to worse as the clueless Louis and his equally oblivious wife lose an even bigger part of their family life: the death of their young son (who names their kid Gage, anyway?), which results in Louis once again being an idiot — despite the disastrous results he got with the resurrected feline.