Last summer was marked by a string of horrific bombs--"The Blob," "Phantasm II," "Monkey Shines," etc.--that appeared to doom the gore glut of recent years. But "Pet Sematary's" record $12 million opening last weekend indicates the genre isn't ready for the cinema graveyard.
"Horror is definitely hot again," said Tony Timpone, editor of Fangoria, a mag devoted to scare pics. He credits the "incredible recovery" of the genre to "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4," "Halloween 4," "Child's Play" and now, "Pet Sematary," based on the Stephen King novel about a family's hellish experiences after a visit to an ancient Indian burial ground.
Consider some upcoming sequels:
"A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 5--The Dream Child," now lensing in L.A. Robert Englund again returns as Freddy Krueger, who'll be seen manufacturing his trademark razor gloves in an opening scene. Alice Johnson (Lisa Wilcox), who survived Freddy in No. 4, is now pregnant. New Line Cinema delivers "Dream Child" in August.
"Friday the 13th Part VIII--Jason Takes Manhattan"--which finds deadly Jason on the streets of NYC, hits screens in August, from Paramount.
"Halloween 5" films shortly in Salt Lake City, for a Halloweenish release. Michael Myers, who appeared to have died in No. 4, will be baaaaack --along with Donald Pleasence as persistent Dr. Loomis. From Galaxy International.
"Fright Night 2"--chronicling the further adventures of vampire fighters Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) and Charlie Bruster (William Ragsdale)--is due in May from New Century Vista.
"Evil Dead 3," begins filming in November. Set in 1300 A.D., it finds returning hero Ash (Bruce Campbell) using modern technology to fight demons of the era.
Also looming: "Leather Face," third in the "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" series, is being scripted by horror novelist David Schow for New Line.
And there's talk of "Return of the Living Dead 3"--with special effects meister Robert Short ("Beetlejuice") making his directorial debut.