Once upon a time a very popular Stephen King novel was made in to a hit movie and it became influential among many horror buffs. That’s about the extent of drama or intriguing Hollywood back story you’ll get with “Unearthed & Untold.” I’m sure it would make for a wonderful extra in its initial release, but I don’t know per se if it granted its own special release on Blu-Ray. The oddly celebrated horror drama is a movie that wasn’t much of an underdog like “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and didn’t garner weird supernatural coincidences like the set of “Poltergeist.” It was just a movie that was made thanks to a book that scared its own author to the core…
“Unearthed & Untold” is the story of the development of “Pet Sematary,” the popular horror drama about a family that deals with loss by resorting to reviving their loved ones through an ancient Indian burial ground. There isn’t a lot of to do about the making of the film, save for Mary Lambert’s odd techniques. Granted, there are a lot of juicy tidbits involving the production, but the documentary by John Campopiano and Justin White feels more suited for a deluxe release of the seminal film more than anything. There’s some interesting anecdotes about the film’s production which had to work around collaborating with children and animals. I enjoyed the technique of featuring the film’s centerpiece death scene involving a speeding truck, and loved how they worked around child labor laws by hiring twins to help the crew double the scenes they could film in one day.
“Unearthed & Untold” relies on a lot of interesting insight in to the film’s production and how they used a lot of the film’s scenery and window dressing as a means of signifying the descent in to madness. From the dream atmosphere before Gage’s horrific death, to Jud’s house seemingly sinking in to the dirt, every nuance is intentional, and every bit of symbolism is there because they intended it to be. The documentary might be a treat especially for those of us traumatized by the horrendous Zelda, as the documentary spends its fair amount of time exploring the process, how they cast the actor behind the character, and every method they employed to help the audience sink in to madness alongside the characters. “Unearthed & Untold” is a fine documentary, and one that’ll feed your appetite if you’re a big “Pet Sematary” fanatic. If you, like me, find the film fairly abysmal, you’ll just take away some good movie trivia from it.
The Special Edition from Synapse Films features two feature length commentaries. There is one with the directors and creators John Campopiano and Justin White, and a podcast commentary with the aforementioned creators. There are eight minutes of Edited and Alternate scenes, and a Video Interview with the creators John Campopiano and Justin White. Clocking in at almost eight minutes, the pair discuss the origins of the film which stemmed from their need to revisit the original locations the film was shot in, and go over difficulties they faced filming the documentary, including tracking down the original cast and crew. “PET TALES: From The Cutting Room Floor” is an eighteen minute series of moments and stories that were not featured in the final documentary. There’s Denise Crosby, Mary Lambert, the twins and so much more. There’s a Location Photo Compilation, and Documentary Poster Art Concepts. There is six minutes of Rare On Set Footage from Rhonda Carter, and a Documentary Sizzle Reel which is pretty much just an extended trailer for the documentary. Finally there’s the original promotional trailer. Most of the segments and features are in HD, and the cover art comes reversible.