What’s so scary about Zelda? The better question is what’s NOT scary about the Z-bomb! When we first encounter her in PET SEMATARY, it is by way of a tale told by her surviving sister Rachel (DENISE CROSBY) who at a young age was left responsible for her care. Zelda (played by not really a lady ANDREW HUBATSEK) automatically inspires a wave of mixed emotions. She is pitiable due to her suffering, but one is made extremely uncomfortable by her almost corpse like form. This collision of sympathy and nausea tends to produce a blend of acute anxiety and remorseful shame in viewers. These feelings are underlined further as Rachel explains a similar emotional conflict immediately after Zelda’s death. In fact, it is difficult for her to recall whether Zelda’s sickly demise inspired her to cry or to laugh in relief…
All that would be disturbing enough, but due to some unleashed and unfriendly forces stomping about (the novel points a finger at American Indian legend the Wendigo), Zelda gets a new lease on life via monstrous hallucinations. I don’t know about you folks, but I’ve always been a light touch when it came to witches. I’d take on a vampire any day over a cackling twisted hag. Zelda2.0 brings to mind early fairy tale memories of just such a creature (she should also be set up on a blind date with “Bob” from TWIN PEAKS). Maniacal, gleefully inflicting terror, Zelda is shown crumbled up in a corner like a discarded newspaper and then crookedly expanding herself. Even more disconcerting is how she walks TOWARD the camera (and the audience) howling and screeching as she curls her paws like a rabid raccoon doing a MR.BURNS impersonation.
“NEVER GET OUT OF BED AGAIN!!!”
Zelda may have been a victim in reality, but the thought of her when shoved into a blender with some malevolent mojo is the stuff wet beds are made of. Just think of your darkest most regrettable memories coming back to vicious life…or have you already? That’s the power of our lady Zelda,and that’s why she’s an official Traumatizer. We didn’t give her that honor; she swiped it out of our hands.