When you look at the horror, you see many of the Masters trying to make films away from genre and you really can't blame them. Right now, Sam Raimi   has "A Simple Plan" in the theater and Wes Craven is working on a film called "Fifty Violins" (can't remember the last time he did a horror film). Lucio has passed on (RIP Mastero) and although Romero, Carpenter, and Argento have stayed loyal to the genre, when was the last time they made a real serious hardcore horror film. On the other hand, you have the young guns in the genre such as Rodriquez and Williamson (Yuck!!!) doing that teeny bopper bullshit. Sure there are a few independents that have shown flashes of talent, but overall the genre has been stagnate with one exception, Peter Jackson. 

I can remember when I picked up a copy of Dead Alive back in 1993 and saying to myself, "finally someone who knows how to make a good horror film". He won my admiration right away, not only because he made a zombie movie, but because he made a very good zombie movies. His over-the-top use of dark humor, which is very Raimi-esqe, engulfed with a bloody coating of extreme gore, reminiscent of two other masters: George Romero and Lucio Fulci, produced an instant classic. Cheese to the extreme. From than on I hunted down Bad Taste, which was awesome, and Meet the Feebles, which was interesting to say the least. I now see a bright shining light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Peter Jackson exhibited the originality that had been absence from horror for so very long. Even his most recent film and American directorial debut The Frighteners was pretty good film.

Heavenly Creatures, one of Peter's non-genre entry, is a beautiful drama that deals with a true story of New Zealand teenagers Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, whose obsessive relationship drove them to murder. Peter Jackson and his writing partner Frances Walsh even received an Oscar  nomination for "Best Screenplay" losing out that year to Pulp Fiction. If you are a Peter Jackson fan, this is a must-see!!!

One of the things that I enjoy about Peter Jackson's approach to filmmaking is his  willingness to take chances. He never shys away from gore, rather he'll drops in some comedy as to deter away from the the violence at hand,  while pushing the scene over-the-top. His imagery is so outrageous that you have to laugh. There is quite evidence with the amount of gore that has gotting pass the censors of the world. Can you imagine if Lionel had used a machete rather than a lawnmower on the zombie? How much of that scene would have made it past the British Board of Classification (BBFC)? None and  I am sure the film would have BANNED!!! Yet to the horror fan, a lawnmower is an effective weapon of mass destruction against a zombie horde. So the gore wins out on both sides. But still Jackson has found the right mixture with horror/comedy without overkill to either. This is a very fine line to walk and one that Jackson does extremely masterfully.

Up next for Peter Jackson, a trilogy of films based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. New Line Cinema has committed a minimum of $130 millions for this films. The first film will be Lord of the Ring due to be release on Christmas 2000 (Filming set for May 1999). The remaining two films will be released at four month intervals in 2001. I am really excited about this new project for Peter. Being a big fan of "The Hobbit" and J.R.R Tolkien's World of Middle Earth, I can't wait to see these films. I am sure Peter will make them amazing!!!!

Again, as always, if you have anything you can add to help improve this page or if you have any comments, criticisms, and suggestions, please e-mail me.

 

Go to Peter Jackson's Biography              Go to Peter Jackson's Filmography

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