Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peter Jackson

      Most people know film director Peter Jackson by his epic works such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the (2005) remake of King Kong. Those that dig a little deeper know of his involvement with Weta Workshop. (Known for their amazing special effects as demonstrated by their involvement in all of the aforementioned Peter Jackson movies, as well as James Cameron's beast of a film, that's been smashing box office records for weeks now, Avatar) What most people don't know about are the kinds of films he did before he making it big.

What a lot of people fail to realize is that before Peter Jackson was directing epic features backed by breathtaking visual effects, his roots were planted firmly in the splatter genre. His break-out film was the 1987 splatter comedy, Bad Taste. As the title suggests, this film relied heavily on the gross-out factor of his splatter effects for a good laugh. (Good toilet humor, all in bad taste)

This low budget, silly movie requires a taste for movies in the same vein as Troma films in order to fully appreciate the product. (Mainly, a strong stomach for this type of humor) One scene that stands out in particular involved vomiting into a bowl and then passing the bowl around for everyone to take a swig out of. (Yeah, it's as sick as it sounds) Jackson's follow-up to this gross-out feature was a pitch black comedy that plays out like some kind of sick, demented Muppet Show... on heroin. Meet the Feebles is like what Jim Henson would see off of a bad acid trip.

there's blood, pus, guts, shit, vomit, piss, and bodily fluids galore!!! This gritty, disgusting comedy follows the personal lives of a theatre troupe both on and off the stage. The leader of the troupe is a dirty, adulterous, mean-spirited walrus that dabbles in drug deals on the side of running his show, "The Feebles Variety Hour" or whatever it's called. One of a few memorable bathroom scenes in the movie featured a fly reporter for a dirt sheet, snacking down on a "hot" meal. (It was so hot in fact, I guess you can say that it was "steaming") This is one of those movies that leave you with a dirty feeling after you watch it.

Then there was Braindead. Known here in North America as Dead Alive, this film is touted as the goriest film ever made. This zombie horror/comedy features some great lines as well as some of the sickest gore around. A kung fu priest shows up to beat down some zombies while exclaiming that he "kicks ass for the Lord!!" This was the very pinnacle of Peter Jackson's greatness in the splatter genre. Braindead was a laugh out loud, gross humor epic that will be a staple of zombie movie lists as well as cult classic lists for years to come. I've played this for some friends and was told to turn it off one time because she thought she was going to puke. 

All 3 of these films come highly recommended as they were Peter Jackson's firsts. Everyone knows him by his big budget works... but before chronicling the adventures of hobbits and documenting giant apes as they destroyed the city, Peter Jackson was one sick motherfucker with a truly twisted sense of humor. Z-portal would like to salute Peter Jackson for his contributions to the splatter genre and for being a truly sick individual.