films seen
15
average score
2.20*
nationality
New Zealand - 61 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Jackson started out as a zany genre director with a unique knack for over-the-top horror and comedy, but slowly turned into a run-of-the-mill blockbuster helmer. I love old Jackson, couldn't care less about his more recent work.

Rare treats

Braindead

1992 / 97m - New Zealand
Comedy, Horror
Braindead poster

This is one of the most fun-filled films I've ever seen, one of the few contenders to the current Japanese splatter wave and one of my all-time favorite horror flicks.

The good stuff

Meet the Feebles

1989 / 97m - New Zealand
Comedy, Musical, Music
4.0*/5.0*
Meet the Feebles poster

Solid pieces

The Lovely Bones

2009 / 135m - USA
Fantasy, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
The Lovely Bones poster

Forgotten Silver

1995 / 53m - New Zealand
Comedy
3.5*/5.0*
Forgotten Silver poster

Bad Taste

1987 / 91m - New Zealand
Comedy, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Bad Taste poster

Peter Jackson's first film has undoubtedly aged a lot, but the sheer joy and energy keeps it from slipping completely. There's a lot to love here and gore fans will have a field day with Bad Taste, it's just a bit tougher to love when you can grab Braindead and have everything this film has to offer, times two.

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Aliens have finally come to Earth. They've grown a taste for human meat, and they're setting up a little manufacturing plant before they get on with conquering our planet. A bunch of ragtag alien hunters are onto them and drive to Kaihoro, the village where the creatures are holed up.

The gore is insane, the performances are fun, the comedy hits the mark and the pacing is perfect. It's been ages since I last watched Bad Taste, but a lot of it was still fresh. Still, the execution is really bare-bones and even though Jackson's talent overcomes some budgetary limitations, it's just not quite a personal favorite anymore. Great fun though.

The inoffensive

The Frighteners

1996 / 110m - USA
Comedy, Horror
3.0*/5.0*
The Frighteners poster

Heavenly Creatures

1994 / 99m - New Zealand
Drama, Thriller, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
Heavenly Creatures poster

Worthy but flawed

King Kong

2005 / 187m - USA
Action, Adventure
2.5*/5.0*
King Kong poster

Dubious filler

They Shall Not Grow Old

2018 / 99m - UK
Documentary, War
2.0*/5.0*
They Shall Not Grow Old poster

In a rather interesting twist, Peter Jackson (the man best known for either his shlocky horror or huge blockbusters films) turned in a documentary focusing on World War I. There have been hundreds of those already and it's fair to wonder where the added value of this documentary lies, but it wouldn't be Jackson without a trick or two up his sleeve.

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The big sell here is the restored footage. We're so used to seeing crummy, sped up black and white footage of the past that it's almost a shock to see real, historical footage in full color and without all the jittery decay. It's a nice reminder that our history was actually in color instead of grainy black and white.

While this restored footage is impressive, it's not there for the entire runtime and the rest of the documentary is made up of personal recollections on top of regular black and while historic recordings. While impressive in its own right, I've heard these stories so many times before that they do feel somewhat superfluous. This would've been better if it was half the length.

Big nopes

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

2013 / 161m - New Zealand
Fantasy, Adventure
1.0*/5.0*
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

Irritation overload

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

2014 / 144m - New Zealand
Fantasy, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

2012 / 169m - New Zealand
Fantasy, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey poster

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2003 / 201m - New Zealand
Fantasy, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King poster

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

2002 / 179m - New Zealand
Fantasy, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers poster

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

2001 / 178m - New Zealand
Fantasy, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring poster