Long before Peter Jackson took us to the lands of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy or Skull Island for 2005’s King Kong, the filmmaker was an altogether more alternative director, making short, nasty horror films the likes of which the world of cinema had never seen.
Bad Taste, Braindead and Meet the Feebles kickstarted the director’s career in gory, disgusting style, making a name for himself in the industry where he would grow in prominence to make the likes of Heavenly Creatures, The Frighteners and more.
Though Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles are much-loved in the underground cult scene of horror cinema, it is Braindead that truly lasts the test of time. The 1992 film follows Lionel and his mother, Vera, who soon becomes a victim of the ‘Sumatran Rat Monkey’ and physically decays until she is reborn as a pulpy zombie, infecting the town around her. Possessing a homemade aesthetic of rubber props, thick exaggerated blood and theatrical performances, Peter Jackson’s film is a memorable horror showcase of spectacle.
For lovers of Peter Jackson’s early works, the director has surprised audiences with an update on the imminent arrival of 4K restorations of both Braindead and Bad Taste, with the promise of Meet the Feebles and Heavenly Creatures updates in the near future. “We are doing a remastering and whole digital 4K thing and it looks great,” the director told Uproxx, before adding, “But we’ve been trying to do all that in between Beatles stuff, and that’s been put on a shelf for a while. But, hopefully, within another year or so they’ll come out remastered”.
Having previously told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’ve done some tests on Braindead, where we took the 16mm negative and put it through our restoration pipeline — and shit, it looks fantastic!” it is clear that the director is passionate about his early films and is dedicated to restoring them to their 4K glory on the big screen.