Peter Jackson (New Zealand, 1961)
debuted with the gruesome and faarcical horror sci-fi comedy Bad Taste (1987), whose comical ending mocks Kubrick's Dr Strangelove.
We hear a man desperately reporting an alien invasion and calling for help on the phone. It is a recording
of his phone call, played at home by a sinister man. The man plays it to
a minister, who orders him to mobilize the army, but the man thinks it over
and decides that it's a job for "real men" and presses a button on his desk.
The film shifts to a countryside location where a man named Barry, who is talking on a walkie talkie to a partner, is being followed by a zombie armed with an axe.
Barry has to shoot the zombie in the face to stop him.
The camera moves to the top of a hill where his partner is watching
the action with binoculars.
Barry reports that the whole town of Kaihoro is dead.
The other man, Derek, remarks that these aliens are psychopaths.
Barry finds charity envelops on all doors and warns Derek that a charity collector might be
on his way to collect.
Barry is attacked by several zombies but manages to escape, although losing
his walkie talkie.
Barry communicates what has happened to two partners who are on their way,
Frank and Ozzy, and we learn that they are all members of
the Astro Investigation and Defence Service (AIDS).
Derek is holding a prisoner, a live zombie, and wants to torture him to learn
why the aliens invaded Earth.
Barry barricades himself inside a shack. The five zombies that are chasing him
try to break the door by using one of them as a battering ram.
The tortured alien emits a loud scream and these zombies leave the shack and
run to help him, armed with whatever tool they could find.
Derek kills the five (who are rather inept) but the tortured zombie frees himself and attacks him causing him to roll down from a steep cliff and crash on a rock.
When Barry arrives, he concludes that Derek is dead.
The charity collector, Giles, reaches the town and picks up the envelops left
on the front doors by the good citizens of the town.
He steps on the carcass of a human being and then finds the zombie eating
from the skull. The collector runs to his car but the engine won't start
and one of the windows is defective and can't be closed.
The zombie manages to stick his hand inside but the collector finally
gets the car to start and drives away, still chased by the zombie on foot.
The collector stops when he sees a home but the man who opens the door is a zombie who knocks him out with a hammer.
Barry sees the scene with binoculars and asks Frank and Ozzy for help.
They all converge to the house where the collector is about to be eaten alive
by a group of zombies.
An older zombie, and the only one who speaks English, Lord Crumb, informs him that human flesh is an exotic new flavor for them.
Meanwhile, Derek wakes up, alive: his fall was muffled by a bird nest.
The back of his head is open though and pieces of his brains are spread all over the rocks. He stuffs back in what he can and then bandages his skull with his top hat.
Frank and Ozzy find Barry and enter the house while Lord Crumb is giving a speech to a crowd of zombies, telling them that they are close to success.
Frank, Ozzy and Barry find a room full of boxes that contain bleeding human flesh.
They overhear Lord Crumb in the next room saying that the boxes contain the entire town's population, ready for consumption on the alien planet.
Frank mingles with the audience and learns that Lord Crumb is an entrepreneur
who plans to launch a new delicious variety of meat, human meat, and plans to
use the entire human population of the Earth to expand his business across
While Lord Crumb and the alien zombies dine on vomit,
the human trio frees Giles and then goes on a shooting rampage killing scores of zombies.
Derek finally reaches the zombie area but his head is still leaking brain, causing his body
to shake uncontrollably. He even steps on his own leaked brain parts.
Lord Crumb and the zombies resume their original chimp-like appearance (instead of the human one) and chase the five (Frank, Ozzy, Derek, Barry and Giles).
Frank and Ozzy shoot rockets at the house where Lord Crumb is hiding.
Derek joins them brandishing his chainsaw and
steals the brain of an alien that he has killed with a chainsaw.
Frank, Ozzy and Derek leave the house after killing many aliens, but Lord Crumb is still alive and shoots at them wounding Ozzy.
Lord Crumb manages to knock out Derek and activate the spaceship hiding under
He takes off with Derek on board, but Derek still has his chainsaw and kills Lord Crumb literally disembodying him.
Derek then wears Lord Crumb's skin and, laughing hysterically, heads towards the alien planet determined to kill more aliens with his chainsaw.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Frank and Ozzy find Barry and Giles hitchhiking in the
middle of nowhere and give them a ride.
Meet the Feebles (1989)
is a musical.
The zombie comedy Dead Alive/Braindead (1993) hopefully
was intended as a parody, because it's an incredibly silly movie.
In 1957 an explorer captures a rare monkey in an exotic jungle and has to flee when the natives
get angry. While his crew is transporting it, he gets bitten by the monkey.
His superstitious crew is convinced that he will now turn into a monster and
therefore cut him in little pieces.
The monkey ends up in the zoo of a peaceful New Zealand town.
Paquita runs a shop for her father and is dreaming of the man of her life.
Her granma can read the future and one day the clumsy and awkward Lionel
matches granma's prophecy, so she becomes aggressive. They spend a day at
the zoo and witness a savage monkey eat raw meat.
It turns out that Lionel's mother, jealous that Lionel is seeing a girl,
has been following them and, while hiding from them, she gets bitten by that
Lionel and his mother live in a huge mansion. Lionel is shy and insecure,
the consequence of being dictated what to do every day by his mother.
Lionel also has nightmares about his father, who drowned to save his life,
but, mysteriously, in his nightmares there is also a woman drowning.
Paquita is still aggressive and that very night she climbs to his room so
they kiss and have sex. The following morning Lionel cleans her mother's
wound and notices that it has gotten much worse. She however refuses to see
a doctor. She is expecting the visit of two important people and refuses to
postpone the appointment, despite the fact that her condition is worsening
by the minute. While putting make up on her face, she tears a whole piece
of her face (Lionel simply puts it back in place with some glue).
Over dinner Lionel's mother is disgusting. She spills blood in the dessert
and even eats her own ears when it falls in her plate.
When they leave, Paquita comes to visit with her dog. Lionel's mother eats
the dog alive. She then tries to bite Paquita, but Lionel fights with her
and rolls down the stairs with her. This time Lionel disobeys her mom and
calls a nurse. The nurse pronounces her dead but... the dead resurrects and
bites the nurse to death, severing her head. The mother is now a zombie of
incredible strength. Luckily for him his mother and the nurse (who too revives
as a decapitated zombie) fight each other and so he has a chance to lock
them in the basement. Paquita has not seen any of this and Lionel simply
tells her that an ambulance took her mom away.
Lionel gets some tranquillizer and uses a syringe to inject it into the
bodies of his mother and the nurse.
Meanwhile, his mother escapes from the basement and limps around town until
she reaches Paquita's shop, where Lionel is. She is hit by a tram and thrown
through the window of the shop. Everybody thinks that she is dead but at
the funeral Lionel gets into a fight with her when she tries to get out of
the coffin and prevails only by sedating her with the tranquillizer.
Aware that she is not really dead, at night he returns to the graveyard to
dig up the corpse. Four drunk hoodlums see him and attack him, mistaking him
for a pervert. His mother rises from the grave and bites them, turning each of
them into a zombie. Lionel runs for his life and is saved by the priest who turns
out to be a kungfu master. However even the priest is eventually bitten and turns into a zombie himself. Somehow Lionel manages to take all of them to his
house and lock them in the basement.
Lionel now hides from Paquita and pretends not to be in love with her anymore
because he doesn't want to involve her.
His uncle is after his inheritance. When he discovers the sedated bodies in
the basement of the house, he blackmails Lionel and demands that Lionel
surrenders the inheritance. Back home Lionel is surprised to find that
the nurse, after having sex with the priest, has given birth to a baby.
The baby is a monster himself. Lionel comically takes him in a stroller to
the park but has to use violence to restrain the baby who otherwise would
bite the other children. His uncle throws a party in the mansion and dozens
of people show up, including Paquita. Paquita finds the zombies in the basement
and Lionel saves her at the last second. Now he to explain what happened.
She tells him that he must kill them. He injects them with poison.
Lionel then has an argument with his uncle and his uncle locks him in
the basement. Lionel realizes that the bottle was mislabeled: it is not
poison but is an animal stimulant: the zombies revive with double energy.
Meanwhile his uncle is trying to rape Paquita. The zombies escape and start
dismembering the guests, each of which becomes a ravenous zombies.
The uncle jumps from a window and fights zombies in the gardens while,
chased from every side, Lionel zizags in a sea of blood and
Paquita hides in a closet. Hiding in the attic, Lionel finds a trunk where
his mother hid pictures of his father with a lover and a skeleton: Lionel
realizes that his mother always lied to him and in reality she killed her
father and the lover drowning them in the bathtub.
Meanwhile, Paquita tries in vain to kill the baby in a blender and the uncle uses a hatchet to dismember dozens of zombies.
Lionel's mother erupts from underground in the form of a King Kong-kind of monster and kills Lionel's uncle.
Lionel is using a lawnmower to mow down the zombies inside the mansion.
He dismembers all of them until the floor is a sea of blood and flesh
while Paquita disposes of heads and arms in the kitchen blender.
The King Kong-size mother chases Lionel and Paquita, the only survivors, on
the roof. Lionel is initially swallowed by the mother but then cuts his way out of her body.
Lionel saves Paquita who is about to fall from the roof while the mother
in the flames that are destroying the house.
Covered in blood they kiss while the fire brigade arrives.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
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Heavenly Creatures (1994)
In una tranquilla cittadina di provincia negli anni Cinquanta una nuova ragazza,
Juliet, arriva in un collegio retto in maniera ferrea dalle istitutrici.
Il suo spirito selvaggio e orgoglioso attira la simpatia della scontrosa Yvonne, detta Pauline.
Entrambe scoprono di avere in comune un'infanzia di malattie.
Passano gran parte del tempo insieme.
Creano insieme un mondo immaginario sulla falsariga della nobilta` britannnica.
Durante una scampagnata in bicicletta
si spogliano e danzano nel bosco, e si baciano.
Entrambe sono appassionate di opera e invaghite di un tenore italiano, e una
notte imbastiscono nel bosco un altare di candele per lui.
Le loro famiglie non potrebbero essere piu` diverse, ricca e aristocratica
quella di Juliet, povera e piccoloborghese quella di Pauline.
Yvonne si vergogna della sua famiglia, e infatti la sua famiglia e` imbarazzata
quando l'esuberante Juliet va a trovarli e le inonda delle sue storie
della vita aristocratica, In realta`, la vita di Juliet e` tutt'altro che
felice, perche' i genitori la trascurano.
Sulla spiaggia costruiscono un castello di sabbia e immaginano la vita
della loro nobilta` immaginaria.
Poco dopo Juliet scopre, quasi per caso, che i genitori stanno per partire
per l'Inghilterra e lasciarla sola per l'estate. Paulette la trova che piange
sola nei campi. E dal loro abbraccio ha origine un miracolo: il loro
mondo immaginario si realizza.
Scoprono di avere il potere di penetrare un quarto mondo di assoluta
Tornate nel mondo reale, le due ragazze riprendono il loro
gioco: Paulette (impersona il nobile Charles) aiuta Juliet (impersona sua moglie)
a partorire. Juliette porta la parodia della famiglia reale britannica in
auta, ma viene redarguita dall'insegnante. Lo scherzo si tramuta in tragedia
perche' Juliet comincia a tossire, e si scopre che
ha la tubercolosi. I genitori la lasciano in ospedale e vanno in
vacanza in Inghilterra. Pauline non la puo` neppure visitare perche' e` contagiosa.
Cosi` le scrive lettere, scritte come se fosse Charles, e trasferendo gli
eventi reali nel loro mondo immaginario.
Il prete dell'ospedale, invece, la terrorizza facendole presente la
gravita` della tubercolosi. E Juliet immagina che Charles lo uccida.
Finalmente viene consentito a Paulette di visitare Juliet. Juliet tiene
le lettere dei genitori sul comodino senza aprirle.
Nottetempo, Yvonne/Pauline si vede entrare in camera da letto Nicholas,
un giovane che affitta una camera dai suoi genitori, il quale si infila
nel suo letto con la scusa di riscaldarsi i piedi;
e, prima che capisca cosa vuole da lei, il padre li sorprende.
I genitori sono delusi e affranti. Lei si getta cosi` davvero fra le
braccia di Nicholas. Non e` un'esperienza piacevole.
Juliette viene dimessa dall'ospedale, e Paulette ha occhi solo per lei,
e ignora completamente Nicholas che la rincorre per urlarle il suo amore.
Il padre di Juliette sospetta allora che Yvonne/Pauline sia innamorata
morbosamente di Juliette, e convince i genitori di Pauline
a farla visitare da uno psichiatra, un idiota che diagnostica omosessualita`.
Yvonne/Pauline matura cosi` un crescente odio verso tutti,
in particolare la madre. Passa gran parte del tempo chiusa in bagno.
Juliette intanto scopre la madre a letto con uno dei suoi clienti.
E la madre le
rivela che il padre sa, e ha accettato il menage a trois. Juliette, disgustata,
le grida che vuole andarsene di casa.
Il padre le comunica che hanno deciso di divorziare.
Sembra che il padre sia comprensivo del bisogno delle due ragazze di stare
Invece il padre ha deciso di trasferirsi in Inghilterra e portare con se`
Juliette, precisamente per allontanarla da Pauline.
Le ragazze si disperano, e il loro odio per i genitori aumenta.
Le "creature paradisiache" stanno progressivamente diventando dei demoni.
Finiscono per fare l'amore, dopo essersi eccitate immaginando un thriller
alla Orson Welles (un attore che odiano). Questa volta Pauline gode
in maniera estatica, a differenza della freddezza che aveva provato per
Facendo il bagno insieme,
cominciano a parlare di uccidere i genitori.
Pauline ha gia` deciso come eliminare la madre. La portano in un giardino
e poi Pauline la massacra a mattonate, sotto lo sguardo terrificato
Si torna alla scena straziante della partenza:
Juliette che piange, trattenuta dal padre, e invoca Yvonne, a sua volta
After the mockumentary Forgotten Silver (1995),
came another horror comedy, The Frighteners (1996), a much more
Jackson became famous ("famous" for massively bloated and budgeted projects) with the adaptation of Tolkien's fantasy epic
"The Lord Of The Rings":
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001),
The Two Towers (2002) and
the 201-minute The Return of the King (2003).
After a lame remake of Schoedsack's King Kong, and after
The Lovely Bones (2009), which is a lame adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel,
he returned to Tolkien with the "Hobbit" trilogy:
An Unexpected Journey (2012),
The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and
The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
After the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)
Jackson produced the mediocre sci-fi movie
Mortal Engines (2018), from Philip Reeve's novel, directed by his
assistant Christian Rivers.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
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