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C'mon Hollywood: Get back to the gore, Peter Jackson!

Mar. 18, 2014by:

Sticking closely to shoe-string budgeted films and appropriately titled "splatstick" horror comedies, Peter Jackson wasn't exactly the biggest name being passed around the film community back in the day. It wasn't until he received recognition for his work on HEAVENLY CREATURES that he was able to break away from the cult director status he associated himself with and before long, he was on his way to directing one of the biggest and most influential film trilogies of all time.

Unfortunately, that initial spark I saw with his earlier work has fizzled out over the years and his newer material seems to be missing that special something. In actuality, I haven't thought any of his directorial efforts after the LOTR trilogy were all that great. KING KONG was overblown and miscast and THE LOVELY BONES was an uneven and sloppy adaptation and (while not the helmer) THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN totally bored me. Even the last two trips back to Middle Earth haven't been all that engaging, which totally sucks, since the original trilogy stands as one of my absolute favorites. All that may make me look a little pessimistic, but gone is that magic I felt watching his original, independent films (much less the grandiose powerhouse that is THE LORD OF THE RINGS).

Even with his early works like BAD TASTE and THE FRIGHTENERS, it's easy to see that one of the defining aspects to Jackson's filmmaking is his love for special effects, but lately, the computer generated effects in his films have gotten a little excessive. With KING KONG and the last two Hobbit films, the obvious use of green screens and computer-generated characters makes his movies feel a little too artificial. Obviously, I don't need a JURASSIC PARK style Smaug (but, f*ck, wouldn't that be awesome?) and there's nothing wrong when utilizing C.G.I. as a tool, but ever since THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, there's been more computer effects and less practical ones. C'mon, Peter! Wasn't George Lucasand his prequels warning enough? Complaints aside, I still feel that Jackson is a wickedly talented dude, but I think he should backtrack a bit by stepping away from the mega-budget productions for a little and returning to where he got his rise to fame: horror.

Anyone whos seen his underground masterpiece DEAD ALIVE (also known as BRAINDEAD) knows how creative Mr. Jackson is and his "do a lot with a little" work ethic is extremely obvious. The movie is one of the most excessively gory films ever made, but it's done with such gleeful disregard for anything (except for making us laugh and cringe, of course), it's hard to be unaffected by the charm of it all. One of the aspects that makes the movie so cool is how it uses puppets, stop motion animation and visual tricks as its special effects. Everything is done practically and that allotted for some of the most creative and amusingly over-the-top kills I've ever seen, even to this day. That kind of humor in a horror film is hard to pin down, but it's something that Jackson has mastered and with his access to money these days (the film cost only $3 million to make) I can't help but imagine the bloody possibilities.

As much as I'd like to see him direct something new, perhaps focusing his efforts on producing could be a good avenue for him to take, too. Hell, Peter Jackson produced DISTRICT 9, one of my favorite science fiction films and seeing him dip his hands in material like that again would be epic. Sticking to what Guillermo del Toro and Tim Burton do would be my preference, though. It seems like those two produce projects that cater to their own tastes and those situations allow for lesser-known directors to show off what they've got and get a lot of attention (Burton basically kickstarted Henry Selick's career after producing A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and helped bring the visually exciting 9 to theaters). Guillermo was the executive producer for MAMA and the beautiful horror film THE ORPHANAGE and while he wasn't necessarily the creative force behind these projects, he was able to get them off the ground and see theatrical releases. With Peter Jackson having been apart of fantasy, horror and science fiction, I'd love to see him be apart of a project in one of those categories. If he still won't let the fantasy angle go, maybe he could get behind something darker and more realistic. With the success of GAME OF THRONES, that's where the genre seems to be tonally right now, and seeing him produce something along those lines could be supremely badass.

So C'mon, Hollywood! Get Peter Jackson to return to horror. THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN is due this December and after that, Jackson won't have J.R.R. Tolkien's material to go back to again. With his sense of humor, creativity and obvious love for the craft, I want to see him do what he was doing before the monumental success of LOTR. Is it insane of me want this award winning filmmaker to return to gore-centric horror films? Yeah, probably, but next to Sam Raimi, I think Pete's the only guy that can bring us a madcap horror comedy that not only packs on the laughs, but the gore, too and thats something I think we could use a lot more of.

Extra Tidbit: What would you guys like to see Peter do after The Hobbit's all said and done? A sequel to District 9, perhaps?
Source: JoBlo

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6:44PM on 04/01/2014
I still think The Frighteners is his true underrated masterpiece.
I still think The Frighteners is his true underrated masterpiece.
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6:06PM on 03/18/2014
It'd be cool to see him go smaller and more disciplined, I'm tired of the bashing of King Kong and Hobbit. King Kong was fantastic, you can feel the love, care, and respect that went into remaking his favorite film. Calling it miscast makes me question why you're writing this wanting him to go back to weirder, experimental days when it sounds like you wanted Kyle Chandler to be Jack Driscall. And I love the Hobbit films. I read the books, I knew Hobbit would never be greater than LOTR because
It'd be cool to see him go smaller and more disciplined, I'm tired of the bashing of King Kong and Hobbit. King Kong was fantastic, you can feel the love, care, and respect that went into remaking his favorite film. Calling it miscast makes me question why you're writing this wanting him to go back to weirder, experimental days when it sounds like you wanted Kyle Chandler to be Jack Driscall. And I love the Hobbit films. I read the books, I knew Hobbit would never be greater than LOTR because the book wasn't no matter what the difference in lengths are in the books, so I've enjoyed them more than most knowing and expecting the difference.
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5:05PM on 03/18/2014
Got to be satirical here.
Yeah Jackson, leave the type of movies that have brought in billions and go back to making the ones that were lucky to make a million.
Unfortunately, right now he's in a position that every director dreams of. Where his movies can be a long as he wants and not a single frame will get cut if he does not want it to.
Actually lets let him loose to direct the next Muppet film.
Anyone remember Meet The Feebles?
Got to be satirical here.
Yeah Jackson, leave the type of movies that have brought in billions and go back to making the ones that were lucky to make a million.
Unfortunately, right now he's in a position that every director dreams of. Where his movies can be a long as he wants and not a single frame will get cut if he does not want it to.
Actually lets let him loose to direct the next Muppet film.
Anyone remember Meet The Feebles?
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+1
4:35PM on 03/18/2014

Agree for the most part. But...

...Jackson didn't direct "Tintin". Spielberg did.
And it wasn't that bad a movie anyway. Certainly not 'boring'
...Jackson didn't direct "Tintin". Spielberg did.
And it wasn't that bad a movie anyway. Certainly not 'boring'
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12:50PM on 03/18/2014
Agreed! King Kong was actually rather good for the most part, but Jackson's unwillingness to edit it down and restrain himself from over-indulgence led to an overly-long, terribly-paced, needlessly melodramatic depiction of a giant fictional ape.

The same can definitely be said for The Hobbit movies. Over-indulgent, no restraint, terribly-paced, action scenes that exist for the sake of action, rather than furthering the plot...he really hasn't made a good, quality film since the LotR ended.
Agreed! King Kong was actually rather good for the most part, but Jackson's unwillingness to edit it down and restrain himself from over-indulgence led to an overly-long, terribly-paced, needlessly melodramatic depiction of a giant fictional ape.

The same can definitely be said for The Hobbit movies. Over-indulgent, no restraint, terribly-paced, action scenes that exist for the sake of action, rather than furthering the plot...he really hasn't made a good, quality film since the LotR ended.

He needs to get back to his roots rather than trying to adapt the works of other, better artists. He really helped get the incredible District 9 going by producing it, so I'd love to see him tackle the sci-fi genre more. I can't wait for The Hobbit trilogy to be done with, so he can stay away from fantasy and get back to something he's still actually good at.
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11:45AM on 03/18/2014

Amusing To Me

I find this article fairly amusing, as the two "Hobbit" movies have that gonzo, go for broke, madcap humor you are longing for, and of which was severely lacking in the "LOTR" trilogy; personally, I enjoy "LOTR" but they are all just good. The "Hobbit" movies are far more what I wanted from a Jackson helmed fantasy adventure.

As for his other later output- while too long, "King Kong" is an enjoyable and really serves as that the kind of adventure film rarely made nowadays.

I know I am
I find this article fairly amusing, as the two "Hobbit" movies have that gonzo, go for broke, madcap humor you are longing for, and of which was severely lacking in the "LOTR" trilogy; personally, I enjoy "LOTR" but they are all just good. The "Hobbit" movies are far more what I wanted from a Jackson helmed fantasy adventure.

As for his other later output- while too long, "King Kong" is an enjoyable and really serves as that the kind of adventure film rarely made nowadays.

I know I am fairly alone here, but "The Lovely Bones" was interesting and intense.

As for "Tintin", I think it's one of the best adaptations made so far.
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10:56AM on 03/18/2014
I thought he did a great job with King Kong and The Lovely Bones is a very misunderstood film in my opinion. I've enjoyed both Hobbit films (not as much as LOTR), but the films are mostly better then anything else that comes out these days.
I thought he did a great job with King Kong and The Lovely Bones is a very misunderstood film in my opinion. I've enjoyed both Hobbit films (not as much as LOTR), but the films are mostly better then anything else that comes out these days.
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11:16AM on 03/18/2014
I think you are misunderstoon.
I think you are misunderstoon.
11:30AM on 03/18/2014
Is this going to be an ongoing thing? I post something and you desperately try to come back all witty and superior.

Grow up already. Your schtick is getting old.
Is this going to be an ongoing thing? I post something and you desperately try to come back all witty and superior.

Grow up already. Your schtick is getting old.
11:36AM on 03/18/2014
Dude the MFC's need to shit on you has been getting ridiculous.
Dude the MFC's need to shit on you has been getting ridiculous.
2:24PM on 03/18/2014
Don't let the Kickboxer get you down, Soloist!
Don't let the Kickboxer get you down, Soloist!
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