Oscar-winner Peter Jackson has a filmography that’s much more than hobbits and orcs. Here are 10 of the filmmaker's films that you have to see.
Bad Taste (1987)
Jackson’s first full-length feature, this gorefest tells the story of a town invaded by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain. The movie is as inventive as it is graphic, firmly establishing Jackson's unique sensibilities as a storyteller.
Meet the Feebles (1989)
In his follow-up to ‘Bad Taste,’ Jackson created a film that advertised having “no taste at all!” Mission accomplished. The whacked-out adventures of the film’s all-puppet cast have to be seen to be believed.
King Kong (2005)
Despite a running time of over three hours, Jackson's ‘Kong’ managed to update the classic with tons of modern CG-centric set pieces, while mainting the original's emotional core. The film wasn't quite the box office smash Universal hoped for, but it was successful enough to inspire a state-of-the-art theme park attraction. (More on that later...)
Dead Alive (1992)
Another cult-classic from early in Jackson’s career, this gory black comedy features rat monkeys, zombie mothers, and outlandish gore -- not to mention a strategically-wielded lawnmower. (Perfect date movie, right?)
King Kong 360 3-D (2010)
Jackson throws us right into the center of the action in this one-of-a-kind 3D experience, shown exclusively at Universal Studios Hollywood. The ride plays out, intentionally, like a short film, depicting Kong battling with a few dinosaurs -- all projected on massive screens that surround a Studio Tour tram full of glad-they-came tourists.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Going back to where it all began clearly worked well for Jackson and the franchise -- the film took in over a billion dollars worldwide, making it one of the top grossing fantasy films of all time. This time, 'LOTR' fans follow Bilbo Baggins through Middle-earth, on an adventure that includes some of Jackson's most inspired and inventive action scenes yet. This would carryover in the the film's sequel, 'The Desolation of Smaug.'
The Frighteners (1997)
This supernatural dark comedy was originally planned to be part of the ‘Tales from the Crypt’ film series, but producer Robert Zemeckis liked Jackson’s script so much he decided the writer-director should make it into its own stand-alone feature. The underrated film centers on Michael J. Fox's character, a man who can communicate with the dead.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Jackson took home a trio of Oscars for his work on the third installment in the ‘LOTR’ franchise -- Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay -- concluding one of the most successful and engaging film trilogies Hollywood has ever made.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Directing Kate Winslet in her feature film debut, Jackson seamlessly blends elements of drama, science fiction, and romance to tell this true-life tale of obsessive relationships and shocking brutality. The film cemented the director’s status as a gripping storyteller, and also earned him his first Academy Award Nomination for Original Screenplay.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
It took a few decades to get there, but once J.R.R. Tolkien's ‘LOTR’ books finally made their way to theaters, they did so in a big way -- courtesy of Peter Jackson's sure-handed direction. Each film in the franchise is spectacular for sure, but it’s the beginning of Frodo's odyssey that holds a special place in the hearts of audiences.
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