Peter Jackson may be more well-known now for his epic Lord of the Rings films, but he started his career creating ultra-gory schlock horror. Films like Dead Alive and Bad Taste, loaded with bloody practical effects and a wicked sense of humor. As of now, the only versions of these films available to the general public are not exactly what you’d call “high definition.” The quality is spotty, degrading all the bright red blood Jackson worked so hard to splash up on the screen. But there’s hope in sight. Jackson himself has revealed he’s working on new Bad Taste and Dead Alive 4K restorations, hinting that new Blu-rays might be on the way.
Peter Jackson is big into film restoration these days. The filmmaker recently colorized and restored 100 hours of World War I footage for the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. But if a World War I documentary doesn’t interest you, and you’d rather see torrents of fake blood, here’s some good news. Jackson is also working on a restoration of his older films Bad Taste and Dead Alive. The filmmaker told Empire’s Film Podcast (via Bloody Disgusting) about the effort to create new, hi-def versions of his older horror films:
“Anything from those films that is available is, like, 1990s Telecine things, which is the best that we had… compared now, they look bloody awful,” Jackson told the podcast. “I just haven’t re-released them because, if I do, I want them to look really good. We’ve actually done some experiments. They look bloody fantastic. They look like they’re shot on 35mm.”
“So yeah, what we’ll do now is.. get really nice 4K copies of these fully restored and back out into circulation again,” Jackson added.
The filmmaker also said his dirty puppet movie Meet the Feebles will be restored as well. Jackson doesn’t say when and where we’ll get to see these new restorations, but this sure sounds like new 4K Blu-ray releases will arrive sometime in the near future.
Bad Taste is Jackson’s first feature film. Released in 1987, it involves aliens turning humans into burgers. It’s a silly, funny, ultra-low budget movie that is about as far removed from Lord of the Rings as one can get.
Dead Alive, which was originally called Braindead, was released in 1992, and tells the story of a small town’s population being turned into zombies due to a bite from a rabid rat-monkey. It’s insanely gory, complete with multiple lawnmower deaths.
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