It’s been a few years since director Peter Jackson has really revisited the long-promised remasters and Blu-ray releases of his earliest New Zealand-based films, which include the likes of Dead Alive, Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles. In a recent interview with Uproxx, though, the Get Back helmer confirmed that he is increasingly turning his attention in that direction, and that we could see 4K remastered versions of his profane early works—which hail from what he dubs his “naughty years”—within the next year.
This is great news for the Jackson hardcore fans, who have likely worn through their old DVD and VHS copies of infamous films like the seminal Dead Alive, aka Braindead. These early years of the man’s career, long before he would do the impossible by bringing the world of Middle Earth to cinemas via The Lord of the Rings, were marked by shockingly gory horror flicks, as well as lewd Muppet parody ‘ala Meet the Feebles. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter a few years ago, Jackson said he and his collaborators at the time were trying to offend as many audience members as they possibly could.
“Our only philosophy was that we were going to be as disgusting as we possibly could,” said Jackson at the time. “And we didn’t have any studio types on set or reading with us, because there was no script to read, really – we were just writing it as we went along.”
Jackson is reportedly now applying the same restorative processes toward the likes of Dead Alive that he already has to Beatles doc Get Back and the supremely impressive and colorized World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Work on the Disney+ Beatles film set Jackson and co. back a bit, but progress continues regardless.
“We’ve been held up a bit by doing this Beatles film, but we are trying to remaster all those early films,” Jackson said. “It would’ve been a little bit of a crappy quality for this, because all the DVDs that were out there were done back in the 1990s. So we are doing a remastering and whole digital 4K thing and it looks great. 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.”
When those films finally do arrive, a whole new generation of viewers will realize what the rest of us have known all along—behind his warm and fuzzy exterior, Peter Jackson possesses a delightfully demented mind.