When you hear the name Peter Jackson the first thoughts usually go The Lord of the Rings and all the close-up shots in King Kong. But what if I told you that that with The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was able to make a big budget fantasy films with one import element from his horror movie background, character creation. Horror movies are usually made or broken with how good their monster or creature is. Do you think John Carpenter’s The Thing would be the movie it is if it had a creature that looked like something from Sesame Street? Would Godzilla still be the king of monsters if he looked like Barney? Before we go into where Peter is we have to look at where he was. Peter Jackson first showed up on the radar with American moviegoers with his 1992 cult horror classic Dead Alive, although to really get an idea of Jackson’s hands-on beginnings, check out the one-two punch of Bad Taste (1987) and Meet the Feebles (1989). Jackson used a wide variety of practical effects creatures and the use of creative shots, from stop-motion to forced perspective, to make a bloody good time of a movie. And I’m not just punning when I say bloody – there is an action set piece with a character using a lawn mower to literally mow down zombies. That shot has been copied and reused multiple times in other movies and videos like Dead Rising. In 1996 Peter Jackson got a bigger budget and chance to use his creativity with groundbreaking special effects to bring us his US film debut, The Frighteners (my personal favorite Peter Jackson movie). In The Frighteners, Michael J Fox plays a man who can see ghosts and uses that ability to make a business for himself as an exorcism expert. Everything is going well until people in his town actually start dying and he and his ghost friends have to solve the mystery in a movie jam-packed with special effects that still hold up today. He began using CG to enhance his creatures in this film, particularly with Chi McBride and the late John Astin’s performances as ghosts. The hooded ghost hunting the town in The Frighteners looks like it could belong in the movies today. Jackson was able to take his experiences from these two horror movies and use them in the Lord of the Rings to make multi-million dollar movies with the sense of a horror movie. Jackson brought us creepy creatures like Uruk-hai army, goblins, and Ringwraiths! Oh my! These are examples of practical effects creatures, no computers just a lot of makeup and actors with great patience. Much like with Dead Alive, Jackson went the practical route to great visuals that will pass the test of time. You can’t tell me you weren’t creeped out when the Uruk-hai first show up. Creatures that represent the use of computer effects would be the cave troll and Andy Serkis’ Gollum. In a perfect world, Andy Serkis would have won an Oscar by now for his work doing computer-enhanced performances but when he is teamed with Peter Jackson he is at this best. Peter Jackson might be an Oscar-winning director, but he knows he got started in horror and he brings his creative juices from monster-building in his big blockbuster films. See larger image The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] The Fellowship of the Ring; A meek hobbit of the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron. The Two Towers: While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron’s new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. The Return of the King: Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. Peter Jackson directs these action adventure movies starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchet and more. This special edition of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy includes extended edition of the movies on 15 Blu-Ray discs. New From: $52.95 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.