The Director & Actors
3.1.1 Peter Jackson
What were Peter Jackson's previous movies?
(1) "Bad Taste" (1987). A simple tale of prospectors for an alien fast food company, seeking new product: humans. Up against them, the boys from the Alien Investigation and Defence Service whose task is the defence of the earth (and the moon). The boys have to rescue a captured phony priest, with the help of some Stirling sub-machine guns, some pistols ("my turn with the magnum"), an RPG-7 and a chainsaw. [mcw]
(2) "Meet The Feebles" (1989). A sordid tale of greed, violence, drugs, sex, and soft toys. A puppet show prepares for its live television debut but the tensions within the troupe are about to explode in an orgy of violence. Features a hippopotamus running amok with an M-60 machine gun. [mcw]
(3) "Braindead" (aka "Dead Alive") (1992). A simple tale of boy meets girl, mother doesn't approve, follows them, gets bitten by a vampire monkey and before you know it, ZOMBIES. Which all have to be killed by the hero with a lawn mower strapped to his chest. [mcw] [note: Beware of excessively-censored versions of this film on video. jp (passing on the warning of many Braindead fans)].
How were they received?
[jm] "BORN TO BE BAD (TASTE).
Horror Movie Takes NZ Film Down New Path"
Wellington, Sept 15,  REUTER - A new blood-and-guts horror movie, "Braindead," scorns New Zealand tradition of art films by making even the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" seem like a fairytale. "If you thought the '50s was all bobby-sox and innocence you didn't live next door to Lionel," the film's publicity material proclaims. Set in Wellington, "Braindead" is about 25-year-old Lionel Cosgrove, whose life goes off the rails... But far from clutching the sides of their seats in terror, the audience at the premiere were rolling in the aisles with laughter. Director Peter Jackson insists the film is a comedy.
3.1.2 The actors
Are some actors in the credits but not the film?
[jp,lfr,mk] Yes. An early version of the script [lfr] contains several scenes that do not appear in the NAm version of the film. The running time of the film at it's premiere was ten minutes longer than the running time in the NAm version [lfr]. Many of the extra scenes in the early script were obviously filmed and shown at the premiere as part of the film, but were subsequently edited out before wide international release. The characters in those scenes are still listed in the film's credits. See 5.1 for the complete credit crawl.
Who were the newcomers?
[jp] The title characters were both played by newcomers. This was the first feature film for Melanie Lynskey (Pauline) and Kate Winslet (Juliet). See section 5.3 for more information on members of the cast.