Born on this day in 1961: Peter Jackson
The prolific New Zealand director, writer, and producer is best known for his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings but horror fans are better acquainted with his splatter films. His first, Bad Taste, was shot over several years, frequently on weekends to allow for his work schedule, and using many of his friends as actors. Meet the Feebles was next, an R-rated comedy with a cast made up entirely of Muppets (or whatever the non-copyright-infringing version of Muppets is). It features a troupe of these puppets trying to launch their own TV show, but follows adulterous affairs, pornographers, drugs, disease, and ends with a mass shooting.
The final film of Jackson’s “splatter phase” was Braindead (aka Dead Alive). A low-budget zombie film, Braindead is probably best remembered for an epic slaughter using a lawnmower, resulting in the hero being up to his eyeballs in blood and guts.
Jackson has a few other horror or horror-adjacent films on his resume. The Frighteners, his first Hollywood film, was a delightful horror-comedy, and King Kong, a remake of Jackson’s favorite film, the film that inspired him to be a filmmaker.