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I Like to Watch (Instantly): Heavenly Creatures, Dead Alive

Notable Peter Jackson titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world

Heavenly Creatures
Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Directed by Peter Jackson

Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison, Simon O'Connor, Jed Brophy, Peter Elliott, Gilbert Goldie, Geoffrey Heath, Kirsti Ferry, Ben Skjellerup, Darien Takle, Elizabeth Moody, Liz Mullane, Moreen Eason, P

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson directs this bold tale about two girls' obsessive friendship. When introvert schoolgirl Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) meets the beautiful and self-confident Juliet (Kate Winslet, in her big-screen debut), the two form a deep emotional relationship— so deep, their parents plot a plan to separate them. Juliet's father will send her to South Africa "for the good of her health," and Pauline's folks won't let her come. Pauline needs to counteract, and soon, she knows just what to do: kill her mother. Set in the 1950s, the film exudes a creepy yet classy feel that makes the story seem so unbelievably real. The homosexual implications add a gripping touch, and may have possibly gotten it nominated for an Oscar in 1995.

Dead Alive
Dead Alive

Dead Alive (1992)

Directed by Peter Jackson

Cast: Timothy Balme, Elizabeth Moody, Diana Penalver, Ian Watkin

One of visual connoisseur Peter Jackson's earliest and best works, Dead Alive tells the love story of mama's boy Lionel (Timothy Balme) and girl-next-door Paquita (Diana Peñalver). The film's plot would be cliché if not for Lionel's mother getting bitten by a Sumatran red-monkey and transforming into a cannibalistic and contagious zombie. Now, Lionel must try hard to stop the approaching zombie epidemic while taking care of his love life. Dead Alive features over-the-top effects, comic music and, um, a high-kicking priest, making it one of the goriest, most gruesome, most disgusting comedies ever made.