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Heavenly Creatures [VHS] [1995]


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Product details

  • Actors: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Writers: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh
  • Producers: Peter Jackson, Bridget Bourke, Hanno Huth, Jim Booth
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: 13 May 1996
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CQYW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,633 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey star in Peter Jackson's fantasy crime drama based on real events that took place in the 1950s. Dowdy teenager Pauline Parker (Lynskey)'s mundane existence in a New Zealand backwater is enlivened by the arrival of Juliet Hulme (Winslet), a sophisticated, precocious English girl. They create a fantasy world for themselves, but, as their relationship becomes an unnaturally close one, they begin to lay plans for a real-life murder.

From Amazon.co.uk

A starkly original film-going experience based on a true-life story, this film from New Zealand director Peter Jackson (Braindead, The Frighteners) is a stirring drama that offers up the unexpected. The story concerns two girls, outcasts who become best friends, whose bizarre fantasy life becomes more intense as their bond becomes increasingly more obsessive. When the mother of one of the girls tries to intervene and split the girls apart, they kill her and stand trial for murder in what is still to this day a celebrated and controversial case. Kate Winslet (Titanic) and Melanie Lynskey create two sympathetic and yet uncomfortably eerie characters, in riveting portrayals. Featuring some startling and unique moments of visual brilliance as well as a disturbing love story between the two girls, Heavenly Creatures is at once both unsettling and beautiful to behold. --Robert Lane

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 11 Dec 2003
Format: DVD
For those who wondered how the director of "Bad Taste" and "Brain Dead" got to direct "The Lord of the Rings," this 1994 film from director Peter Jackson supplies the answer. In 1954 two teenage girls brutally murdered one of the their mothers in what must be the most sensational murder in New Zealand history. "Heavenly Creatures" tells the strange story of these two girls and their unique relationship. If you think this is just a reality based splatter flick, then you are going to be much more than surprised and impressed by what Jackson has accomplished.
Pauline Rieper (Melanie Lynskey) is a simple and rather dull young girl who is totally dazzled when Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) enters her life. Juliet is impressed as well, because Pauline has a scar on her leg from an operation. Juliet declares that: "All the best people have had chest and bone disease! It's all frightfully romantic!" Eventually both the romance and the frightfullness of it all reaches a tragic conclusion. In their all consuming friendship Juliet and Pauline create a "Fourth World," better than heaven (because it has no Christians), inhabited by the clay figures they have fashioned to represents their friends and where the music of Mario Lanza, the greatest tenor on earth, is always in the air.
Jackson brings this fantasy world alive, which allows him to explore the pivotal theme of juxtaposition throughout the film. This comes into play most notably at the beginning and ending of "Heavenly Clouds." Jackson begins with a 1950s newsreel about Christchurch, New Zealand, which is interrupted by the appearance of the two screaming and bloodied girls, thereby symbolizing the way this sensational case shocked the nation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 May 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Director Peter Jackson, in time, may well become best known for his 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy- a generic departure to say the least from 'Bad Taste' (1987), 'Braindead' (1992), and this- 'Heavenly Creatures' (1994)- his film based on the true story of two girls' intense friendship in 1950s New Zealand that culminates in murder. The two leads, (here) both new to the screen- particularly Melanie Lynskey as Pauline Parker- are remarkable as the two teenagers whose lives are so frequently merely blurred versions of reality. Visually arresting. Psychologically, very, very, frightening. Compelling and brilliant.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 10 Mar 2005
Format: DVD
For those who wondered how the director of "Bad Taste" and "Brain Dead" got to direct "The Lord of the Rings," this 1994 film from director Peter Jackson supplies the answer. In 1954 two teenage girls brutally murdered one of the their mothers in what must be the most sensational murder in New Zealand history. "Heavenly Creatures" tells the strange story of these two girls and their unique relationship. If you think this is just a reality based splatter flick, then you are going to be much more than surprised and impressed by what Jackson has accomplished.
Pauline Rieper (Melanie Lynskey) is a simple and rather dull young girl who is totally dazzled when Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) enters her life. Juliet is impressed as well, because Pauline has a scar on her leg from an operation. Juliet declares that: "All the best people have had chest and bone disease! It's all frightfully romantic!" Eventually both the romance and the frightfullness of it all reaches a tragic conclusion. In their all consuming friendship Juliet and Pauline create a "Fourth World," better than heaven (because it has no Christians), inhabited by the clay figures they have fashioned to represents their friends and where the music of Mario Lanza, the greatest tenor on earth, is always in the air.
Jackson brings this fantasy world alive, which allows him to explore the pivotal theme of juxtaposition throughout the film. This comes into play most notably at the beginning and ending of "Heavenly Clouds." Jackson begins with a 1950s newsreel about Christchurch, New Zealand, which is interrupted by the appearance of the two screaming and bloodied girls, thereby symbolizing the way this sensational case shocked the nation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 April 2002
Format: VHS Tape
the only film to date that i have seen that is completly twisted and bizare to say the least, yet at the same time tells a deep story of love, friendship and commitment to each other,jam pack with emotions that will have you laughing,crying and absolutely cobsmacked all at the same time well worth watching just to see what i mean
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 April 2007
Format: DVD
"How can these heavenly creatures be real?" asks one of the characters in of "Heavenly Creatures," the exquisite and horrifying docudrama of a shocking, real-life murder. Famed director Peter Jackson uses spectacular special effects and great actors to show us how these heavenly creatures became monsters.

In 1952, Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) is a loner at her proper New Zealand school, until the day Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) arrives -- an intelligent, witty, daring girl who appeals to Pauline. Soon the two of them are nearly inseparable; even Juliet's four month stint in the hospital doesn't separate the girls through their letters and shared fantasies.

But soon their parents becomes concerned that their close friendship is "unhealthy." It is, just not in the way he thinks. The two girls' emotional attachment has turned incredibly intense: they barely think of anyone but each other, and the fantasy stories begin to seep into reality. Now Juliet is being sent to South Africa, and there is no telling when she will see Pauline again. Unless they do something about their parents so that they can stay together... such as murder.

Peter Jackson starts the movie by emphasizing what a beautiful, peaceful country (via a cheesy 1950s documentary) New Zealand is. But beauty is not everything -- fairy tales can become nightmares. Jackson doesn't just show the audience what the two girls did, but showed why they did it. Even then, he doesn't make excuses.

At first the movie seems almost whimsical, with fairy tale figures coming to life, beautiful woodlands, and hillsides transforming into blooming gardens. Nobody except Peter Jackson could have pulled off the idea of including living clay figurines or four-foot-wide butterflies.
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