2 user 2 critic

Jack Brown Genius (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | 1994 (New Zealand)
A thousand years ago, in England, the crazy monk Elmer wears a pair of wings and tries to fly from a high tower. He dies, and his soul is doomed to the eternity in hell for committing ... See full summary »


Tony Hiles
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Forgotten Silver (TV Movie 1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The film deals with the career of a supposedly forgotten pioneer of international cinema, Colin McKenzie, who was allegedly born in rural New Zealand in 1888.

Directors: Costa Botes, Peter Jackson
Stars: Peter Jackson, Jeffrey Thomas, Costa Botes
Drama | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

River runs the one-man operation of Tranquility Records, recording animal sounds near his house and making music from them. The only neighboring house is for sale, and noisy Ted buys it and moves in, creating trouble for River.

Director: George Port
Stars: Danny Mulheron, Murray Keane
Comedy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Multiple animals and insects experience the sleazier side of show business while working on a variety show.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Danny Mulheron, Donna Akersten, Stuart Devenie
Bad Taste (1987)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Terry Potter, Pete O'Herne, Craig Smith
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three.

Director: Amy Berg
Stars: Jason Baldwin, Damien Wayne Echols, Jessie Misskelley
Dead Alive (1992)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a tragic car accident that kills his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. However, when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two teenage girls share a unique bond; their parents, concerned that the friendship is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A workman gets some unexpected help from two people of vastly different sizes.

Director: Sean Astin
Stars: Andrew Lesnie, Praphaphorn 'Fon' Chansantor, Paul Randall
Short | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

What the "spider-pit" sequence from the original King Kong (1933) probably looked like (the original sequence was cut out of the original movie because it was deemed "too gruesome" and was subsequently lost).

Director: Peter Jackson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Robert Zemeckis, Jim Fyfe, Trini Alvarado
Short | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two young soldiers prepare for battle during World War I.

Directors: Peter Jackson, Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Kyle Ashley, Rocky Curby, Calum Gittins


Cast overview:
Timothy Balme ... Jack Brown
Nicola Murphy Nicola Murphy ... Eileen
Marton Csokas ... Dennis
Stuart Devenie ... Elmer
Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell ... Boss (as Edward Campbell)
Lisa Chappell ... Sylvia


A thousand years ago, in England, the crazy monk Elmer wears a pair of wings and tries to fly from a high tower. He dies, and his soul is doomed to the eternity in hell for committing suicide. In the present days, in New Zeland, Elmer has the last chance to prove that men can fly and save his soul: his spirit enters in the brain of a very intelligent inventor, Jack Brown, and forces him to try to fly. Jack uses his last creation, an amplifier in a tape record, to succeed in the journey, but his invention is strongly desired by his former boss and his lover, who want to sell it to a Chinese investor. Jack's girlfriend helps him to accomplish his intent. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content, partial nudity and some violence | See all certifications »



New Zealand



Release Date:

1994 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Überflieger See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

Company Credits

Production Co:

WingNut Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Martin Csokas, who plays Dennis, moved on to play Celeborn in Peter Jackson's legendary Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers See more »


No Ordinary Life
Written & Composed by Steve Roche
Performed by The Brainchilds
Published by Mana Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

14 July 2002 | by apteryx-1See all my reviews

This movie reunites Peter Jackson (not as director, but as co scriptwriter, and also credited as 2nd unit director) with Lionel from `Braindead' (Timothy Balme in the title role here), and has Jackson's special effects company Weta providing the effects here. Can't be bad, huh?

Well, not so fast..

One critic actually suggested that this might be the worst New Zealand movie ever made. In doing so, he exposed his lack of familiarity with many early '80s NZ movies, in the era when if a NZ movie was too good, it risked making a profit, thus destroying the tax losses its investors hoped to gain. But this is not a movie for film critics. In fact, critical faculties of any kind are best checked at the door when approaching it.

The story involves the spirit of a 10th century monk named Elmer who died in a failed attempt to fly, and who now stands to be damned eternally for suicide unless he can prove within 1000 years that unpowered manned flight is possible (his is a God who believes in results rather than intentions). He inhabits the `brain-pan' of the title character, who has invented a `power amplifier' that amplifies any force input to it. They realise that this might allow a man to fly.

But can Jack accomplish this and save Elmer's soul before his invention is taken from him by his employer who sees only the financial gain of a quick sale of the device, or by the campy villainess, who also quite likes finance?

It is certainly possible to enjoy this movie. But you do have to be in the right mood, and to work with it, rather than sitting back and waiting for it to entertain you.

I'm not sure of the nature of Peter Jackson's involvement with this movie. I don't know whether Jackson and partner Frances Walsh essentially wrote it intending Jackson to direct it, but passed it on to friend Tony Hiles to direct when Jackson became too involved in other projects. Or whether Jackson just lent his friend a helping hand on a film that was always largely Hiles's own. The film does have something of the humour and amateur enthusiasm of the early Peter Jackson movies (but -one scene excepted - without the gore). It would have been interesting to see what Jackson might have made of it if he had directed.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed