Ward-Lealand looks forward to ‘re-premiere’ of remastered Kiwi cult classic — 24 years on.

Kiwi cult classic Desperate Remedies is hitting screens again for one night only, 24 years after its cinematic debut.

The colonial love story has been fully restored and remastered, and it will enjoy a "re-premiere" at the Civic in Auckland on November 28.

The 1992 film has been remastered as part of the Te Ahi K initiative by the New Zealand Film Commission to bring older Kiwi movies up to modern standards. Te Ahi K wants to preserve, protect and promote the best of New Zealand cinema. The film, famous for its "flamboyantly sexy love-triangle melodrama and gloriously over-the-top interpretation of colonial New Zealand style", has picked up a cult following over the years.

Remedies co-star Jennifer Ward-Lealand said the relaunch had made her appreciate the impact that the film had had in New Zealand, something she said had been a "lovely surprise".


"I've been meeting young people in their 20s saying, 'It's my favourite film'," she told the Herald on Sunday. "I don't think we realised what an impact it was going to have."

The re-premiere will be attended by the film's producer, Sir James Wallace, Ward-Lealand and co-stars Lisa Chappell, Michael Hurst and Cliff Curtis (who made his feature film debut in it).

The late Kevin Smith, who played the film's male lead, will be represented by his sons Oscar, Tyrone and Willard. The event would give Ward-Lealand the opportunity to look back on the beginning of her time working with Smith, she said.

With more than two more decades of acting under her belt, Ward-Lealand said it would be interesting to see her younger self on film. "I'll be looking back with a different eye. I'll probably think, 'Ooh, I could have done that better'."

Proceeds from the event will go to the Wallace Arts Trust. The Civic, home of the original premiere in 1992, will be decorated with original imagery, costumes and props from the film as a taster of the Remedies Redux: The Desperate & The Beautiful exhibition at The Pah Homestead TSB Wallace Arts Centre, which will run from November 29.