Bad Taste (1987)
Okay folks, this is the one that started it all. Sure, our beloved director Peter Jackson had many works before this epic sci-fi horror romp, but this is the first one he actually was able to finish. Though originally thought of as a disaster, Bad Taste became one of the most popular cult classics of the 80s, and now with Jackson at the helm of the Lord of the Rings series, its popularity just continues to grow and grow....
Our story is pretty simple here. We have a group of alien-hunters called The Astro-Investagation and Defense Service (A.I.D.S). And their job is to rid a small town in New Zealand called Caihoro of a merciless band of aliens. The alien scum, led by a creature called Crumb, are here on earth for one reason.... They want humans for food! Intergalactic food at that: "Crumb's Crunchy Delights."
Bad Taste takes it to the extreme in its action sequences. At times, it almost pays some homage to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Commando, only every weapon in the film is merely a model designed by Jackson himself. Bad Taste is why Peter Jackson is who he is today. This is one of the reasons Dead Alive/Braindead was made possible. For an almost no budget film and virtually no extras besides friends, this film is just as great as any Hollywood-fronted horror film. Only this has more: Jackson is a dark comedy gorrific genius, and this film proves it all way.
The acting is wonderful. Jackson plays two parts, and to watch it is completely grand. His alien side is like a cross between Mick Foley and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. The other three alien fighters are seemingly old-school metal heads, which sparks some fond memories. We also have Giles, a charity collector who is kidnapped by the aliens and has to be rescued by our film's heroes. He almost has no dialogue in the whole film, so his job is great for what it is.
The special effects here are brilliant, and for the most part all done by Peter Jackson. He has his name thrown virtually all over this film. It is his baby. There are too many good scenes to count here. We have a busted open head with leaking brain, alien brain inserted into head to make up for human brain loss, and a ceremonial punch bowl full of alien vomit. The rest of the gore will be left for you to witness and gag with laughter upon. Sure, it's gross but done in good taste, or is that bad?
This movie is done some terrific justice courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The special edition double disc DVD has the theatrical trailer, a Peter Jackson bio, and a featurette called Good Taste Made Bad Taste. This is an awesome making of Bad Taste featurette. Peter Jackson shows how he virtually accomplished everything in this film, also touching on some of his even earlier unfinished films.
Bad Taste is an almost flawless sci-fi horror comedy . For any of you indie filmmakers struggling to get your picture finalized for the masses to witness, watch this movie. Peter Jackson shows it can be done, with little budget - and done well at that. For fans who love Dead Alive but haven't seen this, please do. It has many similarities. The directing, awesome. The Gore, awesome. Not a very deep plot, but still awesome. Bad Taste is all in good fun.
Watching this now, I wonder if the fans of his Lord of the Rings work love it or hate it. I would say some probably think it is great, while others may think it is a travesty. But, for the lovers of the genre it's an instant classic.
Shot on weekends over a four year period, and funded by Jackson himself (until the New Zealand Film Commission stepped in with completion funds).