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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bad Taste (1987)

Before he showcased his visionary brilliance with The Lord of the Rings (2001-2004) Peter Jackson made his directorial debut with Bad Taste; a low-budget horror-comedy that is gory blast of fun. Set in Jackson's home country of New Zealand and also in the areas where he grew up. Much of the sound effects were added later with the weapons being made from supplies that Jackson and his crew could assemble together - the actors actually simulated the recoil for the guns (quite well if I may add). Many of the crew members played roles in the film, mostly as the aliens in their zombie-like human form. Learning about all the effort and talent that went into making this film is almost as fascinating as the actual film. The plot consists of an intergalactic fast food franchise coming to Earth and taking human form in order to harvest the earthlings to create the finest (and grossest) stew you will ever be made into. Up against these alien fast food workers is a group of the last remaining non-abducted humans who are militarily armed and ready to fight back.

A cliff-top battle where nerdy genius Derek (Peter Jackson himself) fights a gang of alien-zombies is the most thrilling moment of the entire film. Nearly falling off the cliff tens of times only to miraculously regain his footing and continue to make show highlight reel kills only to ironically fall off the cliff right when all seems well to his presumed death. With the death of their mastermind the group of militarily-armed survivors track down the aliens to their mansion base where they come to the conclusion that I have already spoiled for you. Once the aliens realize their cover is blown a gory shoot-out ensues and that's when things get really fun.. With the survivors recking their plan the aliens ditch their human form and show-off their hilarious, yet visually impressive appearance. As things get more gory and out of control the film becomes all the more enjoyable to watch.

The most interesting part about watching Bad Taste is just to see Peter Jackson before he reached the pinnacle of directing greatness. Seeing how far he has come in his career alone makes this film a must-see for film lovers, but it doesn't hurt that this is actually one of those extremely fun indie films. Unheard of actors, over-the-top gore, and an outrageous and campy plot. Jackson's third feature film, Braindead (1992), is a beloved film by horror lovers - most likely due to the fact that it is one of the gleefully gory films ever - while Bad Taste has been forgotten. I know how much fun I had watching this, but this is just one of those film experiences that I could care less if I revisited again. Times like this make me wonder just how much having fun can do for a film. I would feel like I was cheating you out of a potential blast of a time if I didn't recommend this, so I do recommend you see it. Modern audiences probably won't appreciate this dated film, but those who are willing to give it a shot will likely catch themselves getting lost in its so-dumb-it's-fun style.


  1. Amazing review Adam! I may be watching this soon! And fromt hat picture, I can see that even back then Jackson had that look with the beard :)

  2. While I do not prefer this review to any of your others you nevertheless have me interested. I have heard of this once before but it slipped my mind and I appreciate your mentioning of it.

  3. I really liked this review. You gave interesting background about the making of the film, talked about the plot without droning on about it, and made me understand what's so good about it overall.

    I actually want to see it more after reading this, so I'd say you accomplished your goal. Long live Peter Jackson!

    That Jackson picture is sweet.

  4. I agree with Phobos. I've never seen this one either, and he has some extremely interesting earlier work that needs to be checked out. I'm dying to get a hold of "Meet the Feebles" his raunchy muppet film.

  5. I think i saw this a while ago, but i may give it a rewatch for halloween

  6. Great review Adam, odd looking movie, but awesome pic of Jackson :P

    On another note I have a very important question. I am about as dumb as anyone concerning computers, and i've been trying to rate the films I review with actual stars, similar to the way you do up at the top of your reviews under the title. But for the life of me I cannot figure out how to add something like that! any help?