Bad Taste (1987)
What’s on the Menu: Some special agents shoot and disembowel aliens who sometimes look like humans depending on the budget at the time the footage was shot.
Here are some of my observations as I dined:
- I don’t know who this Peter Jackson cat is but he’s doing ok with a seeming $13 budget.
- When I was 17 a burnout from high school recommended Black Belt Jones and Bad Taste to me. Black Belt Jones is one of my favorite movies ever and I’ve seen it countless times. I watched Bad Taste once.
- This character’s monk jacket is very distracting. What are all those flaps for? Of course, I said the same thing when I lost my virginity.
- So he’s like a cop or special agent and he has a friend up in the hill who looks like Harry Potter with rat teeth who’s relaying instructions. I honestly can’t ascertain what they’re saying or doing.
- Some guy gets his head blown off and his brains go everywhere. That’s a good start. I love the no-budget effects.
- I have no idea what’s going on. It seems like guys in blue work shirts and jeans are aliens who have taken over a small town in the middle of nowhere New Zealand. As you would.
- THAT’S PETER JACKSON!!!
- Derek hangs him upside down by his leg and hammers a metal spike into his foot to get him to talk. I did the same thing to Brad when I asked him to be my friend.
- Remember in my Blood Diner review when I said George was a lock for the Jeff from The Video Dead Award for most annoying character? I hadn’t counted on Derek, who is just really annoying to me for some reason. He makes George seem like every member of Guitar Wolf.
- So far there’s been some good gore… and that’s it. There doesn’t seem to be a story or anything.
- You know, I may have been thinking of Dead Alive when I was thinking about this…
- From IMDb: Director Peter Jackson shot the film on weekends over a four-year period with friends playing the lead roles. Jackson funded most of the film himself until towards the end of the shoot when the New Zealand Film Commission gave him money to finish his project after being impressed with what he’d already produced. There was never a script for the movie; each scene was filmed from ideas the director had come up with during the week. Ok that makes a lot more sense. Despite their being no real story, I do appreciate the work Peter Jackson put into this.
- Peter Jackson kicks Derek down a cliff and Derek’s head explodes!! I’ll never say another bad thing about The Hobbit again!!
- Oh shit, I just realized that Peter Jackson also played Derek. I thought he looked familiar like it may have been his brother or something. Sooooo fuck The Hobbit.
- Peter Jackson the alien just cut his own throat by accident. Also, Derek isn’t actually dead, although he did lose a piece of brain, but he just stuffs it back into the split in his skull. Seriously The Hobbit sucked so fucking bad.
- Peter Jackson throws up green gruel into a bowl and all the alien guys pass it around and eat it. That’s pretty gross, but frathouses around the country have done much worse. Well, at least we got our legal food requirement in.
- This gun battle in the compound is no Commando but they’re doing their best.
- There aren’t a lot of notes to take because basically it’s a lot of running around and shooting and gore. Which is fine. The making of this movie is pretty fascinating though: The film started life as a ten-minute short called “Roast of the Day”, which started shooting in 1981. The story concerned Giles (Craig Smith), an aid worker who comes to the small coastal town of Kaihoro on collection day. The young man encounters a psychopath named Robert who then pursues him. Giles escapes the madman and reaches an old heritage estate where he tries to contact the authorities. However, the same clan of cannibalistic psychos that Robert is from occupies the house and captures Giles. In an ironic twist the aid worker is later cooked up to relieve the famine of the cannibals. Along the way Peter Jackson added the “special forces” team that would be sent to rescue Giles, but in this early version the “boys” would turn out to be cannibals as well (they staged the whole thing because they like to play with their food). When it came time for Jackson to finally edit the film together he found that he had nearly 50 minutes’ worth of usable footage. So with its length and being inspired by the 16mm efforts of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981), Jackson continued shooting to make the movie a full-length feature.
- Derek accidentally squishes the loose part of his brain. That’s pretty much how I feel after eight years of this.
- These aliens look a lot like the Mangalores from The Fifth Element. Just with their buttcheeks sticking out.
- Derek chainsaws up an alien and puts some of its brains into his skull hole. Would that work? I would ask Professor Popcorn but he died several months ago from perfume poisoning.
- This is my third try watching this because I dozed off the other two times but I’m either in a better mood or the third act is much more entertaining or both or maybe all three.
- Pete O’Herne hadn’t shaved before his first scene. Director Peter Jackson told him to keep that look for continuity. So for four years, O’Herne couldn’t shave for more than once a week and this habit was hard to break after shooting was completed.
- Is it me or are their bellybuttons buttholes? Bellybuttholes.
- The aliens’ house blasts off into outer space. Just like The Rocky Horror Picture Show but with sweeter transvestites.
- Derek chainsaws the alien leader through his head and he comes violently out his asshole like a hat made out of PF Chang’s.
Is It Actually Palatable: It’s fun but a bit of a grind between the gore. But that’s what happens when you make a movie over 4 years.
Scariest Entree: This is another comedy. These are all comedies.
Is It Raw and Bloody: That’s all it is! And it’s delightful.
Any Mouth-Watering Nudity: Just some bumpy alien buttcheeks.
Most Delectable Line:
Barry: I knew it was a mistake to issue weapons. We’re a government department not a paramilitary unit!
Derek: Yeah, the Astro Investigation and Defence Service!
Ozzy: Wish we’d change that name!
Most Delicious Scene: Pick any of the gore scenes and you’re sure to find something to love.
Most Flavorless Scene: Even though it’s funny the vomit-eating scene is not appetizing.
Overall: When I first started watching this I thought it was pretty bad, pun intended, probably because I was looking for it to be a comprehensible movie, but as I got toward the end and did a little research on it I appreciated it more and ended up liking it. I even softened my stance on Derek a bit. You just need to go into it realizing that it’s basically a stitched-together series of scenes held together by some really fun gore effects. Peter Jackson has kind of dropped off the map as of late, which is a shame. He has a WWI documentary coming out, but it would be great if he would go back to his roots and make a splatterfest. Like I said I think the making of this film is more interesting than the film itself, much like Coven and American Movie, so here’s a cool little documentary on the making of:
Score: 6.5 Missing Bits of My Brain (out of 10)