Way before he became a household name as the director of the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movie trilogies, Peter Jackson made gore-filled, blood-spattered comedy horrors. There was the infamous Braindead (known as Dead Alive in North America) in 1992 and Bad Taste, his debut feature film in 1987.
Directed, written, produced, photographed, co-edited and co-starring Jackson himself, Bad Taste has garnered a massive cult following over the years. Hold onto your lunch, Bad Taste is splatter horror at its silliest!
The story is set in the small town of Kaihoro where the entire population has disappeared. The Astro Investigation and Defence Service (AIDS) sends in four men to investigate. They discover that the town has been taken over by aliens disguised as humans.
Why? The aliens are harvesting humans and turning them into fast food for the intergalactic franchise named Crumb’s Crunchy Delights! Will the AIDS team be able to put a stop to the alien’s nefarious plans?
Often hilarious in that early Peter Jackson style and constantly gross, Bad Taste hasn’t aged well visually but is still a lot of fun. You have to go in with low expectations though. Most of the cast worked for free and were friends or family members of Jackson which explains the amateurish efforts and goofs. Yet, each character has their own defined characteristics and a few even have a bit of charm about them.
It helps that Bad Taste isn’t taking itself seriously at all as highlighted by the grotesque and gory practical effects. You only need to see one of Jackson’s characters fall to his expected death, survive but with a gaping hole in his head. So big is this hole that his brains are leaking out forcing him to push them back in and put a hat on to ensure they don’t fall out. Nasty and dumb but fun which is exactly what Bad Taste is going for!
Jackson and his pals clearly had a lot of fun here and allowed their imagination to run wild. It’s because of that you can forgive a lot of the movies faults. That being said it does drag at times with some battle/fight scenes going on for far too long. Not deserving of some of the high praise heaped upon it as Braindead is a much superior film, none of this detracts from what is a fun watch for the most part.