Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Favorite Era: Bad Taste (1987)

With Peter Jackson's second installment in his Hobbit trilogy a few months from release, I thought it would be fun to take a look at his first film.  Bad Taste is a lovably cheap, insane bit of splatter that Jackson wrote, directed and acted in.  He was also the DP on it, essentially making him Robert Rodriguez six years before El Mariachi came around.  Released in New Zealand in 1987 and the US in 1989, it's still one of my favorite Peter Jackson films.  Let's take a closer look.

The plot is basically just this: Aliens come to a small village in New Zealand looking for ingredients for their intergalactic fast food franchise.  And by ingredients, I mean humans.  They are opposed by a ragtag group of operatives from The Astro Investigation and Defence Service (Yes, they did go there.  This film isn't called Bad Taste for nothing!).

Even this early in his career, Jackson's knack for impressive camerawork is on display with some really nice shots.  While the pacing isn't quite there, his sense of humor certainly is and it's not too hard to trace the road from this film to his current stuff.

Jackson is pretty funny as Derek, the most mentally unsound of our group of heroes (and given one of the other guys on the team, Ozzy is also a psycho that's saying a lot).  Giggling incessantly, absolutely kill crazy in the nerdiest way possible and nearly unstoppable (he sustains a gruesome head injury that makes his brains spill out but he copes), he's quite the comic highlight.  How can you not love a character who deals with an injury like the one I just mentioned by strapping his belt around his head as tight as he can to keep his brains in?

The gore is the real reason to see this and we get tons of it with exploded heads, the exploding sheep and other gross gags that make this one quite memorable, though not one to watch while eating chili.  Bad Taste is one of the great low budget splatter flicks, right up there with The Evil Dead.  It might not be as polished as Dead-Alive, but I still dig the hell out of it.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.