Sunday, October 23, 2016

BAD CIMEMA: BAD TASTE

This will hopefully become a new feature on my blog where I review a "bad" movie. In reality there are no "bad movies" as this review suggests...

My friend loves bad movies, which I do to, be he takes it to another level. We had movie night a couple of months ago, and he showed me Peter Jackson's first feature movie Bad Taste from 1987, and I admit is was so bad it was good. Bad Taste was basically a  splatter science fiction horror comedy film directed, written, produced, photographed, co-edited by and co-starring Peter Jackson, who also made most of the makeup and special effects. Produced on a low budget, it is Jackson's first feature film. Jackson and friends take on most of the key roles, both on and off-screen.

The plotline sees aliens invade the fictional New Zealand village of Kaihoro to harvest humans for their intergalactic fast food franchise, where they face off against a four-man paramilitary force, of which at least one member appears to have gone insane. It was a film that provided Jackson with the necessary leverage needed to advance in the industry. Since its release, Bad Taste has become a cult film and has received generally positive reviews.


Much of the film was shot in and around Jackson's hometown of Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington, New Zealand using a 25-year-old 16mm camera. Originally begun as a short film, Bad Taste was shot primarily on weekends over the course of four years, at an initial cost of around $25,000. Toward the end of the shoot the New Zealand Film Commission invested around NZ$235,000 into the film to ensure its completion. Heavily influenced by special effects pioneer Tom Savini, Jackson incorporated many absurdly gory special effects.

Jackson himself plays at least two acting roles, and his friends and workmates play most of the rest. In one early scene halfway down a cliff, careful editing, utilising shots taken months apart, makes it possible for the two characters, Agent Derek and the alien Robert (both played by Jackson), to fight one another (Robert has a beard, Derek does not).

Bad Taste begins Jackson's penchant for using the Morris Minor in his films - Giles drives a Morris Minor. Subsequently, every car in Meet the Feebles is a Morris Minor (including a limousine) and several are seen in Braindead.


The firearms used in the film were all fake. They were made using aluminium tubing and the actors had to shake them to simulate the recoil. A flash and sound effect was added later during post production.

All the alien masks in the film were baked in Peter Jackson's mother's oven.

The first few minutes of the movie got me hooked, despite the whole absursidty of the whole plot. It is hard to imagine that the director of this film would go on to direct The Hobbit movies and King Kong (2005), but the film is great for its genre. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see director Peter Jackson in the breakthrough movie of his career or anyone that loves "bad" movies. I am not giving this a rating as if it is The Shawshank Redemption, but I am giving it a rating for what it is...just stupid fun!

MY BAD RATING: 9 OUT 10


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