John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Thirty: Bad Taste
Peter Jackson is best known for his outstanding presentation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. And some people even remember that he was responsible for the goriest film of all time, “Dead Alive.” But that’s not all he’s done, especially not in the horror genre. He also had a completely off the walls film known as “Bad Taste.” And it is so appropriately titled, it’s almost a joke.
The film stars Peter Jackson as two different characters. He’s also the director, writer, producer and editor. And the assistants to the producer are his parents. Everything about the movie screams low budget, but everything also screams maximum effort. You can tell there’s a lot of heart in this movie.
So in a town in New Zealand, everyone’s gone. A group called “The Boys” is called in to investigate, and we find Derrick holding an alien upside down from a cliff. Meanwhile, his partner Barry is being chased around by several aliens, all of which look like humans. As these events take place, a man shows up for the Benefit Relief Energy Aid Division, or BREAD, to collect from the town. Once he finds it deserted, he’s kidnapped by the aliens and put in a pot to be cooked.
Somewhere close by, more of “The Boys” are standing by, named Frank and Ozzy. They are metal heads, who make it clear that these aliens aren’t E.T. “They don’t have glowing fingers,” one remarks.
So Derrick falls off the cliff and lands on some birds, and the back of his skull comes unattached. He places the loose parts of his brain back in, and puts a hat on to hold them in. He then enters his car, which has Beatles cardboard cutouts that pop up in the window, and drives to the alien headquarters, a house that is also a spaceship.
The Boys end up at the house as well, and in the film’s most creatively filmed moment, that shows what Jackson would later be able to do so well, an alien nonchalantly reaches for his gun while The Boys do the same, and they both quickly turn and fire. The suspense in that scene is brief, but memorable. The rest of the movie is mostly a gorefest, including Derrick going in through an alien’s mouth and coming out the other end, then proclaiming “I’m born again!”
There are references all over the place in this movie, including a line referencing Doctor Who. And the gore? It’s completely nuts. As far as plot goes, there’s not much, but it doesn’t take it’s time. The movie knows what it is and it relishes in it.
I absolutely recommend this one, but I’m guessing you’ll only want to watch it once. I loved it, but sitting through that chaos again seems kind of taxing. I’ll stick with “Dead Alive”.