BAD TASTE SE: DVD
Lord Crumb (Doug Wren) and his aliens have landed in remote New Zealand to harvest humans for their intergalactic burger chain. Humans are the new taste sensation. They take on human form. The Ministry calls out The Boys (Terry Potter, Pete O'Herne, Mike Minett) to stop them...if they can.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Splatter sci-fi comedy was a new genre in 1987, when Peter Jackson finished this humour-splattered, gore-driven, B flick, the cheapest movie ever made in New Zealand (NZ$47,000 not including post production and 35 mm blow up). It's now a cult classic, and the only Jackson work in Universal's library, which is why the company is so pickled tink about the DVD release. (Jackson, the clever lad, holds the rights to Brain Dead and Meet The Feebles, his other early films aside from the studio pictures like Lord Of The Rings.)
Before the first four minutes are up, Bad Taste delivers its calling card with the first killing, in which brain matter is involved. So is spurting blood and other organic activity.
But the first whiff of humour is also here, as the lumbering axe wielding character walking towards his intended victim is dismissed as a possible Lands Dept employee, because he's moving too fast.
Bits of absurdly lyrical New Zealand countryside flow across our consciousness as the intergalactic visitors start harvesting humans for a burger chain. As you do.
Farcical in its splatterisms, Bad Taste shows what a little imagination and lots of friends willing to spend their weekends being bloodied can do. Jackson's cinematic instincts were given an airing here, and seeing it for the first time on a video shortly after its completion, I remember its tone more than anything. Seeing it again on DVD these many years later, I still think the tone is the film's singular achievement. You can't take any of it seriously; not even the aliens in human form (they're the ones in the pale blue shirts), hungry for a kill, but it's engaging all the same.
The editing stands out, as do the goreFX, but mostly it's the sustained edginess and dry humour that combine to make it unique.
The half hour slide show, recorded in Hamburg in 1990 and hosted by Jackson, is like an audio commentary, but performed to a series of still shots. It's pretty good, too, in doing the equivalent job, as a Making of...
There are four cast interviews plus one with composer Michelle Scullion, and a curious little 2 minute tv news clip, made in 2002, with two of the cast.
Published September 16, 2004
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BAD TASTE SE: DVD (R)
CAST: Terry Potter, Peter O'Hearne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett, Peter Jackson, Doug Wren, Dean Lawrie
VOICES: Peter Vere-Jones
PRODUCER: Peter Jackson
DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson
SCRIPT: Peter Jackson (additional material Ken Hammon, Tony Hiles)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Jackson
EDITOR: Peter Jackson, Jamie Selkirk
MUSIC: Michelle Scullion
PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Slide show hosted by Peter Jackson (recorded Germany, 1990); cast interviews; interview with composer; photos, trailer
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: September 15, 2004