Bad Taste (1987)

Bad Taste
Directed by Peter Jackson
Written by Ken Hammon, Tony Hiles and Peter Jackson
(number 419)

Peter Jackson’s first feature length movie filmed by him and his friends on weekends around Pukerua Bay on a 25-year-old 16mm camera. For pure effort, guerilla film- making and a boost into the movie industry this movie is clearly a touchstone and a very important moment of history. Plus I feel it would be unpatriotic to say bad things about it… but yeah, I will.

I have watched this movie just once before and even then I don’t think you could count it. I watched it with an ex-boyfriend and I didn’t much want to watch the gory horror, I wanted to make out. So.. although the opening sequence was vaguely familiar I can’t say I know this movie at all.

Well, duh, it’s really gross. It’s stupid and gross. I mean, those two things are 100 per cent the point of this movie right? It’s right there in the name, and it’s clearly influenced by slasher gore movies of the 70s and earlier 80s. Peter Jackson had a brilliant time coming up with gross effects and props and he went to town with it. I imagine the local butcher got a lot of money out of this project!

I cannot watch the vomit in a bowl scene, I had to skip it. I have such a sensitive vomit trigger that stuff like that makes me want to do it. Being sick with a fever doesn’t help either.

I like the clarity of the shots, the saturated colours of the New Zealand landscape and fauna, the soundtrack’s not too bad and they dubbed the sound okay. I don’t really care about the straightforward ‘fighting aliens who are harvesting humans’ story, and the gross out stuff is too gross for me.

The wikipedia page did lead me to this neat list of movies shot over more than 3 years though.

Does it make me love the people? Ehhhh… They’re all just kiwi blokes, I don’t really feel much for them as people or characters, they don’t really develop. They make some good pop culture jokes like aliens coming down in a phone box but, yeah. This isn’t a movie about the human experience, it’s about a rough ride and a gross out.

Bechdel test: There doesn’t seem to be a single woman in the whole film. Oh, maybe in the big group scene with a whole lot of people looking up at the dude speaking at the top of the stairs, but I’m guessing based on back of heads.

Best line:

Barry: Why can’t aliens be friendly?
Derek: There’s no glowing fingers on these bastards, we’ve got a bunch of Extra-Terrestrial psychopaths on our hands, like a visit from a planet full of Charlie Mansons, they’ve started on something small, its my guess they’ll go onto something bigger next time, Christchurch, Wellington…
Barry: Auckland?
Derek: Yeah, well, that wouldn’t be so bad.

State of Mind: I can see that this is an important movie for launching Jackson, and generally in NZ film history and just a really impressive feat for a bunch of friends to pull off, but I don’t care for it myself. Won’t be watching it again.

Watched movie count


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