Directed by: Peter Jackson
Written by: Peter Jackson, Tony Hiles, Ken Hammon
Starring: Terry Potter, Pete O’Herne, Peter Jackson, Mike Minett, Craig Smith
Sometimes it’s hard to judge a film knowing the great ordeal and scruffy effort it took to have it made. A film might have a great idea but had limitations due to its budgetary restraints. While I sit around and think about what could have been, I can accurately state that I had a bad time with Bad Taste.
After the strange disappearance of an entire town, a group of investigators are sent to explore what occurred. When they arrive, despite the eerie exterior, they discover that it has been taken over by some violent aliens.
Directors with large filmographies always have blunders because that’s part of becoming a great filmmaker. This medium should allow individuals to take chances and learn from their mistakes in the hopes to perfect their craft. But when you view a film like this, it’s almost miraculous to see that Peter Jackson crafted this as well as my favorite trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Their differences could not be starker, which makes sense that Bad Taste serves as his feature directorial debut. It’s a shame because the film has some good bones.
The story sets up for an intriguing story of a group of men discovering that a town has been taken over by aliens. These creatures first appear as normal-looking humans that happen to have a hankering for human flesh. Slowly, after attacking more of the aliens, they begin to show their true selves, which results in a large exchange of gunfire. It had the makings of a good story, but ultimately my opinion lands on me just not enjoying the execution and the excessive gore Jackson utilized.
It could be the case of it not being my cup of tea, but the gore felt excessive to the point where nothing made sense anymore. For example, a character falls off a cliff, which would mean they will die according to movie rules. Afraid not, he survives because he lands in a nest, but he did not remain unscathed. In fact, he finds that his brain has been leaking from his head and in an effort to not let anymore fall out, he covers it with a hat. It became such a disgusting sequence that I could not look. This gore gets worse when he kills an alien and starts shoving some of its brains into his head to make up for the loss he already suffered. It’s just wild in a way that others may like but it became something I didn’t even want to finish.
I find it hard to strongly dislike the film because it shows a foundation for what would make Peter Jackson a great director in the future. How he sets up each sequence and builds tension has its roots going back to Bad Taste but I could not shake off just how grungy it felt. I cannot find myself recommending it to anyone unless they want to complete Peter Jackson’s filmography or if you happen to be a big fan of just gore exploding everywhere. I could not enjoy much of it and I’m looking forward to now having to think about it anymore.