Archive for the ‘Peter Jackson’ Category


There was a time when Peter Jackson’s name filled me with glee, long before the Lord of the Rings series came along, and made him a household name.

I was in the twilight of my first decade on this rotating orb, and devouring as much horror as my stomach could handle thanks to my local video store, Talkies’ 5 movies, 5 days, 5 dollars deal. I remember spending countless hours rifling through the rows upon rows of VHS covers, choosing only the most gruesome of the lot. On one such occasion I stumbled across a delectably grotesque tape featuring a woman peeling back her lips to reveal a skull hiding in the blackness of her gullet. Dead Alive was written across the bottom in a seeping lime-green font. I was sold. I rented it, rushed home, popped it in, and instantly fell in love with the bearded kiwi with an intense attention to detail, and a playful, yet dark sense of humour.

Dead Alive, (or Brain Dead as it’s known in its native home of New Zealand) was Jackson’s third film, so naturally I needed to seek out its predecessors. The journey led me to discover two more oddball films that have become mainstays in my viewing rotation, Meet the Feebles, and the subject of today’s post, Bad Taste.

Bad Taste, released in 1987 follows four members of the Astro Intelligence and Defence Service, (AIDS) Derek, Frank, Ozzy, and Barry as they investigate the disappearance of everyone in the fictional town of Kaihoro, New Zealand. They soon discover the town has been invaded by extraterrestrials sent to harvest humans for an intergalactic fast food franchise.

Bad Taste is a labour of love, and it shows. Jackson, and his crew, (many of whom would become members of his production company Wingnut films) made the film on a meagre budget of 30,000 dollars. Jackson who co-starred in the film also served as writer, director, producer, co-editor, photographer, and even created many of the special effects.

Although it released to wide acclaim, the original cut of Bad Taste was banned in Australia, which led to the dissolution of the Queensland Film board of review in 1990. Since then the film has been re-released in its original format, and has gone on the become a cherished cult classic.

As much as I adore Bad Taste, I can’t help but feel a little disheartened while watching it. Knowing the kind of filmmaker Peter Jackson was, and has now become makes me yearn for him to return to his blood-drenched roots, but fearful it may never happen.