Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Bad Taste (1989)
18

The deranged, bloodthirsty heir to the Marx Brothers' slapstick kingdom, "Bad Taste" is an unforgettable - and occasionally unwatchable - comic gem.

When a small New Zealand town wakes up to find the streets awash with flesh-eating aliens, it's down to the geeky Derek (Jackson) and the redneck hooligans of the Alien Investigation Defence Service (spot the tasteful acronym) to save the day. Within minutes of the opening credits Derek is trying to hold his brains in with a hat, and this sets the tone as the body count grows, the blood keeps on splattering, and missiles, machetes, chainsaws and erupting spaceships take their toll.

Ever since Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead" re-wrote the horror film as slapstick comedy, guerrilla filmmakers with low budgets and big dreams have tried to emulate the punk magic of this cult masterpiece. Most have been merely derivative, but by delving deeper and darker, writer and director Peter Jackson made "Bad Taste" both a gut-wrenching slasher classic, and a surreal - almost hallucinogenic - comedy.

Despite being little more than a rambling selection of lame characters and imaginative - if hammy - executions, the film's farcical energy and glorious B-movie schlock keeps you hooked until the apocalyptic finale. This is a film without heroes, and it's sometimes hard to decide whether the aliens or the hillbilly locals are the more repulsive - never mind actually care about any of them. All you can do is sit back, hold on, and watch the roller coaster carnage unfold.

End Credits

Director: Peter Jackson

Writer: Peter Jackson, Tony Hiles, Ken Hammon

Stars: Terry Potter, Pete O'Herne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett, Peter Jackson, Doug Wren

Genre: Comedy, Horror

Length: 91 minutes

Cinema: 1989

VHS: 8 June 1998

Country: New Zealand

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