Bad Taste

Director: Peter Jackson
Written by: Ken Hammon, Tony Hiles, Peter Jackson
Cast: Terry Potter, Pete O’Herne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett

Year / Country: 1987, New Zealand
Running Time: 88 mins.

The Lord of the Rings isn’t the only movie-project Peter Jackson worked on for years. His debut Bad Taste, an amateur movie turned cult classic, took him four years to complete. Jackson and his friends shot it on weekends. The title says it all; a clan of extraterrestrials, under management of Lord Crump of Crump’s Country Delights, land in New Zealand because they think that with the delicacy of human flesh they will conquer the universe. But the government sends an anti-alien force and it’s splatter galore.

Bad Taste was filmed with amateur cameras and it shows. Still, because of Jackson’s dedication and perfectionism, the movie runs like clockwork; the steadicam shots and editing are done excellently. Also the improvised – no budget – special effects are very impressive. It’s even got an exploding sheep! True New Zealand style. You don’t have to look very closely to see that Jackson is a young master at work here. With his very own airbrush I might add. The gore is definitely not suitable for all stomachs.

Jackson felt he couldn’t let his friends do all the acting, so he took on one of the main parts himself. Derek (“Derek’s don’t run”) is a twisted maniac, who’s so devoted to saving planet Earth, that he is willing to kill and torture as many aliens as he can in the process. He is having as much twisted fun as his creator is. Jackson said in an interview one time that he would love to make Bad Taste 2. Let’s hope that he does, because it will be a blast to see Derek and the boys take on a new Lord Crump. “Those bloody bastards!”


Biography: Peter Jackson (1961, Pukerua Bay, New Zealand) started making films at around the age of eight. His early short films already featured special effects that would become one of Jackson’s trademarks. Together with friends and family he worked on his first feature length movie Bad Taste which took him four years to complete. What had started as a joke became a cult classic and opened many doors for Jackson. He then made a number of professional horror films, including genre classic Braindead. Then he embarked on one of the most ambitious movie projects of all time; The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson succeeded with glory and the three LOTR films were enormously successful. He continued with a remake of the film that inspired him the most as a filmmaker: King Kong.

Filmography (a selection): The Valley (1976, short) / Bad Taste (1987) / Meet The Feebles (1989) / Braindead (1992) / Heavenly Creatures (1994) / Forgotten Silver (1995) / The Frighteners (1996) / The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) / The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) / The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) / King Kong (2005) / The Lovely Bones (2009) / The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) / The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) / The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) / They Shall Not Grow Old (2018, doc) / The Beatles: Get Back (2021, TV Mini Series)

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