Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The DVD Review

Bad Taste

Every great director must start someplace. They either make a student film that catapults them to bigger and better things. They might make a film for little to no money, using their friends as the cast and doing whatever they can to film their movie. Such is the case with Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings. Long before he was making millions and adapting Tolkien, he was making alien horror movies.

Filmed over four years on the weekends, Bad Taste stars Peter Jackson and his friends, as they find aliens taking over a small town in New Zealand and turning people into food. It’s an odd, odd movie, which will leave you wondering how anyone could go from this, to Lord of the Rings. Not only did Peter Jackson go on to win awards for Lord of the Rings Return of the King for the same things he does here (direct and write), but Academy Award winner (Editing: Return of the King) Jamie Selkirk also started his collaborations with Jackson as editor in this movie.

Jackson double stars as one of the aliens and as Derek, a member of the aliens named Robert. And any movie with the line “I’m a Derek. Dereks don’t run” and features the director headbutting a seagull has to be brilliant. And it is brilliant. Near the end, the bad guys all turn into their true alien forms, and you can see some home baked alien masks in use. But overall, the aliens aren’t bad looking. And Derek even passes through an alien, in one of the weirdest scenes this side of a Miike movie. It’s insane fun.

But that’s not to mean that it is any good. Bad Taste is bad. In the category of so bad it’s good. The acting is some of the worst you will ever see. The story is more of a collection of scenes that eventually lead somewhere. Then again, any movie where it was filmed over four years, with no set script is going to be like that. Whichever “Actors” were available were filmed, and it shows. But for being a super low budget, first time try, it’s actually pretty interesting. And the effects are damn good, especially for a no budget movie. The most interesting aspect, of course, is the fact that this is the movie that started it all. And watching Peter Jackson grow into the director he became is a very interesting journey. As well as seeing a very skinny Peter Jackson.

The Limited Edition of this movie also featured a documentary “Good Taste Made Bad Taste”. This is interesting in seeing how the movie got made, and listening to everyone talk about it. You also can see some very early special effects Jackson did in his youth. And if anyone wants to know what you need to do to make a movie, see what kind of camera Jackson used. The effects work is very good, and one wonders how it Jackson can superimpose flashes over his fake guns and make it look good, why do Hollywood movies have to have the increased dangers of real guns?

Bad Taste is available. The Limited Edition can be found online for sale at either the Amazon individual shops, or at eBay. The documentary is actually pretty interesting and I would recommend it just for anyone who wants to make a movie but feels that they don’t have the money or resources.


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