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Bad Taste: Limited Edition

When an alien invasion is suspected in a small New Zealand town, it's up to the Astro-Investigation and Defense Service to check out the leads. Barry (Derek O'Herne) and Derek (Peter Jackson) are sent in first as they know how to deal with the aliens, capturing one (Jackson, again) and killing the others that get in the way. But, as it turns out, the entire town has been taken over by extra-terrestrials inhabiting human bodies. After Derek is overwhelmed, it's up to Barry to save the world, with a little help from explosives experts Frank (Mike Minett) and Ozzy (Terry Potter), but they find themselves pitted against a diabolical reality — humans are an interstellar delicacy worth a lot of money. Bad Taste (1987), director Peter Jackon's first feature film, is similar to a lot of early efforts from horror directors (such as Sam Raimi), melding action, sci-fi, and a lot of gross-out effects, and overcoming the script's limitations with bravura direction. Though occasionally marred by film-student camerawork, Jackson keeps the movie going at a brisk pace, and his professionalism is impressive. Bad Taste is so goofy that it remains charming even with all of the disgusting make-up, making it a good movie to watch with friends and a half-rack of brew. Anchor Bay has released two versions on DVD, a single-disc regular edition and a double-disc "Limited Edition." Both versions offer an anamorphic transfer (1.78:1) and both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Supplements on the single disc are limited to a Jackson bio and the theatrical trailer, but those who spring for the double-disc set also get the documentary Good Taste Made Bad Taste, which is worth the extra coin as it actually makes the movie itself more entertaining to watch, pointing out that the project was shot over four years with a Beaulieu 16mm camera (which holds only a 400-foot mag — roughly 4-1/2 minutes of film — and is hand-cranked), as well as how Jackson himself did all the make-up effects. Dual-DVD digipak with plastic slipcase.

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