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Bad Taste

New Zealand 1987
produced by
Peter Jackson for WingNut Films, New Zealand Film Commission
directed by Peter Jackson
starring Pete O'Herne, Mike Minett, Terry Potter, Peter Jackson, Craig Smith, Doug Wren, Dean Lawrie, Peter Vere-Jones, Ken Hammon, Robin Griggs, Michael Gooch, Peter Gooch, Laurie Yarrall, Shane Yarrall, Philip Lamey, Costa Botes, Graham Butcher, Bob Haliburton, Andrew mcKay, Clive Haywood, John McTavish, John Nelson, Graham Nesbitt, Steven Smith, John Logan jr, Tony Hiles
written by Peter Jackson, additional material by Ken Hammon, Tony Hiles, music by Michelle Scullion, Jay Snowfield, special effects and makeup effects by Peter Jackson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Aliens led by Lord Crumb (Doug Wren) have landed on earth to harvest on the humans - and turn them into low-fat fastfood ... so the gouvernment sends the Boys in.

The Boys are a semi-competent quartet - Barry (Pete O'Herne), Frank (Mike Minnett), wannabe soldier-of-fortune Ozzy (Terry Potter) and borderline mad Derek (Peter Jackson) - here to secure the area (with a roadblock sign) and bring some alien samples back home ... and they mess up gloriously as tehy have soon started a small war, have allowed a travelling salesman (Craig Smith) to fall into the aliens' hands, and have lost their live specimen.

What ensues are countless gunbattles out in the open and in and around the mansion Crumb and his alien underlings have taken up residence in. Ultimately, and against all odds, the Boys are winning though, so much so that Crumb can no longer maintain his human form and turns back into the ugly alien he is - and when he realizes he's fighting a lost battle, he sees no other way out than to make an escape in his spaceship - which incidently is the very house he has taken up residence in. Thing is, Derek still is in the house, and once the house is airborne, he takes care of Lord Crumb using his chainsaw, then slips into his skin as disguise to wreak havoc on the aliens' home planet too ...


Admittedly, this synopsis makes Bad Taste out to be nothing more than a low budget piece of trash - and the low budget part is right, too (in fact, the budget was quite obviously very low), but as far as the trash goes, Bad Taste is less of a serious genre film and more of an all-out slapstick (or splatstick) comedy coming up with increasingly more hilarious ways of how to slice and dice up humans and aliens, of what could go wrong if big boys are given loaded guns to play with, of what to do if your skull's fractured and the like - and while the film is gorey as hell, it's even funnier on an enjoyably nonsense level that nevertheless is never plain stupid but rather inspired in a wicked way.

Director Peter Jackson has come a long way since Bad Taste, having become a Hollywood darling over the years with the Lord of the Rings-series and King Kong (event though he has never left New Zealand for his movies), but still, this is one of his best films, and almost certainly his most inventive - and it shows what you can do with next to no budget.

Highest recommendation.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD