Bad Taste Review

Bad Taste
Vomit-guzzling cannibal aliens invade earth disguised as humans and only Derek and the (A)lien (I)nvasion (D)efence (S)ervice can save the world's population from ending up as mall-snacks.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

24 Aug 1988

Running Time:

93 minutes



Original Title:

Bad Taste

Hands up if you find the following funny and/or entertaining: a) An alien race who have come to Earth to test-market human flesh as a fast-food sensation sure to sweep the galaxy. b) A scientist who keeps shoving gloopy bits of brain tissue into a hole in his head and keeps his cranium together with an old belt. c) An undercover man among the aliens who has to drink a bowl of green vomit, and finds it to his taste. d) Chainsaw dismemberment taken to the ultimate extreme as our chainsaw-wielder passes his instrument completely through an alien from head to crotch. If you score four straight passes on the above quiz, you might as well skip Bad Taste, because you won't be too pleased with the zero-budget technical qualities, indifferent acting, repetitive machine gun battles, ineffectually looped dialogue and crass verbal humour.

However if you are broad-minded (i.e. sick) enough to see the jokes, then this is a hoot. It goes straight to the heart of the comic-horror genre in the way that those self-consciously camp items with the ridiculous names (Rabid Grannies, Redneck Zombies etc.) never do, and manages fully to live up to the promise of its title. Practically home-made by director-writer Jackson, who appears as the scientist with the chainsaw and the leaky brainpan, this is set in the remote New Zealand town of Kaihoro, where aliens have landed and are preparing to do awful things to Earth. The government sends in a four-man team of action scientists - all of whom have uncontrollable impulses to use Magnums, rocket-launchers, chainsaws, etc. on zombie-like aliens - to sort the invasion out.

A four-year production history that shows in the many lines of dialogue that later had to be dubbed over unmoving lips and a script that really could have used a few more jokes and plot twists to go with its uniquely horror-comic sensibility. The special effects, however, are an endearing mix of the excellent and the deliberately dire, and with some truly repulsive aliens and splatters of funny gore, you won't easily forget the alien waving around the severed arm holding the sledgehammer lodged in his head.

"The bastards have landed" and lovers of no-taste splatter movies will be in hog heaven.
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