Follow TV Tropes


Film / Bad Taste

Go To
The bastards have landed!

Frank: Just remember, we're only authorized to use violence when there's a threat to the planet Earth.
Barry: And the Moon.
Frank: Yeah, and the Moon.

Bad Taste is a 1987 No Budget sci-fi/horror/comedy film, the directorial debut for Peter Jackson (who would later give us The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films).

It's a splatter movie about a bunch of aliens working for an intergalactic fast-food company, who massacre a small New Zealand town for the meat of its inhabitants. However, one of the townsfolk managed to send a distress call and Astro Investigation and Defence Service sends out The Boys to investigate. The team consists of four members: Barry (the Straight Man of the group), Frank, Ozzy (a trigger-happy duo), and Derek (a sociopath with a slight drooling problem). Hilarity Ensues as The Boys clash with the aliens; Derek goes berserk, a charity collector named Giles is abducted and The Boys have to clean up the whole mess.

Notable for being shot with a shoestring budget during weekends over a period of four years.

Bad Taste contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Derek's chainsaw cuts easily through walls and solid flesh.
  • Alien Blood: Surprisingly averted. All the aliens have red blood.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Crumb and his crew have come to Earth to kill humans and see how they taste. If they taste good enough, Crumb plans to take what he salvages back to his planet to use in his restaurant and convince the rest of his race to launch a full scale invasion of Earth so they can enslave the Earthlings and use them as cattle.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Maneating aliens land on Earth to snatch some samples for their fast food company. Luckily for them, they do it in a town of about hundred people.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When the blades and chainsaw come out, limbs start flying left and right.
  • Baa-Bomb: Ozzy tries to destroy the aliens headquarters with a RPG. It goes through the window, through the opposite door, and straight out the hole in the wall behind it without hitting anything, blowing up a sheep instead.
  • Badass Boast:
    Derek: I'm a Derek. Dereks don't run.
  • Bald of Evil: Lord Crumb in his human form is bald.
  • Big Bad: Lord Crumb, the leader of the invasion.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The movie is gory, but due to it also being a comedy, it's pretty damn ridiculous too.
  • Bond One-Liner: Given by Ozzy when he shoots one of the mooks on the head.
    "That cleared the sinuses!"
  • Bound and Gagged: Giles when he is captured and placed on a bucket full herbs and spices by the aliens.
  • Brain Food: Giles accidentally discovers Robert chowing down the brains of the fellow alien that was shot by Barry.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: They're not brown enough...
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: After hearing one of their own being tortured by Derek, bunch of aliens grab sledgehammers and rush to the rescue.
  • Chainsaw Good: Derek's weapon of choice, which he keeps locked away in his Beatles-mobile.
  • Cigar Chomper: Frank.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Given to Robert by Derek when he wants some answers out of him. It involves a hammer, a bayonet and a foot.
  • Comedic Sociopathy:
    • Ozzy!
    Frank: Yeah but you know what the rules are. When we work undercover we have to remain faceless.
    Ozzy: Oh I get it, just in case we kill a lot of innocent people! (Cocks gun)
    • Also, Derek shows a little too much joy torturing Robert (the alien he captured) and at the end when he's cutting aliens up with a chainsaw
  • Cool Car: Derek's Beatles-mobile, which has cardboard cutouts of The Beatles sitting on its front row.
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: Happens when Crumb, who's preparing the leave Earth, rolls back the grass around house-ship while a badly hurt Oz is stuck on it.
  • Creepy Basement: The aliens leave captured Giles in their ship-house's dark basement.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Derek going through Crumb's head and coming out his rear with his chainsaw.
  • Distress Call: One doomed citizen of Kaihoro managed to make a call for help from a phone box, which can be heard in the opening.
  • Distressed Dude: Giles the relief aid collector is captured by the aliens, who intend to make him into dinner.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Frank dresses as one of the mooks during the infiltration of their ship-house.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Krum witnesses Derek rip a piece of brain out of a fallen alien, open the cavity in the back of his own head, and jam the brain chunk in there. Krum can only utter a dumbfounded “Holy shit!” before booking it.
  • Evil Chef: One of the aliens acts as the chef of the group, complete with a cook hat and an apron. He looks just like Peter Jackson during the time he was filming The Lord of the Rings.
  • Evil Plan: Lord Crumb seeks to make humans into fast food for his intergalactic restaurant chain.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: According to film critic David Stratton it was the most appropriately named movie he'd ever seen. "It certainly makes good on its title," claims Rob Gonsalves on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Crumb arranges some gruel for his employees. It comes from Robert, who vomits into a bowl. Frank is forced to taste it in order to maintain his mole status. He finds it quite tasty.
  • Eyepatch of Power Worn by the alien mook who gets accidentally gutted by the group's chef.
  • Flipping the Bird:
    • Giles flips Robert off when he's running away from him, and manages to reach his car.
    • One of the aliens is shown giving the finger on the poster (at least, the original poster. later versions added a second finger). This poster, sold in North America and featuring the "two finger" variant of flipping the bird seen in the UK and commonwealths, was often mistaken as a sequel to the original.
    • An example that's little harder to notice is one of the aliens flipping off the protagonists as they make their escape in a car.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Astro Investigation and Defence Service. Lampshaded in the movie:
    Ozzy: Wish we'd change that name!
  • Genuine Human Hide: Inverted. At the end of the film, after killing Lord Crumb, Derek decides to wear his skin as a disguise so he can kill more aliens while in space.
  • Ghost Town: Kaihoro, since its entire population has been stuffed into a pile of carboard boxes.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It's shown that there are more aliens on Crumb's home planet who authorized his invasion of Earth.
  • Groin Attack: Ozzy knees one of the post-transformation aliens on the groin.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: One of the aliens is torn into two pieces (complete with his guts falling out) after Derek runs him over with his car.
  • Hat Damage: Derek's hat (that keeps his fractured skull together) is shot off by a stray bullet, and he's immediately sent into spasms.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Derek (before his cranial trauma makes him go "apeshit") and Ozzy, who is happy to get to shoot something.
  • Human Aliens: For all but the last 20 minutes of the movie, the aliens under the service of Crumb's Crunchy Delights look like regular humans.
  • Impact Silhouette: Derek saws a hole shaped like himself on the aliens headquarters' wall, so that he can enter inside (while completely ignoring the door next to him).
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The alien mooks are unable to hit any of the Boys during the initial firefight between two forces.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Barry kills Robert by throwing a machete through his throat, which pins him into a pillar.
  • The Infiltration: The Boys infiltrate the alien headquarters when they set out to save Giles.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: At one point Ozzy encounters one of the aliens, who puts its dukes up. Ozzy attempts to follow suit, but then the whole business is interrupted by Frank, who simply shoots the alien.
  • Machete Mayhem: The alien chef attacks Ozzy and Giles with a machete during the big shootout. The same blade returns few times as an Improvised Weapon used by other characters.
  • Made of Plasticine: The aliens are easy to cut and tear apart; lampshaded with the line "They sure go to bits easy!"
  • Meaningful Name: Kaihoro roughly translates to "Foodtown" in Māori language.
  • Monster Threat Expiration: For the first alien to be killed, it takes Barry numerous shots to its head with a very large revolver before it finally goes down. The five heading for Derek on the cliffs go down a bit quicker, but he has a machine gun. By the middle and end of the film they're going down with only a few gunshots.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Happens to one of the aliens who accidentally comes across The Boys, who're infiltrating their headquarters.
  • My Car Hates Me: Giles manages to run away from Robert, who is chasing him with a bayonet, and reach his car. Unfortunately, it is unable to start before Robert is in striking distance.
  • Off with His Head!: One of the aliens gets his head (and spine) ripped off. Ozzy then kicks the head out of the window like a football.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Two of them, both provided by Derek.
    "Eat lead, sucker!"
    "Suck my spinning steel, shithead!"
  • Psycho Party Member: Derek was already an example of a disturbed individual before falling off a cliff. Afterwards, he's full on psycho who relishes in unnecessary cruelty.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Some of the alien mooks, including Robert, act like children. One pair is found playing pattycakes before they try to grab their guns and are shot down.
  • Railing Kill: Ozzy kills the alien chef by throwing him over a second story railing.
  • Same Language Dub: All the actors had to redub their dialogue after all the sound tapes went missing. Doug Wren, who played Lord Crumb, died during post-production, so his character was dubbed by Peter Vere-Jones.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "There's no glowing fingers on these bastards."
    • When The Boys wonder how the aliens have hidden their spaceship, Ozzy proposes that perhaps they came in a telephone booth.
  • Slashed Throat: When the Evil Chef threatens Giles with a throat slice motion, Robert tries to mimic him and accidentally cuts his own throat.
  • Staggered Zoom: Done after Ozzy kills the alien chef and he turns to see that Giles was abducted while he was occupied.
  • Take That!: Which no one outside New Zealand will get. Derek doesn't think the aliens destroying Auckland would be so bad.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Barry tosses a machete at Robert and manages to pin him to a pillar through the throat with it. Most impressive considering Barry was lying prone when he threw it.
  • To Serve Man: Aliens work for an intergalactic fastfood company called Crumb's Crunchy Delights, who wants to add humans to their menu.
  • Transformation Sequence: Happens when the aliens decide to bail out and ditch their human disguises.
  • Use Your Head: The aliens seem fond of using one of their own to bash doors down, as when barry hides in a tool shed, they do so with big smiles on their faces... Even the one used as the ram, despite being noticeably disoriented when he's back on his feet.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Robert preparing the gruel for the other alien mooks, namely by vomiting into a bowl.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: After falling off from a cliff, Derek's fractures his skull, making his head very vulnerable. When hit, he is sent to spasms, even if the said hit comes from a thrown pinecone.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The Boys, that's who. They are a small band of defenders under the government payroll who respond to alien threats.