Bad Taste [1987]

Could a title be any more direct? New Zealand maverick Peter Jackson made a splash (well, more of a splatter) with this film debut, a slapstick gross-out comedy about an alien fast-food franchise that turns a small town into a cheap source of meat. All that stands in the extraterrestrials' way is the Alien Investigation Defense Service (yes, it's a tasteless gag), a bunch of would-be Rambos who take on the aliens with axes, rocket launchers, and chainsaws. Jackson mines vomit jokes, dismembered corpses, and brain-spattering gore for over-the-top laughs and succeeds with inventive low-budget effects, crack timing, and sheer exuberance. Not bad for a film made on weekends with homemade props and a bunch of energetic mates. Jackson topped himself a few years later with the even more outrageous and hilarious bloody gut-buster Dead Alive. The limited-edition two-disc set also includes the documentary featurette "Good Taste Made Bad Taste," a revealing "making of" shot at the time of production and featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Jackson's home-made special effects, and a 16-page booklet with cast interviews. --Sean Axmaker

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