The Witching season is upon us once again and the all the Ghosts and Ghoulies and Werewolves and Witches are out on the prowl trying to eat your brains or valet your car or some such evil thing of pure evilness. So any reasonably sane human being would stock up on milk and cookies, lock the doors and watch a bit of telly.
There are so many horror movies you could watch out there but we thought we would try and recommend a couple that you may not have heard of that come from a very unlikely source. So we would like to recommend to you the earliest films from Oscar winning director Peter Jackson in all their blood soaked wrongness!
Bad Taste, made in 1987, is a low-budget miracle of gore. It all the more fascinating being that was written, produced and directed by Peter Jackson who has gone on to make major waves in Hollywood with his full length documentary series about nature rambles in the Shire. The story follows Derek, Barry, Ozzy and Frank a military group sent to a small New Zealand town where the population has gone missing. They discover that aliens have invaded the town and sliced the towns folk into tender chunks and packed them in boxes, ready to use as fast food on their home planet.
Bad Taste is exactly that, you will need a strong stomach to get through some of the more unpleasant scenes. However, as gratuitous as some of the movie is it is inventive and hilariously funny. The star of the show is team member Derek – who after literally bashing his brains out after a nasty fall – goes a bit bonkers and will stop at nothing to bring about the downfall of the alien baddies. “I’m a Derek …and Derek’s don’t run” is a particularly brilliant battle cry.
The boys mow their way through the town of aliens leaving blood, guts and grue in their wake. It is all obviously very cheap to look at especially almost 30 years after it was made, but when you think that Jackson made all the effects himself, on a shoestring budget, they are very inventive in all their repulsiveness. The look of the movie adds to the enjoyment and the tounge in cheek humour as well as the near vomit inducing unpleasantness of it all. It is the fact that the film is so funny that help you pull through some of the more gratuitous gory moments.
This movie isn’t particularly scary but it is a definite must see for all you gore hounds out there.
All this said – the trailer I have found is truly awful and obviously suffers from having to have all the good bits left out for censorship reasons…which means it’s quite staggering that it’s more than three seconds long. Here it is for you to look at but trust me watch the movie in all its gory glory…which is very hard to say with a mouth full of towns person!
Now we have seen many horror movies in my time. Many are fantastic and many are Saw 3 – 7. No matter how good they are though there is only one nightmare cinema we have seen that, in the screening we went to, had no less than three members of the audience rushing out the door heading, hand over mouth, to lose £3.50’s worth of mega bucket popcorn into the lavatory. That movie was the greatest splatter movie ever made.
In 1992 soon to be Hobbit botherer Peter Jackson made his third censor bating motion picture Braindead or Dead Alive as it is known in the States. Bad Taste set a bar in unpleasantness that Braindead grabbed and threw javelin like through half a dozen zombies with a dizzy combination of clever set pieces, humour and enough blood, grue and severed limbs to soak most of New Zealand….and a bit of Tasmania.
The story follows love-lorn hero Lionel, who is living under the thumb of his tyrannical mother Vera. His life is made all the more awkward when mother is bitten by a cursed Sumatran Rat Monkey whilst on a trip to the local zoo. The bite turns Vera into a zombie and of course she manages to infect various locals, who in turn infect others, all for Lionel to have to deal with in a climatic zombie massacre involving a lawnmower that has to be seen to be believed.
Like Bad Taste before it the movie is chock full with inventive nastiness that will indeed have you reaching for, and into, a sick bag. It’s all done very tongue in cheek and with a Pythonesque sense of humour. In a dinner scene involving “nice and creamy” custard for desert, Vera’s ear falls off and is gobbled up in such away you will be so completely grossed out that you can’t understand why you are laughing. A standout scene of comic genius has the local Vicar taking out a gang of rockabilly zombies in a kung-fu fight that puts Bruce Lee to shame. “I kick ass for the lord!!!” is his sermon for the evening.
Braindead obviously had a much bigger budget than Bad Taste but is still obviously a pretty low one. However, Jackson works wonders with FX that we are treated to, among others, a zombie baby (that meets a particularly nasty end involving a blender) ,a giant zombie and zombie guts attached to a brain stem that stops to preen itself in the bathroom mirror.
So this Halloween check out these amazing movies, probably best to wait until after you have had your tea, and see the beginning of the trajectory that lead Peter Jackson to become one of the greatest directors of all time, and ask yourself when he is going to get back to his splatter roots. Now, where did I leave those sick bags?