Bad Taste: Collector's Edition (1987)

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Released 15-Sep-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Cast
Featurette-Making Of-Good Taste Made Bad Taste
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Slide Show Presented By Peter Jackson
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-TV News Clip
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 91:36 (Case: 88)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (81:22) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Jackson
Studio
Distributor
WingNut Films
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Terry Potter
Pete O'Herne
Craig Smith
Mike Minett
Peter Jackson
Doug Wren
Dean Lawrie
Peter Vere-Jones
Ken Hammon
Robin Griggs
Michael Gooch
Peter Gooch
Laurie Yarrall
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Michelle Scullion


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    "The b******s have landed!"

    In a quiet New Zealand town the unthinkable has happened. Alien activity has been reported to the government and action is swiftly taken. The squad of experts dispatched for the job is a quartet of bungling military try-hards comprised of Derek, Barry, Frank and Ozzy. All are part of a government unit dedicated to defending us from aliens, The Astro Investigation and Defence Service (AIDS). After some thorough investigating the men track the aliens down to their hideout in an isolated, stately homestead. In the kitchen they are marinating a door-to-door charity worker intended as the main course for tomorrow's lunch. The men arm themselves to the teeth and prepare to go in.

    Little do they know, the real reason for the aliens' visit revolves around an intergalactic fast food war. The visiting aliens want to mass produce their new product Crumb's Crunchy Delights, the main ingredient of which is human meat. With an endless supply of homo-sapiens to cull it seems they will finally be able to compete with their main competition, McYablo's Fried Moon Rat. Their plans are currently on hold however, because they're waiting on an intergalactic mass-slaughter permit. Bloody paperwork!

    Although I haven't seen any cover art for this release yet, I'm certain bold words to the effect of "From the makers of Lord of the Rings" will comprise a fair area of the front cover. That's because this is director Peter Jackson's first complete film. This movie was made in and around Jackson's home town on a very low budget over the course of four years, beginning in 1983. Jackson only had a handful of friends and workmates to help him and the process was slow because the men were juggling their day jobs while shooting on weekends. Jackson is credited here with the directing, writing, producing, editing and providing special effects, as well as two key acting roles. Many of the props were built from scratch and the prosthetic pieces were baked in Jackson's mother's oven. The resulting film is great fun and although it's undeniably rough around the edges it's not as amateur as you might think.

    The film we know as Bad Taste is in fact Jackson's twelfth effort and began as a ten minute short film titled Roast of the Day, intended to be shown at a Wellington short film festival. As time drew on and filming continued, Jackson finally compiled a rough cut, finding it running well over an hour. The decision was made to carry on, resulting in a fully blown ninety minute feature film. Bad Taste made it's debut at Cannes in 1988 and was subsequently sold to ten countries.

    The film itself has been a favourite of mine since high school and still cracks me up with each viewing. The sheer volume of gore and gross-out scenes is huge and provides many laugh out loud moments. Being a very low budget production, the camerawork is sometimes shaky and the overall quality of the production is lame in places, but this all adds to the humour and charm of the feature. Regardless of the obvious budgetary constraints, Jackson was clearly capable of some very unique and inventive camerawork, even at this early stage in his career. This film and it's extras should make for very rewarding viewing, particularly for those who only know Jackson for his work on the successful Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    This is a very good release of the film, and I can't help but wonder when we'll see Braindead and Meet the Feebles on DVD. If they both receive a release a good as this, the wait will be worth it.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement. Considering the age and relatively low budget of this production this is a great-looking transfer, and likely to be the best we will ever get.

    The level of sharpness is good, with plenty of detail visible. I've never seen the film theatrically. However, after watching my beaten up VHS tape so long I can't imagine it looking this good in the past. There's quite a bit of film grain present throughout, which is totally acceptable in this context. Shadow detail and black levels are acceptable most of the time, and don't present any major problems. I didn't notice any low level noise in the transfer.

    The richness and quality of colours isn't as good as a recent big budget production, but it remains relatively true and consistent. There's no bleeding or oversaturation to be seen.

    MPEG compression artefacts are thankfully absent. I was also very happy to find no aliasing present at all. Positive and negative film artefacts do appear on occasion, some of which are quite large. Aside from the fades and wipes, the transfer is otherwise nice and clean for the most part, with only a handful of noticeable imperfections.

    There are no subtitle streams included on the disc.

    This disc is dual layered (DVD9 format), with the layer transition placed during the feature at 81:22 in a black, silent scene transition which is not too disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three soundtracks accompanying this film on DVD. The default soundtrack is a Dolby Digital 5.1 stream, and a Dolby Digital 2.0 option is included. However, I cannot be certain if it is a full stereo effort. A cast commentary is also included.

    The English dialogue was entirely recorded in post production and comes across quite well. The ADR sync is noticeably dodgy in places, but this is acceptable considering the low budget of this production. Audio sync is fine throughout the feature.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was easily my preferred of the two, providing a much more spacious experience. Effects such as gunfire can be heard in the rear channels at 57:40, and the soundtrack score is often given an even pan between the front and rear channels. The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack contains noticeably louder vocal presence, and may be preferred by some.

    I noticed a distinct dropout in the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at 43:43, followed closely by a loud click from the left channel. This error is not present in the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    The film's music is credited to Michelle Scullion and blends an assortment of elements from choirs to classical pieces and rock songs. The Bad Taste theme was written by cast member Mike Minett & Dave Hamilton and performed by Remnants.

    The subwoofer wasn't called upon to any great degree in this soundtrack, even though there are several explosions in the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Considering the age and low budget of this film, this is a great collection of bonus material. All of the extras are presented in 1.33:1 full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio unless otherwise noted.

Menu

    The menu pages are static and 16x9 enhanced with an audio clip of the theme by Remnants. A short intro precedes the main menu, and other pages feature some cool transitional pieces.

Cast & Crew Audio Commentary - Craig Smith, Mike Minett, Pete O'Herne & Terry Potter

    This is a worthwhile commentary to sit through and the four men share some interesting insights into the long production of this film. There are quite a few laugh out loud moments here and the guys all seem to have very fond memories of working together.

Featurette - Good Taste Made Bad Taste (23:35)

    Produced in 1988, this Making Of shows us a young 25 year old Peter Jackson, the year after he completed Bad Taste. We meet Peter's parents and see the actors at their day jobs, and filming on the weekends. Peter discusses his use of an 8mm home camera, showing clips of early films Dwarf Patrol (1971), World War Two (1973), The Valley (1976), James Bond (1977) and Hammer tribute The Curse of the Grave Walker (1981). Peter also walks us through many of the cheap effects shots that were used in the film and the homemade camera tracks and cranes he pieced together himself. This is very interesting from the point of view that these humble beginnings went on to yield such a great filmmaker.

Behind the Scenes Slide Show - presented by Peter Jackson (28:16)

    Recorded in Germany in 1990, in this featurette Peter takes us through some original alien designs, a cut scene, and some of the challenges involved with playing dual roles. At the end he answers some questions from the audience, mentioning films such as Re-Animator and Dawn of the Dead as influences in his work.

Interviews-Cast & Crew

    Each of the actors answer the same questions and touch upon their favourite scenes from the film. Michelle discusses her approach with the score and why she feels it works so well.

Featurette - TV News Clip (1:55)

    A short news item, covering the four main actors and their love for Jackson's work. Strangely, this tabloid news item makes out that Jackson completed Bad Taste and fled to Hollywood, never to be seen again in New Zealand.

Gallery-Photo

    Twenty-nine stills are presented here in a 16x9 enhanced page with no audio, covering everything from simple stills to production shots and poster art.

Theatrical Trailer (2:03)

    This is a roughly constructed trailer, showing many of the humorous action pieces from the film.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 release by Anchor Bay contains the Good Taste Made Bad Taste featurette and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and dts-es 6.1 audio. Judging by online reviews the audio transfer isn't particularly fantastic. The Region 1 cover strangely has an alien figure giving a two-finger salute, rather than the common one finger.

    Many of the Region 2 European options don't look very desirable to me. I recommend you buy local with this one.

Summary

    Bad Taste is a superb horror-comedy and has scrubbed up very well on DVD. This is likely to be the best transfer we will see of this film.

    The video transfer is very good, and 16x9 enhanced to boot.

    The audio transfer includes a good Dolby Digital 5.1 effort.

    The extras are very entertaining and relevant to the feature.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, August 27, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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Comments (Add)
Running time - REPLY POSTED
About the R1 cover... - Miklos (my stinkin' bio)
More on the R1 Cover. - Darque
Subwoofer -
This is an NTSC to PAL transfer! -
New Versions -
1.66:1? - Gizmo35 (The Biography ain't much to look at.) REPLY POSTED
Cropping and Video Quality - HamishT