This Peter Jackson film is partially responsible for sparking my interest in splatter movies, in fact it was the first one I saw so I guess it more than partially started my interest. It turns out that Mrs AcidBurnsHorrorshow hadn’t seen the film, so we decided to sit down and watch all it’s low budget gory gloriousness.
“despite being made in 1987 I don’t think I’ve ever seen this genre of film done more perfectly than the future director of the Lord of the Rings managed to do here.”
Budget – £93,000 (estimated)
Trivia – All the dialogue in the film was dubbed in post-production. This was for two reasons: A) Part of the footage had no sound with it, since it had been filmed on Peter Jackson‘s own 16mm camera which didn’t support sound recording, and B) Once the New Zealand Film Commission funded the remainder of the film, Jackson hired a sound camera. However, neither Jackson nor his crew were very skilled with sound recording and most of the dialogue was unusable.
Trivia – Director Peter Jackson shot the film on weekends over a four-year period with friends playing the lead roles. Jackson funded most of the film himself until towards the end of the shoot when the New Zealand Film Commission gave him money to finish his project after being impressed with what he’d already produced. There was never a script for the movie; each scene was filmed from ideas the director had come up with during the week.
I’m a Derek and Derek’s don’t run
So that’s the trivia done on to plot which is slim at best but that’s not the point of the film at all. We start out with a distress call which sounds like aliens, a strange suited man with a finger on a stick says they need professionals, it’s time to send in the boys. We’re then taken to a small town where one of the boys Barry is being followed by a weird bloke who’s looking to smash his face in. During this time Barry is in contact with Derek via walkie talkie, it eventually leads to Barry blowing the head off of the guy following him much to Derek’s delight. Barry is then chased by quite a few more blokes who are aliens, after escaping them we see Derek torturing one of the aliens he has caught and has him dangling from a cliff, his shrieking leads to the other aliens leaving Barry alone and going after their mate. This is where some of the best scenes in the film take place as Derek offs the aliens in gruesome fashion, however things end up going wrong for Derek but right for the viewer! Considering Jackson played both Derek and the alien he’s fighting on the edge of a cliff there’s no indication at any point that one of them isn’t Jackson, it’s very well filmed.
All the masks were made by Jackson in his mum’s kitchen
We get introduced to Frank and Ozzy who are the tough men of the group. Upon meeting up the group find out the aliens have captured a charity collection man and taken him to a mansion, it’s here the aliens plan to eat him. The group work out that the aliens have killed and boxed all the humans of the small town up to sell them as an intergalactic snack for aliens. This leads to one of the boys having to drink the puke of one of the aliens in a pretty gross scene. The boys storm the mansion to make a rescue and the kill all the aliens in splatter movie style.
This film is great from start to finish considering it’s a small budget movie and the effects from masks to people being decapitated and cut in half were all done by Jackson it looks damn good. Anyone who’s seen this film will know that Derek played by Peter Jackson is one of the best characters of all time, overly violent and sick in the head it’s class to watch him go after the aliens. The ending also has a couple of fantastic lines from Derek, one involving his chainsaw and another which is the last line of film is genius.
None in my opinion, I’m sure people might pick at the flimsy story or the effects but I enjoyed both. The acting isn’t that great but Jackson himself portrays the alien below and Derek brilliantly, no one should expect Oscar worthy acting considering no one in this film is a proper actor!
One of the many great gory scenes throughout the film
This film for me is the daddy of the Australian/New Zealand comedy splatter horror films. It started my interest in them and to this day I love this film. If you’ve never seen it, what the hell are you playing at? The stupidly over the top deaths and cheap gore is what makes this fantastic, despite being made in 1987 I don’t think I’ve ever seen this genre of film done more perfectly than the future director of the Lord of the Rings managed to do here. This film took years to make filming on weekends, maybe it’s because I admire the clear passion and determination it took to make this film but I can’t help rate it extremely highly.