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Good Taste Made Bad Taste

Short Film (Excerpts) – 1988

My perspective on the documentary

Good Taste made Bad Taste was made by Tony Hiles, also the Consultant Producer on Bad Taste and the author of this perspective.

After Bad Taste's success in Cannes, Peter Jackson was already up and running on his next film (Meet the Feebles), so I put the idea to the Film Commission. They agreed so we assembled the parts to make a documentary to capture the moment in time.

It was made on a shoe-string budget and from all forms of media. Peter's early 8mm films were transferred the cheap way (projector and video camera lined up to shoot off the screen).

I had VHS video footage of the explosives tests, access to production stills and excerpts from Bad Taste itself. Over a week's shoot we filmed original footage with Peter's parents; in Peter's film museum under his parents' house, and on location at the rural property of Caroline Girdlestone, who was the Art Director on Bad Taste. (This was the same location where the alien's house was blown up before taking off.)

At the time there was a regular flow of ‘Making-Of' documentaries coming from Hollywood and I wanted to play against the big budget big star hoopla. I must have succeeded because TVNZ was not interested in screening Good Taste.

The industry was still divided in it's appreciation of Peter's work, with TV Executives openly negative about the nature of his films. As a documentary-maker I am used to the word 'no' so I felt little pain; the most important thing to my mind was to get it made.

Good Taste made Bad Taste was an extra feature on the Bad Taste DVD released in the USA. It is now used in the New Zealand Film Archive's resource for classrooms for New Zealand Director Studies.

New Line used a brief excerpt in their 2-DVD version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (accidentally without rights but we soon sorted that out) so it is reassuring to know that the material is out there being seen time and time again. What more can a filmmaker ask?