When a small New Zealand town is overrun by man-eating space aliens, it's left to gawky Derek (Jackson) and the Alien Investigation Defence Service (spot the horrible pun) to deal with them. Within the opening five minutes, one such extraterrestrial has half his head blown off. Derek himself suffers the indignity of having a cat-flap incorporated into the back of his skull, whence fall large amounts of brain matter, some of it to be replaced with assorted bowel matter. Made over four years on an incredibly low budget, the film has its moments, though ironically most of the best jokes have nothing to do with the gore: some terrifically banal conversations pass between the members of the AIDS team, and there are a few fine sequences of Three Stooges-type slapstick. Things hot up in the last 20 minutes, when Peter Jackson stops chucking intestines around and gets some serious hardware under way - we're talking rocket launchers and big chainsaws, equipment essential to the success of any movie. Indeed, a climatic rebirth-by-chainsaw scene almost makes it all worthwhile, though you may have had to visit the bathroom once or twice in the wait.
Cast and crew