Saturday, July 7, 2012

Project Terrible: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

Quite honestly, I could not have picked a better movie myself to help me back into the world of blogging. The credit for achieving that feat belongs to Alec over at Mondo Bizarro who apparently thought I could do with a good dose of the 80s. So he made me watch The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, otherwise known as Who The Fuck Thought THIS Would Be A Good Idea?. But that title was too long and inappropriate for children. Damn censors.

Anyway. Having still just been a rather small bundle of joy when The Garbage Pail Kids trading cards were at their (fleeting) height of popularity, I have no nostalgia to speak of for this movie. So I apologize to anyone who might love it, although I can't think of a reason why anyone would even remotely like The Garbage Pail Kids Movie because it is crap. Pure, Project Terrible crap.

Teenager Dodger loves to spend time in the local antiques shop with owner Captain Manzini when he's not pining for his beautiful neighbor Tangerine or running from Tangerine's greaser boyfriend Juice and his two cronies. One day Dodger knocks over a mysterious garbage pail in Manzini's shop and sets loose a group of ugly midgets from outer space (no, really). The Kids and Dodger become friends and they help each other and stuff. Ugh.

Now one problem I have with this movie (Ha! Just one?) is that nothing is properly explained for anything that happens. Why does Dodger claim to be "almost 15" when he's clearly no older than 12? Why does a group of tough teenagers apparently spend all their time finding and beating the crap out of a kid for no reason? The credit sequence implies that the Kids are aliens of some kind: How did Manzini get the garbage pail and what the hell kind of aliens are these? How do aliens know so much about fashion? Why does no one in this town seem the least bit affected when they see a talking midget alligator?

And on and on and on AND ON. Seriously, this was the stupidest plot that anyone could have come up with for a children's movie. I was expecting lots of gross-out comedy what with characters like Valerie Vomit, Messy Tessie, and Windy Winston. Messy Tessie does indeed have snot always running out of her nose and Windy Winston does fart a lot, but Valerie Vomit only vomits once in the whole movie at the end, and Nat Nerd actually is the only one to get the real gross-out play as he pees on himself several times... and never seems to clean it up. By the way, how is Greaser Greg a Garbage Pail Kid? There's nothing really gross about  him at all - he's just a 50s greaser guy with sideburns and a leather jacket. Anyway, there's a severe lack of gross-out goodies which probably would not have really helped the movie in any way but as it stands, the movie is so not funny EVER, only painfully stupid and at times seriously inappropriate for children.

The Kids are portrayed by little people wearing giant animatronic heads that don't ever seem to work properly and it really makes me feel bad for all the actors. The only really good part of the whole movie is English actor Anthony Newley as Captain Manzini who for some reason decided to take this role somewhat seriously and actually gives a pretty charming and endearing performance. It definitely helps the movie at least a little bit to have one person in the whole cast and crew who seems to know what the hell they are doing.

No wait, I lied. The best part of the whole movie is when the Kids go out on the town one night and Ali Gator and Windy Winston end up making some biker friends at

Bahaha! "The Toughest Bar in the World"??? You have to admit that that is slightly awesome because of its hilarity. 

No wait, I lied again. The best part of the whole movie in a really inappropriate (seems to be the word of the day for this movie, huh?) way is the whole thing having to do with The State Home for the Ugly. No, really. The whole time that Dodger and the Kids are making clothes and helping Dodger get in good with Tangerine, Manzini is working on a magic trick that will get the Kids to go back into the garbage pail. Now, he wants them back in the pail because they are in danger of being caught and taken to the aforementioned State Home for the Ugly. And when I say "caught," I mean caught, as an earlier scene shows two guards from the home in a truck cruising for ugly people. They actually throw a dog-catcher net over an ugly little girl and plan to take her away before they realize she was just wearing a Halloween mask. Wow. What kind of message is this for kids?

Eventually, the Kids are taken to the home by Juice and his friends. The place is strangely much smaller on the inside than it looks on the outside and is merely a warehouse with straw on the floor and cages along one wall that houses all the ugly people. So here is where some really non-PC stuff comes out. On the cages are signs for why that certain prisoner is in the State Home for the Ugly. Santa Claus is there for being "Too Fat," Abraham Lincoln for being "Too Skinny," Mahatma Gandhi for being "Too Bald," Albert Einstein (I think) for being "Too Old," and most shockingly, a hunched-over man with a cane is there for being "Too Crippled." Whoa. I'm really surprised the filmmakers were able to keep that little bit in there. 

In a way, I guess the guys behind this movie were actually trying to send some kind of message about people being prejudiced or something against ugly people, but um... they do a really bad job of conveying that message. They do a really bad job at everything, to be honest. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is truly terrible and not worthy of anyone's precious little time on this world. Those Topps trading cards may have been fun to collect when you were a kid, but trust me, a live action movie based solely on trading cards is most definitely never a good idea. 


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. Welcome back to the world of blogging. Yeah, Garbage Pail Kids is one notorious movie to start back with - still fun in s strange way. Great review.

  3. I'm a little older than you, so I had the cards and was excited to rent the movie the 1st week it was out (I don't think it lasted long in theaters), but I was very disappointed and vaguely creeped out by the movie.

  4. I was kind of a fan of the trading cards when they came out, although for the life of me I could not tell you why. However, I must have grown out of it by the time the movie came out, because I never watched it.

    Sounds like it is complete crap, though. Which, oddly, makes me almost want to see it now...

  5. I did not collect the cards and thought this was a pretty goofy idea for a movie - but I'm glad you got it assigned to you as it prompted a fine, fine review!

  6. the cards were good enough, Topps always makes the best trading cards, but um...yeah, this movie, ugh. Kill it with fire.

  7. Welcome back, Michele!
    LOL this looks so stupid, I gues I would have enjoyed it too :)

    oh btw, there's a new Garbage Pail Kids flick coming:

    1. You would have? Don't you mean you wouldn't have? Because no one in there right mind would.

  8. Toys, games, and video games are generally known for not making good movies. There's this, Super Mario Bros., Bratz, Clue, and probably several others I missed. Highly disappointing, but true.

  9. The cards were fun as hell, and amusing! The film was not. Like you say, it simply does not send out a good message for kids, on top of that, the GPK themselves look so bad. I wasn't aware, but it seems we are on the same page as far as movie watching goes, I'm currently on a bad movie roll!

    You gotta see TROLL II!

  10. Didn't really like film tbh, Toys and stuff were good tho

  11. I have a few problems with this review. First there are no, I repeat, NO good parts in this movie. Second, The owner's performance isn't enough to save this movie and like I said, There's NOTHING good in this movie. And plus, the acting in this movie blows.

  12. I collected the cards (still have every single one) and actually saw this movie in the theater. The whole movie I remember just waiting for the ending because I thought they would find their friends and you would see the rest of the Garbage Pail Kids. So when Dodger asks where the rest of the children are and Captain Manzini makes a crushing gesture with his hands and then they just kind of shrug it off, I was PISSSSSSSSED! Even as a little kid I remember thinking "What a crock of shit!!!!".

    I have to believe that the original screen play had them reuniting with the rest of the gang, but maybe budget constraints made them rewrite it. If not, the writer of this movie deserves to spend eternity in hell watching this piece of shit on an endless loop!

  13. The movie wasn't that bad, lighten up. It had its moments. I've seen far more disturbing films. Yes it was gross, that was the point. From trading cards you expect Citizen Kane? How old are you people, to be scared of a few bad puppets? Take a Valium already.