The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Reissue)
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Overall Rating 26%
Overall Rating
Ranked #3,503
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Connections: Garbage Pail Kids

It doesn't get any grosser than this... Meet Windy Winston, Messy Tessie, Foul Phil, Valerie Vomit and the whole outrageous Garbage Pail crew. When the stinky bunch are let loose in the junk shop of mysterious Captain Manzini, young helper Dodger finds these grumy new arrivals are just the help he needs to deal with the local bullies. But how can he get them back where they belong now they're free to gross our the world? --Amazon
Phil Fondacaro
Phil Fondacaro
Anthony Newley
Anthony Newley
Mackenzie Astin
Mackenzie Astin
Katie Barberi
Katie Barberi
Ron MacLachlan
Ron MacLachlan
Review by Chad
Added: July 30, 2005
After watching this movie, one thing raced through my mind: "What in the hell did I just watch?" would be the kid-friendly version of it. The storyline, if you can call it that, revolves around the ten year-old Dodger (Mackenzie Astin). Well, he claims to be fourteen in the movie, but if he was a day over eleven years old during filming, I'll eat my hat. Anywho, when Dodger isn't avoiding the local (mid-twenties) bullies Juice (Ron MacLachlan), Tangerine (Katie Barberi), Wally (J.P. Amateau), and Blythe (Marjory Graue), he works for a magician known as Cap'n Mancini (Anthony Newley) in his antique shop. The captain has all sorts of unique items in his shop and lets Dodger play with whatever he wants, but he strictly forbids him to touch a certain garbage pail that resides in the shop. It wouldn't be a movie if Dodger didn't accidentally knock this trashcan over, and in doing so, he lets out the Garbage Pail Kids.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Garbage Pail Kids, let me take this time to fill you in. Back in the mid-eighties, Topps started a line of cards known as, you guessed it, Garbage Pail Kids. They were sold in packs of six with sticks of gum, much like baseball cards. The cards featured gross and disgusting characters on the front with some sort of comic or puzzle on the back. And they were wildly popular. Kids loved them, mothers hated them, and Hollywood took notice. The cards have made a comeback in recent years, but have failed to reach the Yugioh-like popularity that they experienced in the mid-eighties. There was at least four series of cards available at the time this movie was made, and the film-makers picked seven characters to feature in the movie - the bulimic Valerie Vomit (Debbie Lee Carrington), an alligator-boy known as Ali Gator (Kevin Thompson), a mini-Fonzie named Greaser Greg (Phil Fondacaro), a pimple-faced Nat Nerd (Larry Green), the constantly-farting Windy Winston (Arturo Gil), snot-nosed Messy Tessie (Susan Rossitto), and finally, the baby referred to as Foul Phil (Bobby Bell). Yes, these pint-sized characters were played by midgets... excuse me, little people... and the movie featured none of that CGI / puppet nonsense.

So then, with the history lesson out of the way, let's get back to the storyline. Dodger has let the Garbage Pail Kids out of their trashcan-prison and they are now running amuck. Dodger makes friends with them, and convinces them to help him score with the lead bullies girlfriend. Yes, a ten year old boy is trying to hook up with a mid-twenties lady. If that wasn't bad enough, the plan that is sure to win her heart involves the Garbage Pail Kids sewing Michael Jackson clothes for Dodger, who will sell them along with Tangerine and help her fashion career along. Meanwhile, the Garbage Pail Kids want to help their friends escape from the State Home For The Ugly, and with the help of bikers from "The Toughest Bar On The Planet", they set out to do just that.

Ok, so the storyline is pretty far out there. But honestly, what did you expect from a movie that was rushed to theaters and featured disgusting midgets in the lead roles? Sadly enough, the movie was a huge flop - it played in theaters for just one week before rioting mothers managed to have it pulled out. It quickly hit home video, where it didn't fare much better. It slides in and out of the IMDb Worst 100 Movies list from time to time, but regardless, MGM has decided to give it a nice (albeit bare-bones) DVD release. How bare-bones is the disc, you may ask? Well, it features the original theatrical trailer... and... the movie itself... and... well, that's about it.

I keep getting sidetracked in this review. The basic storyline is pretty awful from a continuity / logic / sensible standpoint. It seems as though there was no script involved with the movie, and the director just told the actors to make up stuff as they went along. Things happen that just boggle the mind, but in the end, it all works out nicely for those who enjoy goofy movies. Your IQ may drop a few points after sitting through the ninety minutes, but damned if you won't enjoy losing those points. And if the storyline isn't bad enough, just wait until you hear the Kids sing a few songs... you'll have "I Want To Be A Garbage Pail Kid" stuck in your head for weeks, guaranteed.

Give it a rental. It's an awful movie, it features juvenile humor (highlighted by constant farting and pissing), the singing is atrocious, and it positively reeks of the eighties... but damned if it's not an entertaining ninety minutes. It's almost like watching an accident scene; you know you shouldn't be watching, you feel uneasy watching, but yet, you can't force yourself to turn away. Get a few beers in you, and you may just enjoy it even more. For that, I'm going to go with a 6/10 on this one.
Edd #1: Edd - added 08/01/2005, 10:41 PM
Holy shit i remember those characters. I liked the one that was born premature. Can't remember the name. I agree totally with the score on this one.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 08/09/2005, 04:47 AM
I can remember secretly buying the trading cards when I was little, againt the wishes of my mother. The film was a rushed and overly uninspired attempt to cash in on the controversy surrounding the cards. I loathed the film for taking a humorous and disgusting premise and making it worse with mediocre acting and a ridiculous storyline. This film is what brought the franchise down. 2/10.
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