The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

While trying to find a movie to watch at my local mega-chain video store I stumbled across Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie. It wasn’t necessarily a title that I was interested in, but due to its nostalgic value, I thought my wife would enjoy it.

I do remember the Garbage Pail Kids pretty well, although they were a bit “after my time”. It’s no secret that the Garbage Pail Kids were supposed to be a disgusting and weird parody of the ever-so-clean Cabbage Patch Kids. When I rented it, I thought maybe there’d be some kind of creative use of sick and twisted humor, since the trading cards always had such delightfully vile characters on them. Was I ever wrong… First, let me start with the characters themselves. They looked exactly like they did on the trading cards, which was actually “off putting” in its own way. The costumes were very detailed, but the animatronics were horrible to say the least. It made me wonder if the people who designed them had been fired from Chuck E. Cheese’s design studio.

Next, we have the “acting”, but that’s stretching it a bit; I’ve seen stronger scripts in 1970’s porn. One commenter stated that “It looked like they were just making it up as they went along”, to which I second that, although none of the dialog was even that imaginative. I just loved how the so-called bully (Juice) would harass Dodger, portrayed so ineptly by Mackenzie Astin by calling him a “creep” and then throwing him down in the sewer, dumpster, etc. All the human roles were cookie-cutter stereotypes and had absolutely no depth or personality whatsoever. I realize that this movie was made for kids, but even in other kid-friendly movies I’ve been forced to watch, you generally have some feeling or care about what’s going on, even if it’s only surface feelings. Watching this movie was the equivalent of having you eyelids propped open with toothpicks and duct tape and having to sit through an ABC After School Special about teen mothers played frame-by-frame in slow-motion and starring Scott Baio.

Two things I still can’t get over were two locations used in the storyline: “TOUGHEST BAR IN THE WORLD” and the “STATE HOME FOR THE UGLY”. I suppose the writers felt that their audiences were certified mentally challenged and that it’s imperative that everything must be spelled out for them.

Movies can be silly, satirical, humorous, weird and even stupid sometimes, but this movie lacks all but the last I one I mentioned on this list. Nostalgia has never been so appalling as Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie.