Trashy `Garbage Pail Kids` Has No Value
September 5, 1987|By JUAN CARLOS COTO, Special to the News/Sun-Sentinel
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is one of the worst ever made.
These disgusting tykes, who appear on Topps chewing gum cards, gained national fame two years ago when parents called for them to be banned as offensive rip-offs of the famous Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.
Fruitless efforts to keep the lid on the Garbage Pail Kids only increased their popularity, resulting in a film that not only is revolting because of its main characters` obnoxious habits, but because of how badly it is executed.
When the Kids appear on the screen, they are just what they seem to be -- little people in costume heads. They talk without moving their mouths and their almost expressionless faces seem to be made of concrete.
Down to par with the not-so-special effects, the film tries to tell the contrived story of Dodger, a kid who works at an antique store owned by Cap`n Manzini (played by an apparently shameless Anthony Newley). Dodger is in the store trying to woo Tangerine, a beautiful older girl who lives next door. But when Tangerine`s boyfriend, the local (and very cliched) thug shows up, he doesn`t like Dodger moving in on his girl.
Their battle knocks over ``the pail`` in the store and opens what Cap`n Manzini labels a ``Pandora`s Box.``
The problem is that the horrors of the world released from Pandora`s Box weren`t flatulent and didn`t vomit or rub mucus all over their friends.
The Garbage Pail Kids try to be ugly versions of Steven Spielberg`s E.T. They`re dejected, far away from home and nobody likes them because they`re ugly.
Granted, they may not be the most appealing of kids -- but they are vulgar by choice, they weren`t born that way.
The erroneous logic of the Pandora`s Box metaphor runs throughout the whole film, which can`t seem to figure out if it`s a movie for children or adults.
As if this weren`t enough, pseudo-moralizing comes into play when the film attempts to pass off Dodger`s infatuation with Tangerine as innocent.
So innocent that Tangerine seduces Dodger.
Still, this excruciating movie doesn`t let up. After the Kids show a sudden talent for sewing and fashion, they decide to help Dodger impress Tangerine, who wants to be a fashion designer, with his flashy outfits.
There`s more absurd moralization when they ``help`` by breaking into a non- union sweatshop and stealing sewing machines. Appearently the fact that it`s a non-union sweatshop makes it right.
The Garbage Pail Kids should not be considered a children`s movie because it has no value and teaches none. The film only glorifies habits that kids outgrow before they`re old enough to even go to the movies.
In short, don`t lift the lid on the Garbage Pail Kids.
(No stars) The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
The Garbage Pail Kids help a friend woo an aspiring fashion designer.
Credits: with Anthony Newley, Mackenzie Astin, Kate Barberi. Directed by Rod Amateau. Written by Melinda Palmer and Rod Amateau.