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THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE - Skull
Rated PG
Copyright 1987 Topps Chewing Gum.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 10 August 2007

The Characters:  

  • Dodger - His choices of attire are disturbing. Not since "Michael Jackson's Naughty Nighttime Theater" has a young boy dressed this way. Does he want to attract pedophiles? The wife has assured me that a girl his age would not find him appealing.
  • Cap'n Manzini - Anthony Newley! A well traveled magician who owns an antique shop. I spent the entire viewing in mortal fear that this guy was going to take off his pants and plant his bare butt square in front of the camera (I have some history with Anthony Newley).
  • Ali Gator - He wants to eat your toes; all of them.
  • Greaser Greg - Phil Fondacaro! He comes complete with a bad attitude, switchblade, slicked back hair, and black leather jacket.
  • Valerie Vomit - She does, eventually, regurgitate.
  • Windy Winston - Hoggle's gassy cousin who suffered a major stroke that left both sides of his face paralyzed.
  • Nat Nerd - Pimpled and clad in a urine-stained superhero outfit; he gives nerds a bad name.
  • Messy Tessie - Never shake hands with this girl.
  • Foul Phil - The result if some maniac were to give a baby garlic-flavored milk.
  • Tangerine - Mean girl who designs clothes and uses Dodger's crush on her to trick him.
  • Blythe - Okay, if you are going to insert a gorilla woman in your movie for kicks, please do not include a scene with her running quickly. Should such a scene be mandatory, provide her with a bra and do not make her wear a tiger-striped top.
  • Wally - Not quite tough enough for the gang. Maybe he should try out for a boy band.
  • Juice - Look at the tough gang leader in his minivan!

Buy It!

The Plot: 

While watching this movie I came to the realization that I would rather be washing the dishes than subjecting myself to a movie made by people who obviously should not have made a movie.

The opening scenes are a forewarning of what is to come. To start, we see the garbage pail in Manzini's cluttered shop and watch as the can begins to leak green goop (it looks like snot flavored cream of wheat). Everything goes dark. We are still able to follow the action via sound as the kids sneak out of their metal home and run amok inside the antique shop. The racket quickly brings Manzini to investigate. He finds that the little monsters have already retreated into the garbage pail. To prevent any further issuance from the can, he weighs down the top with a diving helmet.

Did you read that paragraph above? Remember that when the Garbage Pail Kids do get out and Manzini is unable to force them back into the pail.

Another scene intended to provide the viewer with background is when Blythe and Wally chase Dodger through the park. The young protagonist (egad, but I hate to call him that, as he is distinctly an antagonist from my perspective) runs smack into Juice. The two male gang members carry Dodger to a large mud puddle, steal his wallet, then dump him into the muck. All of this happens in broad daylight. Nobody notices the boy getting mugged or comes to help. Could the passers-by also hate Dodger? If so, why? None of them had been forced to watch this movie; it was being made at the time.

In keeping with the calamitous setup thus far, Dodger has a crush on Juice's girlfriend, Tangerine. She looks much older than him, as in Dodger being a high school freshman and Tangerine a senior. Not too many senior girls date freshman boys from what I remember about high school, though I recall the reverse being fairly common to the detriment of many fathers' blood pressure. Not that I am worried about Jenna, my daughter, dating a senior her first year in high school. Her potential suitor will be welcomed into the house - after I see how many dents I can add to the hood of his car using his head. Some have said that Jenna will need to pick young men with physical fortitude until she moves out of the house. I plan on teaching her self defense as well; the dangerous period for boyfriends might last longer than that.

Per the IMDb, the actor who plays Dodger is only a year younger than the actress playing Tangerine. I hope that boy received growth hormone boosters after this movie was over.

Juice and the rest of the gang rough up Dodger again after catching the little creep making a pass at Tangerine. A short chase takes place inside the antique shop and the garbage pail is knocked over. None of the humans notice, because the gang members are too intent on teaching Dodger a lesson. Blythe pries up a manhole cover with her bare hands. The group descends into the tunnel and Dodger is tossed under a sewer outlet. The freakish woman mutant then muscles the valve open (something that Juice and Wally were unable to do). Brackish fluid spills out onto the unconscious Dodger. He is saved from drowning in liquid filth by the Garbage Pail Kids.

The "Children," as Manzini calls them, are the story's star attraction. In an attempt to make them appear like they did on the trading cards, the title characters are played by midgets and dwarfs wearing heavy costumes. They look awful, like bobble heads gone horribly wrong. Not helping that perception is that the suits seriously limited the vision for those wearing them. There are several times when you can tell that the suit actor is doing their best, but is hopelessly hampered by latex (I swear, that phrase rings true every time).

Most damaging to the movie is the fact that the Garbage Pail Kids commit a variety of social offenses. These acts are things you would not want someone doing if trapped in an elevator with them, but they are not funny. The running gags are very unfunny. Clear urine often pours from Nat's leg, Tessie slimes whatever she is handling, Winston passes loud farts in nearly every scene, and Ali only wants to bite off and consume the toes of anyone unlucky enough to have them showing. None of the effects are up to snuff. If you are like me, you expect Winston's gas to buffet people in the back blast area, in addition to sending lightweight objects airborne. Ditto with Valerie's regurgitation affliction; she should be plastering the walls with a thick froth. Instead, we are treated to disgusting effects that barely pass muster. It is almost as if the special effects crew did not have their heart in it.

Judging by the credits, the special effects crew was used to stuffing flat pieces of gum into packs of baseball cards - not generating gallons of vomit to be emitted at high pressure.

Though they do not believe she is worth the effort, the Garbage Pail Kids help Dodger hook up with Tangerine. The girl earns a living by creating outfits and selling them at local dance clubs. (Do many women go to dance clubs to shop?) Among their many talents, the distasteful can dwellers have a knack for making hip clothing. Now Dodger has something that Tangerine wants; he is in heaven. The "Children" put up with it, making more and more outfits for their human pal. Eventually, they do get burned out and have a night on the town. Some of them destroy a movie theater, while Ali and Winston cause trouble in a motorcycle bar. When they return to the antique shop, it is back to work.

Anyone with dating experience knows that something is fishy. Tangerine is only playing Dodger so that the Garbage Pail Kids will provide her with enough fashionable clothing to become a successful designer. Once the garments are complete, Juice and the other gang members waylay the little sweat shop workers. Dodger is tossed inside a dumpster (and not a luck dragon in sight), while all of the Garbage Pail Kids are taken to the State Home for the Ugly.

Yes, the State Home for the Ugly, or SHFTU for short. Boy, that acronym is close to being rude. Anyway, people who do not fit into normal society are netted and then taken to the SHFTU. There they are confined to cages until they either:

A. Get less ugly.
or
B. Are euthanized.

Before you get your hopes up that this movie might be over, let me tell you something: no Garbage Pail Kids were harmed in the making of this film. There is an allusion that the missing "Children" were interred at the State Home for the Ugly and crushed to death, but our present lineup of reprehensible bobble heads is safe. More than safe, after Dodger bursts into the cycle bar and begs the patrons for help. Brave kid, that Dodger. He went to a motorcycle bar wearing a silver glitter bowtie around his bare neck.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Flatulence is an effective way of rousing an unconscious individual.
  • Fashion designers will not give you the shirt off of their back...unless you buy it.
  • Pepsi made at least one bad product placement choice.
  • Too much junk food will give you a hangover.
  • Snot is under-utilized as an adhesive.
  • Being a b***h is always in fashion.
  • Being Weird Al Yankovic is illegal in some jurisdictions.
  • The choices for capital punishment include the electric chair, lethal injection, hanging, firing squad, and trash compactor.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - I think that he has fire hydrants confused with something else.
  • 11 mins - You know, there are dirty pots and pans soaking in the sink. I could go clean those.
  • 22 mins - Will most fourteen-year-old boys take a bath in front of an audience?
  • 25 mins - It got dark awfully fast; Daylight Saving Time must not be in effect.
  • 30 mins - Lesson #2 for the kids: grand theft auto.
  • 44 mins - Can we watch old "Three Stooges" episodes, instead of this junk?
  • 49 mins - Those pots and pans are mighty tempting.
  • 52 mins - Ladies and gentlemen, that was the funniest part of the whole movie.
  • 74 mins - "How about we put on our ape suits and spray them with the fire hose for a few minutes?"
  • 94 mins - Okay, time to scrub cheese off the skillet! Yay! (I am dead serious. I was thankful to do the dishes.)

Quotes: 

  • Manzini: "You took them out of the garbage pail. Say hello to trouble. Dodger, meet the Garbage Pail Kids!"
    Greaser Greg: "Hey, I'm Greaser Greg. Wanna rumble, kid?"
    Dodger: "No thanks."
  • Tangerine: "Tonight, I would like to show you a totally new concept in youthful fashion. They're a little flashy, a little trashy, but fun."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note gpk1.wav Manzini: "Did you get the blood of a toad and the eye of a newt?"
Dodger: "Nope. Pet shop's out of unicorns, too."
Manzini: "No wonder there's no magic in the world today. You can't get the ingredients."
Green Music Note gpk2.wav Foul Phil: (Cries.)
Winston: "What's the matter?"
Foul Phil: "My tummy hurts!"
Windy Winston: "What did ya eat?"
Foul Phil: "Everything!"
Windy Winston: "That'll do it alright."
Foul Phil: (More crying.)
Green Music Note gpk3.wav Manzini: "In the whole universe there is one place where you and the children are safe, whether you like it or not, and that is in the garbage pail. Now, until I can find a spell that will get you back in there, you are all in grave danger."
Ali Gator: "We can take care of ourselves."
Green Music Note gpk4.wav Tangerine and Dodger have a heart to heart.
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage
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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgpk1.mpg - 2.8m
The kids are playing poker.

Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to play the clip. Beating your head against a tree is more fun.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #25. Posted on February 19, 2008, 05:14:08 AM by movieguy247
I saw a huge cardboard advertisement for this in '87 at my local megaplex in PA but it never opened. I had to wait until Feb. '88 to rent the video. As expected, it's a huge piece of 1980s crap! I can't believe this is on DVD and "Howard The Duck" is not. WHY?!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of those "family movies" that no parent in their right mind would allow their children to watch!
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #26. Posted on February 19, 2008, 01:42:33 PM by KYGOTC
I can't believe this is on DVD and "Howard The Duck" is not. WHY?!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of those "family movies" that no parent in their right mind would allow their children to watch!


Uuuuggg....Howard the Duck doesn't ease my stomach pains any less.
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #27. Posted on December 28, 2008, 10:43:16 PM by Joe the Destroyer
I watched this movie for the first time tonight, and while it was positively awful I could not bring myself to completely hate it.  The film itself was bereft of humor, good acting, and plot, but there was something about the 80's-ness of this film that kept me from despising it. 
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #28. Posted on June 02, 2009, 08:41:17 PM by Jay
Fortunately for me, this franchise's craze was before my time!  The characters on the cards were ugly, nasty, and above all, unsettling!  And then to recreate them as midgets in masks, eughh!  There's something quite disturbing about puppets and guys in costumes trying to look like humans and be nasty like them as well!

What it all comes down to is that this bandwagon was never meant to be a feature film!  It should have never went outside of the trading cards!

Appropriately, while other franchises of the 80's, like Care Bears, GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and others have re surged in popularity, I have yet to see these kids come back!  Heck, I didn't even know such a thing existed until the Nostalgia Critic reviewed this movie!
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #29. Posted on June 02, 2009, 08:49:32 PM by Nukie 2
Why did this movie suck so bad?
Did the film-makers just not know who their audience were?
It could've been a Cult flick like "Meet the Feebles" if they wanted it to be, but never a family movie.
What were they thinking!
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #30. Posted on June 14, 2009, 02:03:57 AM by BTM
Appropriately, while other franchises of the 80's, like Care Bears, GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and others have re surged in popularity, I have yet to see these kids come back!  Heck, I didn't even know such a thing existed until the Nostalgia Critic reviewed this movie!


Actually, they are back, they've had several new series of cards come out, mainly parodying stars of today.  Dunno where one can find them though, Wal-Mart and Target, for whatever reason, quite selling them. www.garbagepailkids.com
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #31. Posted on August 07, 2009, 01:19:37 PM by Jay
Oh, well I guess I just never paid attention to it.  I might be living under a rock, but considering this film, maybe I'm one of the lucky ones!

I would applaud them making these kids resemble their animated versions, but by having midgets in rubber suits?  That's just wrong!
Usually, I would say the mistake was making a live action adaptation of a cartoon, as has been the case with most such films.  In this case, however, the mistake was in the source material.  The Garbage Pail Kids are disgusting, unsettling, and downright unlovable!  It may have been ok for a Cartoon series, but not much else.
Re: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Reply #32. Posted on December 25, 2009, 10:00:46 PM by Alex
Didn't someone on "Family Guy" buy this? Lookingup
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