Garbage Pail Kids Review

Patty Putty: Never trust an adult who isn’t grossed out by a Garbage Pailer!

Beware: Spoilers may follow.

Back in 1980s there was a popular trading card series that was a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids known as The Garbage Pail Kids involving each featuring a character with a gross habit or abnormality. In 1987 someone had the idea to make a movie out of these grotesque characters. I have no idea why and frankly I never will. There is NOTHING of value to be found in this movie.

The story involves Garbage Pail Kids, Windy Winston, Messy Tessie, Foul Phil, Greasy Greg, and Nat Nerd who help a young boy named Dodger woo a fashion designer named Tangerine and deal with some older bullies.

Where to begin with the problems of this movie? No really this movie is a wreck right off the bat. There is almost nothing to gain from this story. There’s nothing showing the characters have learned anything, the Garbage Pail Kids are let loose wrecking havoc. Even Dodger giving up on Tangerine towards the end really just feels like nothing. All in all there is really no story with this movie and no relationship resembling anything meaningful.

The film is filled with so much weirdness and not in a good or unique way. There’s the fact that apparently there are policemen who catch people who look hideous with nets and take them to the State Home for the Ugly which gets even worse when you consider the people that are there such as Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Santa Claus for the stupidest reasons possible and are on death row with others.

Then there’s the look of the Garbage Pail Kids themselves and even for characters that are supposed to be gross and ugly they are AWFUL.  Ignoring the fact that we have no idea where they came from, the costumes weren’t even finished prior to production and the synchronization is off. Despite presenting themselves as friendly they look like killer dolls that never change expression nor do they open or close their mouth. It is some of the worst puppetry you will ever see in cinema. And their characters are no better spending the film being nothing short of nauseating and obnoxious. The film makes them out to be these innocent and likable misfits but their bad habits harm others as well and it’s passed off as amusing mischief.

The live action actors fare no better Mackenzie Astin as Dodger is nothing short of dull and is given no character whatsoever. The bully gang is easily the worst of the bunch not because they’re as stereotypical as you can get (though that certainly is part of the problem) but they look to be in their 20s or 30s and yet they’re bullying a kid who looks to be about twelve. Then there’s the matter of Tangerine being a love interest to young Dodger. Even though the two were only a year apart in real life and were actually a couple back then in real life she’s intentionally made out to be far older than him and it is CREEPY. Even if they were the same age in the movie it would still be a boring and clichéd mess given the writing for them. The only upside is that Anthony Newley gave a relatively good performance as Captain Manzini and I do commend him for that. If all the other horrible things in the movie didn’t surround him he’d probably do well in bringing it to life.

Finally there’s the song. Oh yeah this is a musical. No it’s not a good one. The song is stupidly weird with them stealing sewing equipment while stressing the importance of working together, the lyrics are repetitive, and the choreography doesn’t even resemble dancing.

This movie is a hideous and ugly mess not only on the outside, but also the inside. The effects are awful, its acting is atrocious, its humor is insufferable, and the worst part is that the movie spends its time amplifying and glorifying the worst of its elements. Even if you aren’t familiar with the brand this movie is based on, this is one of those movies you can judge merely by its title.

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