The Garbage Pail Kids Movie - Collector's Edition (Blu-Ray) : Release Year - 1987
Overall Rating : 3.5/10
Directed By : Rod Amateau
Phil Fondacaro (Land of the Dead)
Anthony Newley (Alice in Wonderland (1985) )
Mackenzie Astin (Wyatt Earp)
Kate Barberi (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Your favorite grime bandits come to life with all the farts, snot and vomit you can take in this hilarious film full of "gross-out humor" (The New York Times). Based on the wildly popular and irreverent trading cards, The Garbage Pail Kids® Movie stars Mackenzie Astin (Iron Will, Wyatt Earp) as a perfectly nice teenager who discovers the Kids...to his great disgust! When Dodger (Astin) accidentally releases the Kids from their magical trash can prison, all smell breaks loose. Despite their offensive personal habits and attitude problems Dodger soon becomes fond of the Kids. But when Messy Tessie, Foul Phil, Valerie Vomit and the whole misfit crew join his fight against thuggish bullies, their efforts just might land them behind bars at the State Home for the Ugly!
In THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE, Dodger is a young teenager who assists Captain Manzini at his "Manzini's antiques" shop. Captain Manzini, is a magician, aside from being an antiques dealer. At his shop, the Captain specializes in a number of oddities. Oddities that he allows the curious Dodger to explore. But there is one object in his shop that is off limits - a mysterious garbage pail. Manzini is unclear as to its content, but Dodger knows not to disturb it. However, soon, something occurs that unleashes that contents out into the world. Dodger is a quiet kid, but because of this, he is a prime target for bullying, and is often the target of local bully, Juice's wrath. On one such encounter, things get rough, causing the garbage pail to spill over. Along with some slimy green goo, it is revealed that the pail has housed a group of children from another planet. With names like; "Valerie Vomit", "Windy Winston", "Foul Phil", "Nat Nerd", "Ali Gator", "Greaser Greg", and "Messy Tessie". These kids are both crude and somewhat offensive. Initially, Dodger doesn't quite know what to make of the gang, but soon, he befriends them, when he becomes aware of their talent for sewing garments. Fashionable clothes is exactly what he needs to win over Juice's girlfriend, Tangerine. Dodger has his eye on Tangerine, and as it turns out, she's into fashion, as she often sells her own designs to any buyer that might come along. When Dodger tells the girl of his dreams, a little white lie, after she is quick to take notice of his flashy jacket, he employs the Garbage Pail Kids to quickly create more outfits. After this, things start to look up for Dodger in terms of his relationship wit Tangerine. Tangerine has even earned a fashion show spot, hosted by McBundy's department store, However, little does Dodger know, that it has all been part of a money scheme, as Tangerine has been secretly working alongside Juice the whole time. Tragedy strikes Dodger and the gang of kids as the fashion show rolls on, as Juice and his goons abduct the Garbage Pail Kids and take them to the "State Home for the Ugly", where they collect a hefty bounty for them. From there, it is up to Dodger to wrangle up some biker friends, as they hope to rescue the kids who came from the garbage pail.
Ok, so here is a film that is a rather notorious film among film fans; THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE. Notorious, because it is considered a "bad film". Is it bad? Yes it is. It is one of those films that was made with the wrong purpose in mind. Of course, everyone knows that "The Garbage Pail Kids" started off as a line of trading cards, put out by card company TOPPS starting in 1985. The cards featured an array of colorful, and crude characters and become hugely popular over time. They were the type of characters that would suggest that if a movie was based on them, that movie would be more adult themed, or at least more dark. In line with this line of thinking, Effects Supervisor John Carl Buechler(who is also responsible for directing films like TROLL and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII : THE NEW BLOOD), had proposed an idea for the film that was dark, moody, and more along the lines of a Horror film, as the kids would be ones that kill. However, the production company, ATLANTIC ENTERTAINMENT, wanted something much different. They wanted something more cute and kid friendly. In the end, that is just what they received. However, the film ended up being pretty much a disaster that had no aim.
Honestly speaking, script-wise, THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE is a film that is just all over the place. It is one that essentially has no firm story in place. The film basically just cobbles together a bunch of ideas together, and in the end hopes that it makes some sense, but unfortunately, it doesn't msae much. It's a film that has an ADHD attention span, as it goes from one story element to the next. First, it's suggested that The Garbage Pail Kids come from space, then Dodger is bullied, then it turns to the girl, Tangerine being a fashion designer, and then has the Garbage Pail Kids, subsequently helping Dodger to create some clothes in order to impress her, There is a scene in which the kids try to get an old TV working, right before they hit the street, and end up in a bar room brawl at a biker bar. And then there's Tangerine's fashion show. And then the kids are kidnapped, and sent to the State Home for the Ugly.....see what I mean? There is no real continuous story here, but rather just a bunch of ideas, It seems as though the writer who was tasked with penning the script, really had no idea what to do here. However, i'd say the blame falls on the production company, whom just had the wrong outlook for the project from the beginning. The film is fairly scatterbrained. Despite the overall story, there is also the strange vibe that the film has. Despite wanting us to believe that the film takes place in the real world, the world in which THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE exists is purely cartoonish. The buildings and such look as though they are facades on a sound stage, the colors are bright, and the fashion is extremely loud and gaudy - yes even for 1986-1987. There is no way this is real life. It's just all strangely odd.
However, with all of that said. and for as bad as it is, in just about every aspect, THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE. is one of those bad movies that is just difficult to turn away from. While watching the film, one is just simply mesmerized by all off its absurdity. It's unexplainable. I suppose it is just to see all of the head scratching moments within. It is a cocktail of different ideas, one more less relating to the last, as it moves along It's a wonder how this script was even "OKed", or first thought of as a good idea. Again, it's just all over the place as it tries to justify its purpose. Something which we are still unsure of when the film is over.
With the scrambled nature of the script, it's a wonder how the actors were able to keep a straight face, or even keep track of their roles, however it is clear that everyone here was just doing the best that they could with what they were given. Props should of course, first be given to the little people actors who had to perform the roles of the titular kids, inside of hot, latex foam suits, while wearing heavy latex heads, fitted with animatronics. That must have been rough for them, yet they did their jobs. The film's stars Mackenzie Astin(Son of Patty Duke, and John Astin, brother of Sean), and Katie Barberi are more known for their colorful characters here, than their performances, as they are nothing special. As they are just characters whom exist among a strange landscape. It is no fault of the actors. It's just that these characters will be known more for how they looked, and what they wore, than how they were portrayed. Although, I will say that Barberi was kind of cute in the film.
With the detailed depiction seen on the popular trading cards, the property made way for a graphic effects-laden film to be made, one that could have surely capitalized on the crude nature of these characters. THE GARBAGE KIDS MOVIE would have made a potentially cool Horror film. Unfortunately, the proverbial ball was dropped here, when it was decided to go against what it is that the trading cards conveyed. But what's done is done, I suppose, and what we have here, is a strange, offbeat little film, that isn't quite sure of what it wants to be. It's a bad film, that is a missed opportunity, yet it is one that you just can't help but be charmed by, even if just by a little bit.
As for the Blu-Ray release from SHOUT! FACTORY, it presents the film via a new HD transfer. It isn't perfect, as the transfer is a little rough around the edges, however, with that said, it is an obvious improvement over the previous DVD release of the film. As for features, the film features 3 new interview featurettes, as well as the film's Theatrical trailer.
Some details about the special features are as follows :
The Effects of THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE (11m 45s) An interview with the film's Effects Supervisor John Carl Buechler, and Effects Artist, Gino Crognale. The two talk about how the project came about; from initial story ideas, to the finished look and design of the Garbage Pail Kids. Buechler explains that he envisioned the film being much more darker in tone, more along the lines of what the trading cards suggest, but explains how he went along with the project anyway.
On the Set with Assistant Director Thomas Irvine (6m 22s) Assistant Director Thomas Irvine recalls his time working on THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS, what he thinks of it, and the film's cult status.
"The Artful Dodger with Mackenzie Astin" (27m 16s) A great interview with one of the film's stars, Mackenzie Astin(Dodger). Astin seems to embrace the film, and so this interview is rather fun. He reveals many details about his experience on set - as well as the fact that he and Actress Kate Barberi("Tangerine"), were in fact dating at the time of shooting, but subsequently broke up as it was on going.
"The Kids Aren't Alright" (21m 21s) This featurette features an interview with both Kevin Thomson(Ali Gator) and Arturo Gil("Windy Winston"), who were 2 of the little persom actors who were inside the suits of their respective characters. Both recall how they became involved with the film(through well known little person Actor, Phil Fondacaro), as well as the rigors of filming in suits. A nice interview by 2 guys who seem to remember the film with fondness.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Opinions definitely differ when it comes to THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS MOVIE. For years it has been regarded as a "bad movie". For some its just plain bad, and then for others it's "so bad it's good". Honestly, I have never heard, or read about anyone ever calling this a great movie....or better yet a good one. But for some reason, people are drawn to it, and because of this it has become a "cult" film. This Collector's Edition Blu-Ray is proof of that. Personally, i'm not sure were I fall in on the whole thing. While I certainly don't think this is a good movie, honestly, I don't necessarily hate it. There is something strangely charming about it that has had me come back to revisit it from time to time, so I guess that says something. I just feel that overall THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS was just a misguided, missed opportunity. But as is, I suppose it is what it is. It's definitely an oddity.
Special Features include :
- NEW The Effects Of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie Interviews With Special Makeup Effects Creator John Carl Buechler And Makeup Effects Artist Gino Crognale
- NEW On The Set An Interview With First Assistant Director Thomas A. Irvine
- NEW The Artful Dodger An Interview With Actor Mackenzie Astin
- NEW The Kids Aren't All Right Interviews With Garbage Pail Kids Actors Arturo Gil (Windy Winston) And Kevin Thompson (Ali Gator)
- Theatrical Trailer