The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is a 1987 American live action film adaptation of the then-popular series of children's trading cards. It was produced, directed, and co-written by Rod Amateau and is the last film to be directed by Amateau.
For those who don't know, the cards were a parody of the popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and each card featured a character that typically had a gross habit, abnormality, or suffered a terrible fate. The film depicted many of the Garbage Pail Kids (played by dwarf actors in costumes) interacting with society and befriending a regular boy.
The movie was universally panned, a box-office bomb and has gone down as one of the WORST movies of all time. It's also Doug Walker's #1 most hated movie. He considers it to be the #1 WORST film he's reviewed by The Nostalgia Critic due to the poorly written story, unexplained scenes, WAY too much padding and how highly inappropriate this film is.
A garbage can spacecraft is seen flying near Earth. The same garbage can is then shown inside an antique shop owned by Captain Manzini. A boy named Dodger is being assaulted by four bullies in a park. Juice, the leader, steals Dodger's money and drops him in a puddle. Dodger goes to Manzini's antique shop where he works. Manzini takes Dodger's clothes and cleans them while warning him to stay away from the garbage can. Later, Dodger sees Tangerine, Juice's girlfriend, who seems to be the most compassionate one towards Dodger, and tries to persuade her to buy something. Dodger is attracted to Tangerine and covertly smells her hair while she is distracted. The other bullies enter the shop and attempt to rough up Dodger again, but he manages to outwit them. However, amidst the tussle, the garbage can is knocked over. The bullies then bring Dodger into a sewer, handcuff him to a rail, and open a sewage pipe on him. Dodger is saved by little mysterious people named the Garbage Pail Kids.
Manzini returns and is upset that the Garbage Pail Kids have been released from their can, but introduces Dodger to each of them: Greaser Greg is a leather jacket-clad greaser with a violent attitude; Messy Tessie is a girl with a constantly runny nose; Windy Winston is an insane boy who wears a Hawaiian shirt and often farts violently; Valerie Vomit is a girl who throws up on command; Foul Phil is a whining hungry baby with halitosis who constantly asks characters if they are his "mommy" or "daddy"; Nat Nerd is an obese acne-riddled boy who poorly dresses up like a superhero and wets his pants frequently; and Ali Gator, the group's natural leader, is an anthropomorphic half person/half alligator who has an appetite for human toes. Manzini explains that the kids are forbidden from going in public, because they'll be attacked by the "normies" (normal people), and that he can't get the kids to go back into the garbage can without magic.
The next day, Dodger goes with Tangerine to a night club where she sells clothes she designed herself. Dodger behaves awkwardly when Tangerine removes her shirt to sell it. Dodger then hides when Juice shows up. Meanwhile, the Kids then steal a Pepsi truck, flatten Juice's car with it, and then have a camp fire in an alley with stolen food. The next morning, the Garbage Pail Kids recover from hangovers and give Dodger a jacket they sewed. The jacket impresses Tangerine who asks Dodger to get more clothes so she can sell them. The Kids get bored and decide to wear disguises to go out in public. First they go to a theater playing The Three Stooges shorts and behave obnoxiously. Ali and Windy go to a bar where they start a fight with bikers, who are soon won over by the Kids' heroics, in which they celebrate with beers. The Kids make more clothes for Dodger after stealing a sewing machine and singing a song about working together. Tangerine sells the clothes and begins to prepare for a fashion show based on them. She meets the Kids and is repulsed by them, but realizes she can take advantage of their designs.
The night of the fashion show, Tangerine locks the Kids in the basement of the antique shop so that they don't escape, and soon, they are captured by Juice and his gang who bring them to the State Home for the Ugly, a prison where people too ugly for society are brought and executed. People there include the "too fat" Santa Claus, the "too bald" Gandhi, and the "too skinny" Abraham Lincoln. Manzini and Dodger help them escape and head to the fashion show. The Garbage Pail Kids trash the fashion show and rip the clothes off the models, while Dodger gets in a fight with Juice. Later that night, Tangerine apologizes to Dodger and asks to be his friend, but Dodger doesn't accept her apology for her greed. Captain tries to sing the Garbage Pail Kids' song backwards to coax them back into the garbage can, but the Kids sneak out and ride stolen ATVs away to cause more havoc.
Why It Sucks
- Considering the confusion of their morals, The Garbage Pail Kids often made obscure and/or immoral things and suddenly change and begin to do "well" (though in equally strange ways).
- Over reliance on gross-out humor.
- In the poster there are bizarre writing's on the top of the title that reads "Out of the garbage pail and into your heart!" and at the bottom of the title that reads "A live action heap of fun!" (oh we bet) to "supposedly" give off an image that this going to be a lighthearted film for kids, which is clearly not the case (see topic 5).
- False advertisement: despite being called The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, they aren't so much as main character's as more of the supportive character's of the film, the film focuses more on a young boy named Dodger, a store owner named Manzini, a young teenage girl named Tangerine and a bully named Juice.
- The puppets of the Garbage Pail Kids were poorly-made with really bad looking styles and mouths that sometimes never move, the two most infamous of The Garbage Pail Kids is Ali Gator and Valerie Vomit, Ali Gator as he always has his mouth open in the wide screens and Valerie as she has her eyes malfunctioning most of the time (this was pointed out by I Hate Everything).
- Highly inappropriate for a kids film. There's drinking, stealing, sexual images, violence and excessive use of gross out humor and toilet jokes. The main reason for all of this violence is because this was originally meant to be a horror film about Garbage Pail Kids born from broken dolls when a radioactive sludge that found its way into a bunch of garbage cans that was filled with said broken dolls, turning them into serial killers, but for some strange reason they decided to turn this into a family film made for kids (this was also pointed out by I Hate Everything).
- There are guards that goes around capturing ugly people and take them to a place called "The State Home for the Ugly." Let that sink in.
- Very poor acting. For instance, why are the bullies who look like adults pick on a young kid who is only 12?
- After Dodger gets caught by one of the bullies, a female bully laughs in a very odd manner.
- Very bad editing, at one point in the day time when Tangerine takes Dodger a drive in her convertible, right after Dodger ask "So what do we do when we get here?" it immediately cuts at night time before Tangerine answers the question(this was shown in The Nostalgia Critic's review of the film).
- Poor explanations. For instance, there's a garbage can flying in space at the beginning of the film, but it is never referenced again later on.
- Captain Manzini is a lazy unlikable store owner/father figure as he does not help out Dodger with the bullies.
- There is a completely pointless romantic subplot between Dodger and Tangerine. To make things worse, Dodger looks like he is 12 years old while Tangerine looks like she is in her 20s (their actors at the time were actually 13 and 14 years old respectively and were dating when the film started production but broke up half way through).
- This movie is LOADED with pointless scenes of the Garbage Pail Kids causing trouble around town, which serve no purpose other then being filler.
- On the topic of this, there is no real plot in the movie until Juice and his gang throw the Garbage Pail Kids into The State Home for the Ugly.
- In a scene after the Garbage Pail Kids gets thrown in The State Home For The Ugly, when one of the guards say how they will be gone soon, a guard made a crushing motion with his hands, scaring the Garbage Pail Kids, this is clearly hinted that not only do they capture and imprison ugly people, they also KILL them as well, this shows how EXTREMELY cruel the guards in this town really are (this was showed in The Nostalgia Critic's review of the film).
- Near the end of the film after Dodger defeats the bully, he splits up Tangerine not because she used him to get money and was responsible for locking the Garbage Pail Kid in the shop so they can get thown into The State Home for the Ugly by Juice, but because she is "not pretty" (worst way to split up with a girl EVER).
- The movie thought it was going to get a sequel, as evidenced by the Garbage Pail Kids breaking out into ATVs, but it was thankfully cancelled due to the movie's poor critical reception and failed box office returns. There was also going to be a reboot which ALSO got canned.
- The film might be the worst live action movie ever, even more so then Howard the Duck, Kazaam and Drop Dead Fred combined!
- The song "Working With Each Other" is so out of nowhere, poorly written, and annoying.
- In an interview years later, Mackenzie Astin (Dodger) and Arturo Gil (Windy Winston) both criticized the film (though Gil said he thought the film was laughable).
- The Garbage Pail Kids (except Ali Gator) have really annoying voices. To make things worse, Jim Cummings, one of the greatest voice actors of all time, voices two of the kids, Greaser Greg and Nat Nerd. On Imdb, It said that he was openly ashamed of taking part in this movie.
The Only VERY SLIGHTLY redeeming elements
- Anthony Newley (Captain Manzini) does look like he's having fun performing. And with that said, his performance is not half bad.
- Mackenzie Astin (Dodger) looks like he's trying.
- Some of the music isn't bad. The ending song "You Can be a Garbage Pail Kid" is surprisingly kind of catchy.
- As mentioned before Ali Gator's voice isn't that bad