The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (Collector’s Edition Blu-ray / Movie Review)
The best way to describe The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is like watching a massive car crash in super slow motion. The bending metal, the blood, the death and mayhem; it’s horrific and terrifying, yet you can’t turn away from it. You have to watch it, you have to witness this madness unfold and you must know what the end result will be. The end result will in fact be an hour and forty minutes of your life spent watching a kid try to win the heart of a much older girl, who just wants to put those gross Garbage Pail Kids to work in a sweatshop, making clothes for her “fashion career”. If you were a fan of the Topps trading cards, this movie must have felt like a slap in the face, or in the spirit of the kids, a puke on the lap and a fart in the face.
SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: PG PRODUCTION DATE: 1987 RELEASE DATE: Dec 8, 2015
It Doesn’t Get Any Grosser Than This… Especially in High-Definition! 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! This grossly entertaining cult classic features great makeup effects by John Carl Buechler (Troll, Dolls, Ghoulies) and co-stars Phil Fondacaro (Troll, Ghoulies II), Katie Barberi (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and singer/songwriter Anthony Newley (Doctor Dolittle).
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie was the first ever movie to be based on trading cards, with Mars Attack being the next and only other movie to be based on cards and surprise, both of those movies were flops, so what does that tell you? As for GPK, the movie failed to capture the spirit of the gross-out cards, instead opting for a family friendly flick, about how much the 80s lacked in fashion. Yes, there are some pretty cool pail kids making appearances in the movie, with Messy Tessy probably being my favorite one. However, the movie doesn’t focus on them as much as you hope it would, instead opting to focus on the kid Dodger (Mackenzie Astin), who befriends the little monsters and works with them to get back at his enemies, such as Juice (Ron MacLachlan), who looks like something the 80s would’ve barfed up. Dodger also tries to win the heart of Tangerine (Katie Barberi), who looks much too old to be making out with this kid, who has barely hit puberty, creating an insanely creepy vibe anytime they are on screen (funny enough, they were dating in real life at the time of filming, but for some odd reason, it just doesn’t look right on screen.)
Had the movie been more of a horror film or straight gross-out humour, bypassing the kiddy feeling of it all, the movie probably would’ve done better overall. Instead, you have a flick that doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be and instead wastes a good portion of your time gawking at terrible fashion statements. I never did collect the cards myself, but I can honestly tell you from the bottom of my heart, the movie does a great disservice to the cards. Now, if they decided to not base the movie on the cards and instead marketed it as a fashion show/slave labor film, the money would’ve been rolling in like crazy, but alas, hindsight is 20/20.
I’m not entirely sure why Shout! Factory/Scream Factory decided to label this release as a Collector’s Edition. The disc isn’t entirely jammed pack full of features, with the longest being a 25-minute sit down with actor Mackenzie Astin, who was hilarious and enjoyable to listen to. The other features are a couple of interviews with a few of the people who played the Garbage Pail Kids and a few people who worked on the film, with notable effects creator John Carl Buechler (Dollsand plenty of other genre classics). All the features combined worked out to be a little over an hour long. There is no commentary included and the only other feature is a trailer. I will mention that after watching the interviews, I did have a better appreciation for the film, but mainly just for the hard work put in by the people behind the scenes and behind the costumes.
Okay, so it isn’t the features that justify the collector’s name, so maybe it’s the audio and video? Thankfully, both are really well done, with the video being clear, with all the grainy goodness of the 80s left intact. No complaints from me.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
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)
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is definitely unforgettable, but not in the way you would want it to be. It’s a movie that will stick with you, but only because it’s a terrible film, with a story that is laughably convoluted. The effects are pretty cool on the kids, but they will probably induce some unwanted nightmares and fans of the trading cards are going to be very saddened by the lame attempt at recreating the gross loveliness. Scream Factory has labeled this as a Collector’s Edition, in a move that probably surprised everyone, but the features don’t do enough to earn that brand, however, the audio and video are perfectly fine. It’s a toss-up as to whether you should pick this one up or not. If you’re not a fan in the least bit, it’s an easy pass, but if you are a fan (if there is even one out there), the disc is worth it.