The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

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A couple weeks ago, or friend Mr. Gable at Mr. Gable's Reality threw down the gauntlet, seeing if anyone else wanted to tackle The Garbage Pail Kids Movie with him, and he had two other takers. You can read what all three thought here. Unfortunately, I had some other films on tap, so my look at this one had to wait. I remembered first seeing it when it came out on VHS, and not being very impressed. My buddy bought it on eBay about 8 years ago, but I never got the chance to see it with him. Now, with it on Watch Instantly, I had my chance.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is either about some short, gross humanoid aliens, or some homunculi created through the magic of Anthony Newley-- the movie is never exactly clear. What they are clear on is that Newley runs a magical antique shop, where he keeps these kids in a garbage pail in the form of living green slime, and they're released when the kid working for Newley runs afoul of some bully and his crew, which is more like Whitey Bulger and his gang than it is a childhood bully. Anyway, now Newley wants to get them back in the pail, while the small people want to see the world, and they help the kid get the girl-- who is a bit older than him, to the point the cops might need to be involved.

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Before I discuss why I didn't like this when I was younger, I should get into why I don't exactly like it now. It's just kind of weird. I don't mean about the Garbage Pail Kids-- I get the charm in them, because I loved the cards/stickers growing up. It was the other stuff. Like how the gator one (Ali Gator) looked and sounded hilarious, but he liked to bite people's toes off-- which is just weird. Even weirder, is the scene where the kid is taking a bath, and his foot is sticking out of the bathtub, and Ali Gator looks like he's about to do something quasi-sexual with it. What were they thinking? Or when the guy who was a more menacing version of the neighborhood bully, takes the kid underground to the sewage system, ties him to a pipe, then unleashes some raw sewage from another pipe, something the kid would've died from if the Garbage Pail Kids hadn't saved him. That's pretty rough and twisted for a bully. There was a fun message in here about how beauty is only skin deep, plus some great gross-out humor-- and the Garbage Pail Kids themselves were pretty funny, with mechanical puppet heads on midget bodies-- but the bad weirdness diminished the good for me.

Now, as an 8 or 9-year-old watching this, my complaints were much simpler: where the hell was Adam Bomb? He was the face of the Garbage Pail Kids, and you left him out? They must've really been going for a cash-grab here, because a Garbage Pail Kids movie without Adam Bomb is like a Spiderman movie without him climbing up a building, or a Superman movie without him flying. I get that a midget with an exploding head might have been something difficult to pull off, but you just can't make a Garbage Pail Kids movie without it.

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"Tom Servo, if you don't stop doing your Anthony Newley I'm going to throw you through the wall." I want to say that came in the Starforce: Fugitive Alien II episode, when the gang did a montage of songs based on "He Tried to Kill Me with a Forklift". One interesting fact about Newley and this movie: the kid who worked for him was named Dodger, and Newley is probably best known for his role as The Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist. And then he did this...

Windy Winston farts in a biker's face, and the strength of the flatulence is such that it blows the guy's moustache off. See, that's frickin' hilarious. The thing is, five minutes before, Ali Gator bit a biker's toe off. Weird. Why not have the bikers be freaked out that Ali Gator looks like a freakin' half gator half midget mutant, and they attack him for that? Then they could drive their point home that you can't judge a book by its cover-- which, when you consider that the Ali Gator character bit people's toes off, I'd say in that case you'd be perfectly justified in judging a book by its cover, right?

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That's Katie Barberi, who played the part of Tangerine, the girl the kid was after. I'm not saying she's bad looking there, but have you seen her now? Wow, total knockout. It's a fascinating thing with women from the 80s, because the fashions from then were so different from today's, especially with the hair and make-up, that so many look even better in their forties than they did then. She's made a big career for herself doing telenovelas, which I imagine is nice work if you can get it, right?

The fact that this is available on Watch Instantly right now makes it a better deal than usual. I don't know, because while you have great elements like Anthony Newley and a Garbage Pail Kid farting a biker's moustache off, you also have a kid tied to a pipe with raw sewage dumped on him, and that same kid in a quasi-foot fetishism scene that was fully off-putting. I guess maybe you gotta put up with some bad weird to get some good weird, huh?

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093072/

5 comments:

  1. I don't think was weird in a good way at all, this was just REALLY bad beyond belief and painfully unfunny, it makes films like Meet The Spartans and Soul Plane look like comedic genuis by comparison.

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  2. This is a movie I can guarantee I would have loved as a kid had I ever watched it. I was so blissfully ignorant of things and would have just enjoyed the fart jokes like no tomorrow.

    And I can totally see this being unwatchable to most people. If it weren't for one WTF scene after another I don't know if I could have made it. But after he farted that dudes mustache off...I was hooked. That scene makes this movie. I had to rewind and watch it over again because I wasn't sure if what I had seen had just actually happened. Love it.

    I'd watch it again. And probably again. I doubt that I'd like it but I know that down the road I'll forget about it and all I will remember is that someone gets their mustache farted off so I'll be like, "Hell yes. watching this." and then get reminded how dreadful it all is.

    But I love the constant switching of gears. And that leading lady. HOOOOO BOY. Love her, she is amazingly beautiful. And if she's even hotter now...that makes it all that much better.

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  3. There were plenty of great moments, like the farting the mustache off-- plus, the Garbage Pail Kids were midgets with weird mechanical puppet contraptions for heads, which were hilarious. I guess you just gotta take the good weird with the bad.

    And oh yeah, I Googled her because I thought she might be related to OJ's girlfriend (I got Barberi mixed up with Barbieri), and it was like Wow! Mucho Gusto!

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  4. One of the best parts of the movie is the title song during the end credits!

    "If you get sent to the principal, you can be a Garbage Pail Kid!"

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  5. Oh man, I can't believe I forgot the song, considering it was in my head for a good 24 hours after watching the movie. That was pretty sweet.

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