The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

garbage pail kids move poster 1987
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10



Movie Info

Movie Name: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

Studio: Topps

Genre(s): Comedy/Musical

Release Date(s): August 27, 1987

MPAA Rating: PG


The kids are grosser than the cards…just their costume designs.

Dodger (Mackenzie Astin) has discovered a bunch of new friends when he knocks over a garbage can in a junk shop owned by Captain Manzini (Anthony Newley).  Greaser Greg, Messy Tessie, Windy Winston, Valerie Vomit, Foul Phil, and Ali Gator are all freakish outcasts with no parents.  As Dodger tries to impress a girl named Tangerine (Katie Barberi), Dodger and Katie learn that the Garbage Pail Kids have a knack for sewing.  When Tangerine plans a fashion show with the Garbage Pail Kids’ styling, but her ex-boyfriend Juice has other plans…could the Garbage Pail Kids be headed to the State Home for the Ugly?

Written, produced, and directed by Rod Amateau, Garbage Pail Kids is musical comedy.  Based on the series of Garbage Pail Kids series of trading cards which premiered in 1985 is often considered one of the worst films of the ’80s and some also put it on the list of worst films ever made.  The film received Razzie nominations for Worst New Star (Garbage Pail Kids), Worst Original Song (“You Can Be a Garbage Pail Kid”), and Worst Visual Effects.


Mackenzie…you’re not cool

The movie is a weird musical that has little background because it was based on cards which were hated by parents and teachers.  I remember being excited when I heard they were making a Garbage Pail Kids movie.  I was a big fan of the cards and quickly collected all the characters found in the movie for my set.  I wasn’t able to see it in the theater since it was in and out quicker than most.  It might have gone better if original plans to make it a horror movie had happened.  It could have been a type of Killer Clowns from Outer Space goofy movie, of course parents who already hated the cards would have really loved that.

The film is awful all around.  I can’t imagine what the actors thought when they got to the set.  It is a strange way to appeal to viewers by having the characters put on a fashion show.  I don’t know why Garbage Pail Kids know so much about fashion and why Amateau thought that ten-year-old boys would be interested in a semi-musical set around style.  I totally understand how something like this gets the cult status as “what the hell is this” following.


Hey Messy Tessie, think we’ll be back?

Mackenzie Astin (brother of Sean Astin) moved from The Facts of Life to this (which must have really wowed the cast of The Facts of Life and his mother Patty Duke).  The generally the human cast struggles when competing with characters in a film like this…but they are just as bad as the Garbage Pail Kids.  I do have to feel a bit sorry for them because they had to know this was not going to fly (especially when something like Howard the Duck by George Lucas flops).

The Garbage Pail Kids look awful.  they do resemble their cards but look like a kids with giant papier-mâché heads.  Why they picked the cards they picked for the characters can also be questioned.  It was probably because the characters had to be easy to make.  It would have been impossible to have a skeleton or snowman or two headed kid…instead we get a gross baby asking for his mommy and daddy.

The Garbage Pail Kids survived The Garbage Pail Kid Movie and there was allegedly meant to be a spin off TV series which never manifested (thankfully…but animated might have worked better).  The cards have continued sporadically until today, and now there is even talk of another Garbage Pail Kids movie.  I can’t imagine it could be worse.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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