Blu-ray Review: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (Collector’s Edition)

Quite often people ponder how Hollywood can adapt a sprawling 1,000 page nove into a two hour movie. What will the screenwriter cut out. Will they cut away a beloved character in order to introduce someone that appeals to the marketing department? It’s basically like making a bikini for Kate Upton out of an old circus tent. There are other times when they announce a movie that is based on such slim material that you ponder the sanity of the producer. Garbage Pail Kids stickers were introduced in 1985 by Topps as a reaction against the Cabbage Patch Kids craze. Instead of being sweet and lovable, GPK were crude and disgusting. They were immediately embraced by the sick and twisted kids across the globe. Naturally it wasn’t too long before big shot Hollywood producers arrived with a dream of turning the stickers of mutated dolls into a blockbuster movie. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie: The Collector’s Edition is a testament to what happens when you construct a script based on a handful of stickers.

The movie smartly starts out with a credit sequence that shows variations of the Garbage Pail Kids cards featuring the cast. Greaser Greg, Valerie Vomit, Ali Gator, Foul Phil, Nat Nerd, Windy Winston, Messy Tessie leaped from the stickers to the silver screen. But they aren’t alone in their adventure. This is the story of Dodger (Mackenzie Astin), a small boy who works at an antique shop for Captain Manzini (Doctor Dolittle‘s Anthony Newley). Dodger gets picked on by the local teen toughs at a nearby park. Juice (Ron MacLachlan) likes to shake him down for money. He also picks on the punk to impress the puny gal Tangerine (Katie Barberi). Dodger has a crush on Tangerine which doesn’t work out right. Juice’s battle with the boy at the antique store leads to a mysterious garbage pail getting knocked over. As Dodger gets coated in raw sewer by the mean kids, his new friends emerge to save the poor kid.

The movie is one of those great ’80s films that captures the time. Tangerine’s hair is a work of fizzy goodness with various Madonna-esque accessories. There’s a whole plot about Dodger doing his best to help Tangerine in the fashion industry. The creature creations make the Garbage Pail Kids look like they were the stickers come to life. The film might have had a low budget, but the physical effects are top notch. While he could have easily been obscured by the gross co-stars, Anthony Newley keeps up his side of the screen. He acts to the performers inside the GPK suits and not the rubber exteriors. He even gets to sing a little. This would be his final cinematic effort. How can the man who co-wrote the theme to Goldfinger top it?

Director Rod Amateau got his start on TV helming episodes of Dobie Gillis and Mister Ed. He should be beloved as a producer of both My Mother the Car and Supertrain. With The Garbage Pail Kids Movie on his filmography, Rod had an amazing career. Michael Lloyd’s synth score is pure ’80s cheesy goodness. The soundtrack is filled with a lot of clone songs that capture the times.

Some critics call The Garbage Pail Kids Movie the worst film ever made. But it’s far from the worst. This cinematic spectacular so amazingly weird that it becomes addictive. It’s better than The Artist. This is like Desperately Seeking Susan There’s an issue of wondering if the producers really expected the kids who bought the stickers to be old enough to go to the movie alone. Thankfully they didn’t think too hard or we’d not have the pure delight of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer doesn’t give away too many secrets of the Garbage Pail Kids’ costumes. The ’80s fashions pop on the screen. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio mono. The levels so you can hear Windy Winston’s talent clearly. The movie is subtitled.

The Effects Of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (11:46) interviews With Special Makeup Effects Creator John Carl Buechler And Makeup Effects Artist Gino Crognale. Buechler wished it was more like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He had directed Troll. His idea would have been great. But the producers wanted it cute.

An Interview With First Assistant Director Thomas A. Irvine (6:22) lets the often ignored crew position describe keeping the production running while dealing with the characters. He properly describes the job as “the hub of the wheel.”

An Interview With Actor Mackenzie Astin (27:16) him talking about making the leap from The Facts of Life to GPK. He didn’t imagine it would be this legendary.His parents were torn on him working on the film. Mother, Patty Duke (The Patty Duke Show) had not problem. John Astin (The Addams Family) was against it.

Interviews With Garbage Pail Kids (21:21) spends time with actors Arturo Gil (Windy Winston) And Kevin Thompson (Ali Gator). The two guys have praise for director Rod Amateau who made sure they didn’t pass out on the set. They animatronic head waved nearly 15 pounds.

Theatrical Trailer (2:02) really makes you want to watch this movie with more than butter on your popcorn.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is a rich brand of cinematic trash.

Scream Factory presents The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Directed by: Rod Amateau. Screenplay by: Rod Amateau & Melinda Palmer. Starring: Anthony Newley, Mackenzie Astin & Katie Barberi. Rated: PG. Running Time: 98 minutes. Released: December 8, 2015.

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