The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

Here we go, another contender for the title of Worst Film Ever Made. Unlike the movie Mac & Me, which is a shameless means to advertise to kids by ripping off a good movie but still features some redeemable performances, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie actually earns its place on the shortlist. Who knew basing a movie off of trading cards meant as a parody of a popular toy could end up going so poorly?

A boy named Dodger accidentally opens up a garbage can in an antique shop owned by a wizard and frees the titular Garbage Pail Kids. He then makes the hideous children work in sweatshop conditions so he can impress an older, self-centered lady who uses him to build out her trashy fashion line while trying to protect himself from her bully boyfriend. Oh, and he and the wizard also investigate the State Home for the Ugly to try and rescue other Garbage Pail Kids, only to discover that the state of California is fine with euthanizing people via trash compactor. At the end of the day, Dodger learns that friendship is magic or some shit, I don’t know, I stopped paying attention. God, why did I watch this movie?

Ok, let’s look at the various problems. First, the kids themselves. They barf, fart, get snot everywhere, pee themselves, threaten people with knives, make bad jokes, and in general make themselves a nuisance. And then they engage in musical numbers. Holy crap, why is there a musical number? It’s about as ill informed as this concept. Second, this kid Dodger looks like he’s 13 and is after a lady in her mid-20s. She exploits his obvious lust for her in a gross and definitely pedophiliac way, and when she learns about the magic of friendship, he tells her he isn’t interested because he doesn’t think she’s pretty anymore. Third, her boyfriend, who is apparently in his thirties, likes to beat up children. Fourth, the plot is grade A batshit. There is nothing I find redeemable here.

Street Trash was written with the intention to universally offend, but The Garbage Pail Kids Movie somehow managed to do this entirely unintentionally. It received universal hate from critics and managed to gain nominations from the Golden Raspberry and Stinkers Bad Movie awards. Hell, one of the voice actors has even admitted he regrets working on the film. Why is that? I don’t know, maybe it’s because this movie implies we like to throw “ugly people” like Ghandi into trash compactors. Yeah, Ghandi and Santa Claus are in the State Home for the Ugly in cages. Also, the Garbage Pail Kids get rescued by bikers after winning a bar fight by farting in their faces. I really wish I was kidding.

Look, I’ve seen a lot of movies where people puke on each other. This movie somehow made it grosser, what with all the other bodily…stuff coming out of every orifice. Fun fact about the puker though is that Debbie Lee Carrington played Valerie Vomit. She was also Howard in the movie Howard the Duck. Debbie was a talented actor and stunt performer in much better films like the 1980s Total Recall. Don’t you dare say shit about Total Recall, that movie is amazing, and so was Debbie’s work, even if the films weren’t always great. Respect the people in suits, folks.

Many of the films considered the worst ever made aren’t really bad pieces of cinema…at least not as bad as they’re claimed. There is usually something about them that at least warrants interest and in my eyes redeems them. Maybe it’s an interesting performance, a creative vision that drove a no-budget project, or a framing device that I find creative or unusual. This is not one of those films. This is one of the few that I struggle with to find something good about, like R.O.T.O.R. or Teenage Hooker Becomes Killing Machine. I just loathe these movies. I certainly loathe this one.

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