The Garbage Pail Kids Movie(MGM Home Entertainment, 7.12.2005)
This is an example where a great concept gets ruined by Hollywood plot mechanisms. The Garbage Pail Kids started as stickers that spoofed the Cabbage Patch dolls. Topps took those creepy, wholesome babies and turned them into creeps named Foul Phil, Messy Tessie, and Valerie Vomit. You'd imagine a film about the Garbage Pail Kids brought to life as just an out of control freakshow. But the human story is freakier than the title characters'.
Dodger (Mackenzie Astin) is a 12 year-old loser who constantly gets tossed into raw sewage by Juice (Ron MacLachlan), a goon dressed like an extra on Miami Vice. He has a crush on Juice's girlfriend, Tangerine (Katie Barberi). The girl is out of Dodger's league since she can drive. But the kid can dream and he discovers the Garbage Pail Kids while in Anthony Newley's antique shop. He's warned about these dolls but, much like the characters in Gremlins, he doesn't listen. This is followed by weirdness about the Garbage Pail Kids helping the kid impress Tangerine by coming up with 80s fashion designs.
Today, a movie like this would use CGI to bring the kids to life. But back in the 80s, they shoved little people into foam costumes. This effect actually works since the humans look more unrealistic than the kids. This could have easily been one of the great cheesy films of all time. Unfortunately, the plot about the under-aged kid trying to woo the bully's mature girlfriend is more disturbing than the gross-out nature of the dolls. At 100 minutes, the movie goes on way too long for light entertainment. By the way, the DVD's only extra is the film's theatrical trailer.
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is worth a rental if you have fond memories of the stickers. But whatever you do, don't watch it sober. -- Joe Corey