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

Garbage-Pail-Kids-MovieThis holiday season, your favorite grime bandits – Windy Winston, Messy Tessie, Foul Phil, Valerie Vomit and rest of the raucous crew come to life with outrageous personalities and irreverent humor when THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS® MOVIE Collector’s Edition arrives on home entertainment shelves on December 8, 2015 from SCREAM FACTORY™.  Based on the wildly popular trading cards, THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS® MOVIE stars singer/songwriter Anthony Newley (Doctor Dolittle), Mackenzie Astin (Iron Will, Wyatt Earp), Katie Barberi (The Bronx Zoo). This grossly entertaining cult classic features great makeup effects by John Carl Buechler (Troll, Dolls, Ghoulies).  Available for the first time on Blu-ray™, this definitive collector’s edition of THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS® MOVIE Collector’s Edition contains insightful bonus content, including new interviews with special makeup effects creator and artist, cast and crew.  A must-have for loyal fans, collectors and pop-culture enthusiasts, THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS® MOVIE also contains a collectible cover featuring newly rendered retro-style artwork and a reversible cover wrap featuring original theatrical key art.

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When Dodger (Astin) accidentally releases the Kids from their magical trash can prison, all smell breaks loose. Despite their offensive personal habits – and attitude problems – Dodger soon becomes fond of the Kids. But when Messy Tessie, Foul Phil, Valerie Vomit and the whole misfit crew join his fight against thuggish bullies, their efforts just might land them behind bars at the State Home for the Ugly!

Yes, I was one of those kids that collected the Garbage Pail kids Topps trading cards.  How funny is it when that Topps production credit came up at the beginning?  These were the parody version of the Cabbage Patch Kids; a super popular series of dolls that were cute and cherub-like.  These Garbage Pail renditions were similar in appearance, except trying to be as gross as possible.  I’m not sure if they actually made dolls, I think they were just cards.  But, they did one thing the Cabbage Patch rivals didn’t; they got a movie!

This is a film that left as quickly as it entered theaters back in 1987.  Critics…they hated it…audiences didn’t go to it and those that did apparently detested it.  However, due to the popularity of the trading cards…this is how the cult of the film began.  Many kids grew up and then heard “Wait…there’s a Garbage Pail Kids movie?”  Then, the thing became so rare…only available on VHS and a DVD didn’t come along til the mid 2000s.  First time I had heard of it and its legend was in college actually.  I may have known about it when I was a kid, but I couldn’t seem to recall.  One of my friends and I would peruse the internet trying to find a way to download it (That and early, hard to find Peter Jackson films like Meet the Feebles and Bad Taste).

As hyped up as you can get for a Garbage Pail Kids movie…I don’t think its going to wow or impress anyone.  For someone like me, there is a wallop of nostalgia that brings a wave you can ride until the closing credits.  Plus its full of super 80s stylings, laughable dialogue/scenarios and really weird songs.  I also have an affinity for the 1980s John Carl Buechler creature work.  So, if any of those things interest you, then maybe peak your curiosity and check it out.  It was funny that my wife, who doesn’t show much interest in 99.9% of the vintage and culty stuff I review, was super interested in checking this out and watching it with me.

Well, how do I spin this?  I enjoyed revisiting the film.  My kids seemed to be both entertained and weirded out by the movie.  To just this as a film, its pretty terrible.  But, as mentioned in the interviews, it has a very passionate following.  I think part of the joy is just seeing these creations coming to life and interacting on screen.  And that’s part of the problem with the screenplay, its pretty lazy and just says “Hey, here’s the Garbage Pail Kids!  Watch them just do stuff on the couple sets we’ve built.  Oh…and I guess here’s this plot”.  If you’re a person that can watch entertaining trash, then this will delight.  If you’re uppity and don’t understand the art of watching gonzo cinema or so bad they’re good movies, steer clear.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail:  The Garbage Pail Kids Movie in high definition only adds to their grossness.  This Blu-ray transfer manages to keep them looking disgusting with plenty of detail on this vintage practical 80s make-up and costuming work on them.  Their skin texture and craftsmanship is quite evident here.  Also good are clothing patterns and textures.  This one looks similar to many of the 1980s movies from MGM transferred to Blu-ray by Scream Factory. 

Depth:  Does a decent job of creating separation of things and people in environments.  Movements are cinematic with minimal blur.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and detail does get lost in hair color, surfaces, clothing emitting dark color and dimly lit or night scenes.

Color Reproduction:  The film is super 80s, but manages to have a restraint in keeping the colors bold and striking but not too vibrant, bleeding and distracting.  Reds and blues are pretty strong here.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and maintain their tint throughout.  Facial details like make-up, moles, freckles, wrinkles and the like are most evident in close-ups but aren’t too bad in medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Features some specs and dirt as well as a healthy layer of grain (more evident in darker sequences).

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Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  This is a very loud party track.  It should be commended how well this mono mix keeps a good balance of effects, vocals and music with how crazy and loud things can get.  The music especially is pretty in your face and sounds groovy.  Effects come in all varying volumes and have a good degree of distinctness, clarity and fullness.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is loud and clear.  Its clean and doesn’t really emit any sort of old analog feel at all.

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The Garbage Pail Kids Movie – Collector’s Edition comes with reversible cover artwork featuring the original theatrical poster.

The Effects of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (HD, 11:46) – John Carl Buechler discusses his involvement from the beginnings (Including his pitch on his take if he landed the director job).  Buechler tells a tale of the studio wanting the movie to be “adorable” yet using such gross and disgusting creatures.  It appears the the studio did not truly grasp what people really wanted in The Garbage Pail Kids.  Gino Crognale discusses his work on sculpting and adapting from trading card design to costumes.

Interview with Assistant Director Thomas Irvine (HD, 6:22) – He talks about shooting the whole thing in a warehouse and working with Mackenzie Astin.  The AD compliments the work of John Carl Buechler, marking that he has a distinct look to his effects.  He does mention being 30 years removed its all sort of “blurred together.”

Interview with Actor Mackenzie Astin (HD, 27:16) – The lengthy interview features a detailed account of the film.  Astin knows recalls everything quite easily and knows his history on everyone involved as well as having interesting anecdotes to throw in, too.  He talks of doing retrospective interviews and talking to fans about the film as therapeutic.

Interview with The Garbage Pail Kids (HD, 21:21) – Two of the actors that played the titular characters give a detailed and intimate account of their performances and experience on the film.  They talk about the stunts, action and costuming as well as the legacy and feelings on the film.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:02) 

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The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is really nothing but nostalgia.  Its enjoyable to look back on and more forgivable with the passage of time.  This film also benefits from how inaccessible it was for so many years and finding it was pretty rare.  The absence of something and its rarity will always make the heart grow fonder too.  Plus its just a sort of “What the f***” kinda film you rarely see anymore.  Scream Factory’s Blu-ray does it justice in the audio and video department and provides some great interviews to enhance your reasoning to own the movie.  As bad as it is, the film is still pretty entertaining in its weirdness and 80s encapsulation.  This is a great release of a “garbage” movie.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    What? Are you saying you need a reason to own this movie? Only thing I’m sad about is the case should have been puke green plastic color.