Snot and Vomit Apparel: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie on Retro Bizarro

Dodger likes Tangerine. Juice likes Tangerine too. So Juice throws Dodger into the sewer where Dodger’s acting career eventually ends up after agreeing to play one of the protagonists in Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie.

I say one of the protagonists because there are several others in this film. Luckily, they all had the opportunity to hide behind pimple-covered costumes adorned with snot and vomit. These are the beloved Garbage Pail Kids, who urinate, fart and puke their way into our hearts as they design clothing using boogers as adhesive and their impeccable knowledge of fashion derived from their home planet of who-cares-what-it-is-called-because-anyone-who-watches-this-trash-only-wants-to-see-fart-jokes-and-ugly-kids-anyway.

Unfortunately, only a few of the Garbage Pail Kids in the movie are colorful enough to warrant attention. Even as a child I found myself bored by Greaser Greg and Foul Phil. I can’t smell Foul Phil’s nasty breath like I can hear Windy Winston’s musical choir of farts. And Greaser Greg, well, there are about 1,000 Garbage Pail Kids who are more interesting than a fat kid who looks like Fonzie.

The same can be said of the cartoon (pardon the momentary semi-digression), which features a few of the least appealing characters in the series. At least the cartoon featured guest appearances from more colorful characters.

In the film they mislead the audience to believe that more Garbage Pail Kids will be revealed to us at the end of the film. They are trapped in The State Home for the Ugly . . . and that’s where the film’s budget ends and the director decides to throw an adult in diapers and a guy in a fucking Santa Claus outfit behind bars instead of a few more Garbage Pail Kids.


Nevertheless, even though Garbage Pail Kids is thought to be one of the worst films of all time, I really enjoyed it when I was young, and still pop it in from time to time. Apparently it was released on DVD a few years ago, a few weeks after I bought an ancient, barely-functioning rental VHS copy on Ebay. If you’re a fan of the cards, the gross, the bizarre, or strange Hollywood costumes, check this movie out. I’d stay away from the cartoon unless you’re a die-hard fan, however.

On the other hand, if you decide the film isn’t for you, at least check out the Oscar-worthy scene below:

Snot Bubbles and Fart-Propelled Kids: Garbage Pail Kids on Retro Bizarro

I still remember the first time I laid eyes on a pack of Garbage Pail Kids cards. Nasty Nick, though now a staple card representative of the first set, was nothing special. Brainy Janie looked like a redux from the Mars Attacks cards I found later in life. But Oozy Suzie, Slobby Robbie, those kids were downright disturbing . . . and for that, I loved them.

Riddled with vomit, snot, and entrails, the Garbage Pail Kids cards remain burned into the memory of hundreds of thousands across America. Spawning countless future sets and spinoffs (anybody remember Grossville High sticker cards?), Garbage Pail Kids laid a foundation for the “gross” market.

Things were never quite the same after Garbage Pail Kids. Where once the family gathered around a board to send siblings and parents into a state of bankruptcy, now children could wile away the hours digging plastic viruses out of snot issuing forth from a giant nasal cavity. Innocent cartoons from the past were replaced by cartoons a decade later like Ren & Stimpy and Billy & Mandy.

So is it the gross-out factor that makes GPK bizarro? Not entirely. It’s the blurred lines between demographics, such as can be found in Lotus Rose’s Macho Poni. It’s the outlandish yet relevant parody also found in books like CM3’s Cannibals of Candyland. And why are these titles and Garbage Pail Kids so successful, despite the constant bitching and moaning of parents across the country? Because they tapped into something that was already there. The creators identified an unsaturated market . . . the rest is history.

Shining Moments:

Nervous Rex had cigarettes sticking out of every orifice in his head.

The transvestite Swell Mel likely served as an inspiration for Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

Boozin Bruce hangs off a light pole, hallucinating pink elephants with a bottle of liquor in his hand.

Interesting Facts:

The Garbage Pail Kids were so successful that both a film and a cartoon series were released. The intro to the cartoon series, now available on DVD, can be viewed below:

Garbage Pail Kids still thrives to this day. The official website features the latest GPK series, as well as countless spinoffs. You can find it at the link below: