“Rats and thunder, wind and hail, send the kids back in the pail.”
It was recently announced that Hollywood is planning to remake The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, so I thought I should write a review of the original. I always felt this film was underrated and under-appreciated. It was released in only three theaters across the country, and it never even made its money back in video sales. Apparently, it was recently released on Blu-ray, but the executive who pushed for this has since been fired out of a cannon towards the sun. Given that the sun is extremely hot, the guy probably died.
From the start, Garbage Pail Kids was marred with production issues, not the least of which involved star McKenzie Astin (Samwise Gamgee’s half brother) and a nasty case of explosive diarrhea. In hindsight, it might have actually furthered the plot if they had kept those shots in the film, and also saved some money on special effects. Shitting and Farting is basically all the Garbage Pail Kids do anyway. However, director Roger Moore was unwilling to compromise his vision and refused to allow any improvisation or deviation from his perfect script.
The plot centers on a botched science experiment that leads to a portal opening in a garbage can. Through this portal step the rude, crude Garbage Pail Kids. Friendly mad scientist Captain Manzini does his best to send them back where they came from, but—to quote Philip J. Fry—his best is an idiot. He basically just repeats the magic words “rats and thunder, wind and hail, send the kids back in the pail” over and over. When that doesn’t work, he just sort of gives up. This is good news for Dodger (Astin) who recruits the kids to help him show some bullies what for. The Kids are also instrumental in helping Dodger with his love life. Sort of. The girl he crushes on never comes around, but at least she eventually acknowledges Dodger exists and that he is a male human being who probably has genitals and stuff. Meanwhile, it is unclear whether or not the Garbage Pail Kids themselves are human, or if they could even be considered “kids” of any kind. They all basically look like monsters, more terrifying than the angriest clown in your worst nightmare about angry clowns. They are loveable misfits, though—mischievous but good-natured. When Captain Manzini finally figures out the magic words to reopen the portal, Dodger is sad to see the kids leave. To be honest, so was I. As Dodger said his final good-bye and put the lid on the trashcan, I couldn’t help but shed a tear.
It’s unfortunate that other critics and audiences didn’t seem to get this film the way I did. I found it to be playful and funny, while at the same time incredibly poignant. To this day, Moore insists his work behind the camera on Garbage Pail Kids is his finest achievement of his illustrious career, including all of the James Bond films he starred in. Rumor has it that he was approached to helm the re-make and when he turned it down, they offered it to Timothy Dalton. Dalton has neither confirmed nor denied this, but as a huge fan of the original I do hope they find a better Bond to direct it. I also hope they can get Justin Bieber to play Dodger. It’s about time that super talented dreamboat crosses over into the movie biz.