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The Garbage Pail Kids Are Rearing Their Ugly Cinematic Heads Again: "Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair!"

By Rob Payne | Industry | March 13, 2012 |

By Rob Payne | Industry | March 13, 2012 |

I don’t really remember anything about the TOPPS collector card series the Garbage Pail Kids, other than I was as obsessed with them as some kids are today about Pokemon, or Justin Bieber, or whatever they’re into these days. (Lawn, eh, you know the drill.) It’s possible the big screen adaptation of the characters forced all the rest of it out of my brain, lest I succumb to absolute madness, which is like absolute zero — inescapable. Yes, it’s true, Garbage Pail Kids is the worst movie of all time. I don’t care what your answer is, it’s wrong. If Troll 2 is the Best Worst Movie, then GPK (as “fans” call it?) is the Worst Worst Movie.

Some time last year — see? I don’t even remember how long ago it was, that’s how much the movie scars your hippocampus — I had the displeasure of watching Garbage Pail Kids again as an adult. To put it as succinctly, as I can: It doesn’t hold up, if it ever did. There is no plot. There is no character development. Hell, there are barely any characters, because even the Kids themselves are only as fleshed out as their trading cards, and the humans that are there have utterly no redeeming qualities. Plus, I love horror films, and that shit is just fucking grotesque. If there is one saving grace, and there’s never been a bigger If, it’s that the kids/aliens/monsters/whatever are a beacon of diversity and merely offensive to humanity, and not any specific group. The alligator isn’t even a Cajun stereotype!

But apparently Michael Eisner disagrees, seeing rainbows where I see toxic waste. The former head of the House of Mouse bought the rights to the Garbage Pail Kids in 2007 and is now planning to make another major motion picture adaptation the first project for his new company. That can only mean that Garbage Pail Kids is a lifelong dream for Eisner and not some terribly misunderstood quest for easy cash, because only a nostalgically blinded butthole or the spawn of true evil would think this is a good idea, and nobody who ran Disney for multiple decades could ever be described as “evil.”

There is a very slight silver lining here, and that’s the fact that Eisner has hired animator PES to direct the feature length Garbage Pail Kids: The Next Degeneration.* If, like me, you never heard of PES until today, he’s the recent viral star behind the “Fresh Guacamole” short film. He’s mostly known for stop-motion (or, go-motion if you’re fancy), and that might be the most suitable format for the bizarre absurdity inherent in the Garbage Pail Kids. If he and fresh screenwriter Michael Vukodinovich can tap into the satirical edge that Art Spiegelman must have intended, they might make something somewhat watchable. The Internet video star certainly knows what it takes to get me to want to play tangible Scrabble with real people instead of Words with Friends on my phone:

* That’s yours for free, Mr. Eisner. You’re welcome.

Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He would like to take this moment to formally apologize to his parents for making them suffer through the first movie on more than one occasion. That was totes his bad.

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