Nostalgic Trauma 101: The Garbage Pails Kids Movie!

I was lucky enough to be a kid throughout the 80s and have a first-hand experience with what is now, the glory days of nostalgia. One thing from my childhood that I was completely obsessed with was The Garbage Pail Kids, even at a ridiculously young age. I was three years old when GPK first hit the scene and was a bit of an oddball at that age loving both the insanely popular Cabbage Patch Kids while being immensely intrigued by all things horror, I remember being absolutely enthralled with the cards to the point where anytime we were at the store, I would beg the parents for a pack or two.

Actual pic of my room in 1986 so you know I ain’t bullshitting you.

The Garbage Pail Kids were TOPPS middle finger to Xavier Roberts and his CPK line as the infamous trading card company had initially wanted the license to put out some wax packs like pretty much every other pop culture entity had in the 80s and 90s. However, Roberts scoffed at the idea and turned the company down, in turn launching a series of cards in 1985 from artists at TOPPS poking fun of the toy line by making them even uglier than they already were with a gross-out factor. And thus was born the Garbage Pail Kids and a phenomenon of the 80s that is carried on to this very day with collectors catching new packs faster than your parents attempting to nab a CPK doll in 1983.

The line was so popular in fact that in 1987, a movie came along that (I think) was meant for kids… but hey it’s the 80s, and all kids’ movies were pretty damn dark anyway. It was almost like a rite of passage to help put some hair on our balls and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie was in no way short of providing plenty of trauma to kids who watched it. Add in a tiny person with an alligator face who loves to eat fingers and we got ourselves a tried and true, 80s kids’ movie folks!

In all honesty, this movie is one of the worst films ever made, and as much as I love GPK and I actually did get a kick out of this movie as a kid, watching it as an adult even with those nostalgia goggles, it’s just one of the most fuck-awful films I’ve ever seen.  It’s a trash spectacle of Z-grade 80s cinema. But you know what? In all the mess that it is, I believe that also might be its saving grace. A movie, so terrible, so awful that most that have seen it, have wiped it from their memory or shrugged it off as some sort of fever dream could be the very reason that when people talk about it today, they just laugh their hardy asses off. No one actually gets MAD at how bad it is; just at that, it’s just so damn weird and wild that no one would ever take this shit seriously.

If you’re someone that hasn’t witnessed this chaotic shitshow, the plot is basically the “kids” are mutant alien children that live in a trash can and befriend a bullied kid named Dodger along with his only friend, an antique shop owner who somehow knows everything about these gross ass kids from outer space. And by kids, I mean piss-poor animatronics and puppetry that would scare the shit out of the likes of Freddy Krueger. These “kids” are fucking goddamn terrifying to look at and I don’t know if that was the intention or not, but I had nightmares for weeks about Ali Gator and even more so, Messy Tessie- the booger snot-faced kid with a face that just scared the ever-loving shit out of me by her just standing still- staring. Like the monster she rightfully is.


Makeup f/x artist John Carl Buechler (director of TROLL and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD) who was initially slated to direct wanted the GPK movie, originally pitched it to be a horror film, with people being turned into hideous Cabbage Patch-like monstrosities that terrorized a small town. Although I think that probably would have worked better for older audiences and would maybe stand the test of time for 80s kids of today, it obviously wouldn’t have worked at all for kids in 1987. And yet without even trying they made a horror movie anyway with those giant prosthetic heads. I want to believe Buechler did that on purpose to scare the shit out of the kiddies. Bravo, it worked.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie goes balls to the wall on every single level, but I can’t help but find some sick and twisted charm in it. This is a movie nobody should ever willingly watch, but one that everyone needs to see at least once. It’s horrifying, stupid, gross, offensive and so mesmerizing that you’ll feel comatose from horrifically bad 80s cheese that would never get green-lit today.

Or hey if you really hate someone, make sure to recommend this movie to them to ensure they’re out of your life forever.

At least the opening credits were a banger, eh?

Creature Features: The Mucho-Ecological, Man-Eating Lake Blob From “Creepshow 2”

Nightmare Nostalgia Presents Creature Features: An ongoing tip of the hat to some of horror’s greatest monsters throughout the genre that don’t seem to get the recognition they wholeheartedly deserve.

Firstly, I would never bullshit you guys. Outside of a slimy little extraterrestrial asshole with an unnaturally long neck pointing his glowing fingers at everything trying to phone home, and a demon reverend with 20,000 teeth singing hymns on rainy days, and a mechanical shark, not a whole lot scared me as a kid. In fact, I grew up on horror movies and was schooled at the tender age of three with the beautiful Universal Monsters collection via my grandfather, and my father who introduced me to Halloween.  Apparently, I used to dance around to Halloween music with poms-poms at this age- I still don’t want to believe I was that cool that early on, but I’m just going to go with that. So yeah, embracing the horror since the potty-training days made me somewhat desensitized to a lot, it took something special to get me shakin’. Aside from what I mentioned above, and to be honest here there’s probably more that I’m just not thinking of at this moment, one thing I DO recall from my youngin’ years scaring the ever-loving shit out of me, was the mucho-ecological Lake Blob from Creepshow 2‘s, The Raft.

Creature Features: The Mucho-Ecological, Man-Eating Lake Blob From

What the hell is that thing, Poncho? Well, this pre-1988 Blob of sludge is never really explained, even thirty years after its theatrical release. We know it’s hungry, (I guess), and once it nabs its carnivorous entrée, the object completely dissolves into the Lake Blob and seemingly becomes a part of it. As we can see through various shots throughout The Raft, this “oil slick”, as the four teens refer to it, has pockets of waste and I swear I’ve seen bones in this damn thing, as it moves along patiently awaiting its next meal. I’ve looked for these answers friends as to WHAT EXACTLY IT IS or WHERE IT CAME FROM. And until I have the opportunity to actually ask Stephen King himself, or anyone who worked on the film, I may never fully know for sure. However, I have my own theory…

I could just be taking this whole thing to an unnecessary level of deep-rooted fuckery, but hear me out. What if, the Lake Blob is a metaphor for Mother Nature and the havoc we have wreaked on poor Mother Earth. Let’s face it guys. We’re kind of dicks to this planet, and history and well, science has shown us those facts. Maybe this Lake Blob is Earth’s middle finger to humankind; because clearly, it has a thing for humanoids with an occasional side of passerby duck. With each death via Lake Blob, the victim is engulfed by the slick creature’s globule tendons and pulled into its aura, dissolving into its sludgy mass. Thus, making the prey part of the predator now. Or for lack of a better term, back to the Earth you go you polluting Homo Sapien. With the initial meeting of the Blob and the four teens at the lake, this thing immediately comes and confronts them. Randy does point out that this thing, “doesn’t look like an accident… it looks like it’s on purpose.” Then it proceeds to consume Rachel in the most horrifying way imaginable. And for the record, is the scene that totally scared the crap out of me from wanting to swim in ANY LAKE EVER.

Although, I bet Tarman from ROLD would be into her.

Lake Blob Creepshow 2

Of course, feel free to tell me I’m completely way off base here. If that be the case, let’s hear your theories below! Until next time kiddies and in the meantime, steer clear of any isolated bodies of water.

Trypanophobia in Horror Movies: The Anatomy of the Needle Kill

Horror movies love to play on our real-life fears, because hey what’s the point then, am I right? Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns is a great example. Then there’s Gerontophobia, where you know as well as I do that the elderly can make Pennywise look like preschool nursery rhymes. But today, we’re gonna talk about good old-fashioned Trypanophobia, ya’ know the fear of needles, which seems to be more rampant among society now than in years prior and no one seems to know why. It’s estimated that a quarter of adults today have some sort of needle fear ranging from mild to extreme and the horror genre takes no prisoners in capitalizing on that phobia with viewers whether it’s intentional or not. As the saying goes, or at least I always throw it out there, “Horror is what you make of it,” and personally speaking here, I am goddamn terrified of medical needles so whenever I see a syringe being used as a weapon of death, much like how I view them now even though I realize it’s totally irrational, I cringe like a mother fucker.

The irony in all of this is that I’m a trained Phlebotomist and never had an issue with needles up until a few years ago- right around pandemic happenings. As someone with a bonified anxiety/panic disorder and also a person who loves to analyze everything to death, I concluded that all the fear, uncertainty, and various images of needles shown across the media board may have certainly contributed to it. Tattoo needles? No problem, and seeing as how my husband is a tattoo artist and we own our own shop, that would be a disastrous situation. However, you come at me with a medical syringe, I better be dying or you might just end up being crucified with those needles like this crooked-ass cop from Tales From The Hood who rightfully had this shit coming.

Anyway, the use of needles as an instrument of woe and murder in the horror genre is quite ironic as for the most part, this tool is used to save lives while in the horror world, they love to utilize it as a symbol of death. For people with needle phobias, these scenes can be both traumatizing and even more horrific than intended. Or for some, it can be a path of healing if they’re trying to conquer their fear. In any case, deaths by a syringe in horror films are some of the most terrifying and brutal unique kinds of deaths in horror history and I’m not just saying that because I myself, have a needle phobia, but because before I developed this fucked up fear, I would still agree with this statement. The art of the horror scare loves to exploit real-life fears and no one gets a pass.

One of the most obvious traumatizing examples of needles in horror is, of course, the needle pit in Saw II where ex-drug addict Amanda is thrashing about in a sea of hypodermic needles. No death here BUT this scene is just about as uncomfortable and painful to watch as it gets, with, or without a needle phobia. Even worse, is if you’re someone in recovery.


Speaking of hypodermic needles, arguably a more recognizable prick of death is that of Taryn’s in Dream Warriors where Freddy plunges not one, but eight syringes of lawd knows what into the recovering teen junkie. I don’t care who you are, if you didn’t cringe in the slightest upon seeing this, you might be a sociopath.

Then of course there’s Friday The 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan where Homes not only rapes Rennie of her virgin sobriety but also attempts the physical act. But not before Jason takes the druggie thug’s own needle and stabs his right through the chest before consummating the despicable act. Imagine being such a piece of shit you make Jason look like the good guy? That’s one needle death I gleefully enjoyed.

As cringy as those are, the ones seen in actual medical settings are the ones that make me squirm the most. Perhaps the biggest one for me that makes me want to literally get into a fetal position is Regan’s Arteriogram procedure in The Exorcist. This movie, with some that would consider containing some of the most fucked up scenes in horror history, doesn’t phase me a bit. As a matter of fact, I laugh every time Pazuzu Regan says vile and filthy things to the priests, much like Beetlejuice would.

But this, no thank you a million times.

As messed up as they all are, the very first needle death I ever saw was at the hand of Michael Myers taking down Candy Striper Alice and Dr. Mixter in Halloween II. Set in again, a hospital, this one is just all kinds of fucked up. Everytime I think of the use of needles in horror, Alice stumbling upon a dead Dr. Mixter in his chair with a syringe stuck in his eyeball while meeting the same fate as Myers plunges a squirt full of air into her skull is an image that stays tried and true inside my newly formed needle phobia brain.

The things I blog about because of my love for you nostalgic nuggets. Now that I’m stressed, you’ll have to excuse me as I go pop an Ativan for my anxiety.