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20 Ghastly Garbage Pail Kids – The 80s Baby’s Precursor to Horror

20 Ghastly Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to HorrorBack in 1985 I was little more than a rambunctious little shit with a penchant for consuming revolting amounts of Starburst, sneaking constant peeks at my brother’s “hidden” Playboy cache and collecting a personal precursor to horror memorabilia… The Garbage Pail Kids.

They weren’t all just about nasty, over-the-top visuals. A few of those damned things were disturbing as all hell, with innuendos far, far beyond my grasp. Seriously, what the fuck was Nasty Nick doing clutching a life-size doll? Creepy.

My infatuation with The Garbage Pail Kids only lasted two years, as menaces like Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees soon filled a void that was partially birthed by those freaky cards. It’s still hard to believe Topps had a hand in that creation, but I – and I’m certain countless others – am quite glad the collectible card powerhouse dipped their feet in the proverbial pool of filth. Some of the images Topps delivered still stick with me today, and I’m not entirely convinced I would have so eagerly made the transition from hideous but often chilling artwork (I never did give a damn about the gum) to live action horrors fit to leave a kid tangling with monstrosities in his sleep.

20 Gruesome Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to Horror
Yeah, I’m admitting it, plain and simple: The Garbage Pail Kids helped mold this horror fanatic. They were, in a sense, my alpha. Exploding heads, dismembered limbs, tangled tongues… potentially perverted vampires; they were my gateway drug to a full on addiction to the macabre. And I owe ‘em a little thanks. Especially the really, really spine tingling ones!

Note: These picks come from the first three series’ exclusively, as those are all I collected!

Oozy Suzie (AKA Meltin’ Melissa): This bitch is melting! She’s melting! The eyeball snaking its way from the socket, the liquefied leg threatening to collapse at any moment. Just a nasty sight to behold. Mark Newgarden, who created this Cabbage Patch Kids parody must have held some serious disdain for the old Cabbage Patchers. That’s all I’m saying.

20 Gruesome Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to Horror
Fryin’ Brian (AKA Electric Bill): This poor bastard is being electrocuted. And Topps is marketing this business to kids! I love it! Stare at this one long and hard and tell me it doesn’t inspire you to throw Wes Craven’s campy Shocker in the DVD player.

20 Gruesome Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to Horror
Dead Ted (AKA Jay Decay): I hope George Romero has, at some point in time, had the chance to check this card out. An awesome zombie climbing straight from the grave to – presumably – munch on some grey matter? Oh yes, The Godfather of the Undead would be extremely proud of this rotting beauty.

20 Gruesome Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to Horror
Adam Bomb (AKA Blasted Billy): This is a genuinely sadistic piece of imagery. It also feels like a really awesome nod to David Cronenberg’s kick ass flick, Scanners. If Adam’s willing to blow his own brains to high heaven, you can bet the rest of the Garbage Pail Kids avoided this dude at all costs.

20 Gruesome Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to Horror
Itchy Richie (AKA Bugged Bert): What… The… Fuck?? Seriously, this is a terrible idea! If you didn’t have arachnophobia prior to seeing this vile illustration, you most likely lapsed into a world where eight legged freaks tear through your conscious regularly after spotting ole Itchy Richie. Two things frighten me in this world: heights and spiders. Needless to say, the sight of this one always crawled under my skin (I had to do it).

20 Gruesome Garbage Pail Kids - The 80s Baby's Precursor to Horror


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Matt Molgaard