Name That Trauma :: Kinderpal Absinthe of Gloomy Sunday on a Toxic Garbage Pail Girl

I remember watching a movie with my mother when I was young – about 6 – 8.  The movie was about a small town, which had a chemical (maybe nuclear?) company that employed them all.  Of course this is mid -1980’s and they were trying to make a statement so the place is run very shoddy and we have a meltdown or a leak and everyone has to run for cover.  The part that got me was the ending, the one worker had a family with a few kids and his kids were playing hide and seek when the melt down occurred.  His youngest daughter hid in the trashcan and the mother couldn’t find her in time.  I remember the ending of the father coming home and going to the trash can because he knew that was were she always hid and pulling her out now dead!  That last scene has stayed with me all these years and haunted me.

UNK SEZ: Absinthe, this does sound traumatic! I did a bit of research into the nuclear disaster movies of the eighties and I could not find any mention of this girl in a trash can. If the movie you’re thinking of is anything like THE DAY AFTER, THREADS or TESTAMENT, you can be sure that you were not the only person left highly disturbed. I have a feeling somebody knows this one so you know the drill kids, any ideas go into the comments section or if need be, email us directly at!

UPDATE: Solved… the source of this trauma is the 1986 made for T.V. movie ACCEPTABLE RISKS (see the comments for more information). Special thanks to reader Grokenstein for saving the day!

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13 years ago

God, I remember that one, especially that ending. Inspired by the horrific Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India (which, ironically, is the subject of “Bhopal Movie” for 2008), “Acceptable Risks” is the one you’re looking for: 1986, starring Brian Dennehy, Christine Ebersole, and Cicely Tyson. No DVD, but Amazon offers used VHS for next to nothing. A trailer sure to bring back unpleasant memories can be found at

13 years ago

That is sooo the one – I thank you Grokenstein, I was afraid no one was going to be able to figure it out.  I have been searching for that damn movie for years!  I must now go and buy old copy and hope my VCR does not eat it!

unkle lancifer
13 years ago

Great job Grokenstein!!!!! I would have NEVER gotten that one! And thanks for finding the trailer too… it’s pretty amazing.

MAC AND ME’s Christine Ebersole? What more could you want in a disaster flick?