SALEM RECOMMENDS – TRICK OR TREAT

Trick or Treat, released in 1986, is billed as a horror movie but it isn’t really. It didn’t horrify me anyway, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t devilishly entertaining.

Eddie is a high school loner, picked on by the jocks for being a metalhead, laughed at by the girls. One fateful day, he sees on the TV news that his idol, heavy metal star Sammi Curr has died in a hotel fire. Stricken by grief and convinced that no one but Sammi ever understood him (adolescents, eh?), he turns to a local rock DJ for solace. This DJ ‘gets it’ because he’s played by none other than Gene Simmons from off of Kiss, and he presents our hero with a super-rare Sammi demo record.

When Eddie plays this backwards, as you do, he discovers that he can communicate with his deceased hero, and Sammi Curr, hideously scarred and back from the dead, starts exacting bloody revenge on all the scumbags who made his no.1 fan’s life a misery.

Eddie is a bit of a non-entity, to be honest. He just seems to bumble around not saying much of anything, even when things start going shit-shaped. In contrast, Tony Fields has more than enough rock star charisma to play the demonic Sammi Curr, back for his encore. Trick or Treat only hits the high notes when he turns up to off someone in some ghastly manner.

Apparently, Blackie Lawless from off of WASP was approached to play the Sammi role (which would have been AWESOME!), but he backed out when he discovered that Fastway had already been signed up to provide the soundtrack.

Speaking of which, the soundtrack is also worth checking out. Fastway was the post-Motorhead band founded by guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke, and while it may stick to that tried n trusted corporate, mid tempo 80s metal formula, there are more than enough fist-in-the-air choruses to satisfy even the most demanding headbanger.

Incidentally, I was lucky enough to catch Fastway live a few years ago, not too long before Fast Eddie sadly passed away.

Trick or Treat was the directorial debut of Charles Martin Smith (from off of American Graffiti and Starman) who also makes a cameo appearance in the movie. Smith also directed Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale 2, A Dog’s Way Home and the forthcoming A Christmas Gift from Bob. When it comes to cutesie animal movies, Smith has a good pedigree.

See what I did there?

Trick or Treat is most certainly of its time, but it’s a perfect movie for Halloween, especially if you invite all your chums around for sugary treats and a bit of heckling. It’s worth seeing for the Ozzy Osbourne cameo alone. He plays a moralising clergyman hell bent on bringing metal down. Such delicious irony!

Published by Richard E. Rock

I write - you fright.

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