Trick or Treat (Charles Martin Smith, 1986)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0

Devilry and heavy metal abound when a high school outcast acquires the last demo recording of his recently deceased rock idol and discovers he can commune with him from beyond the grave. Preppy twats and Jocks beware!

Trick-or-Treat-25286-2529Jocelyn: I. Fucking. Love. This. Movie. It has everything and it’s the perfect year: 1986.  We have the PMRC recently formed and frothing at the mouths over anything that they deem inappropriate. There is a huge battle going on between Washington and the music industry over censorship and thankfully Charles Martin Smith (a successful character actor who’s most recognizable as the nerdy agent in The Untouchables) and Rhet Topham (writer- 976-EVIL, 976-EVIL II) decide to provide us with this little gem that dutifully thumbs its nose at the whole concept of music censorship by creating the perfect anti-hero in Sammi Curr.
Did I mention that it has Skippy (Marc Price) from Family Ties wearing an Alternative Tentacles t shirt? There is also a really hot scene between a demonic apparition getting into some heavy petting with a fairly unattractive, albeit still fuckable chippy with some tiny lil titties. Her ears melt! It’s awesome! There’s also great 80’s fashion, lots of sweet lines and teen angst for days! Oh my god! How could I forget the awesome metal! Fastway! Rock! 
Trick-or-Treat-25282-2529Duane: Ah, teen angst. Never has there been a more perfect backdrop created than between high school outcasts, bullies and sweet, sweet revenge. I think for anyone who grew up in the 80s and experienced this shit firsthand has got to LOVE this movie. Sammi Curr is such a fucking awesome character and completely exemplifies exactly what the PMRC was trying to make heavy metal artists at the time out to be (and sadly very few of them were) without simultaneously making him into some kind of comedic caricature. This is just a seriously fun movie all around that I can’t praise enough. I loved the inclusion of Gene Simmons as the smarmy local radio DJ and Ozzy Osbourne in a very tongue-in-cheek role as one of heavy metal’s demonizers. It’s all extremely well done, and I appreciated the fact that they really resisted hamming it up.
I don’t mean to nitpick, but that little chippy that gets ghost fucked in the car had the headphones on the wrong ears! Talk about the perfect date: stupid and easily manipulated. Do any of these people really wonder later in life how they ended up as discarded cum dumpsters? But I digress.
Trick-or-Treat-252820-2529There’s no gore and the only T and A is that scene in the car (which is actually very HOT despite the girl being ugly, I agree) but that’s not really what this movie is all about. It’s embodying that anger that a lot of us faced when all this music censorship was going on along with the usual high school horrors of day to day life and I’ve always felt this movie really did a great job portraying that. I also forgive you for loving Fastway.
J: Ok, I’m gonna say this once real nice-like: I do not *like* Fastway. They do all the music for this and it perfectly syncs up with the era and what’s happening in the plot of the movie and it’s so awesomely bad that it cannot be denied! Are you actually trying to tell me that you don’t know every lyric to Trick or Treat? Tear Down the Walls? That’s fucking bullshit, my friend. *singing* Rock and roll * Rockin’ on a Midnight * Steal your soul!

Ok, so yea. The movie fucking rocks. Sammi Curr comes back from the dead and rides the radio waves to revenge with a little help from Ragman! I love the opening of the movie where he’s writing the letter; remember when kids would try to make up bizarre nicknames for themselves? What the fuck does “Ragman” even mean? He even had vanity plates! That’s dedication. I also love after preppy-little-titties (“Like, do you even care who’s running for student council?”) gets ear fucked by a demon and the gay guy from Melrose Place goes to confront Ragman! If you listen carefully he’s actually screaming “White Power” vs. “Winebauer.” Little known fact. The best part has to be when Ragman is feeling very confident after Sammi has helped him get his revenge and he shows up at school with at least 400 studded bracelets, belts, they’re wrapped around his thighs, he has like 13 bandanas on! He is METAL and he doesn’t GIVE A FUCK!! Hell yea!

D: ok ok OK!!!!! Jesus now I’ll have Fastway in my head for fucking days. Yeah considering that nobody else actually called him “Ragman” it’s not like it was some nickname that stuck or anything. It was a low tech screen name for the pen pal generation.

Trick-or-Treat-25281-2529I’m glad it’s not just me who hears “White Power” during that scene. Once you hear it that way there’s no going back… be warned! Kind of like when I first read the lyrics to The Misfits “Return of the Fly” where he sings “With Vincent Price…” – I have always heard “My pants are on fire…”. Go ahead… I dare you to listen to it and unhear that. DARE. And it’s also a little known fact (because we here at the Church of Splatter-Day Saints are all about public awareness/education) that the more studded accessories the more METAL you are. That shall not be mocked! I need to dust off my spiked chain mail shirt.
Trick-or-Treat-252812-2529Oh right, the movie. If you’re still not convinced rest assured that there’s plenty of action here, but gorehounds will probably wanna steer clear (if they’re total poser losers who don’t appreciate metal. No false metal!). The effects are pretty decent for the era, with lots of appropriate electrical shenanigans afoot. There’s a really cool scene where Sammi Curr is coming after the poser kids and gets “unplugged” so to speak and he’s lunging towards the nerd about to grab him and he fizzles out into this cloud of electricity, his enraged visage slowly dissolving through the atmosphere. In essence, despite the low blood factor, Trick or Treat makes up for it in a multitude of ways. Besides, I challenge you to not end up with a stupid grin on your face when Curr takes the stage and starts to tear shit up. Fucking awesome.

J/DTrick or Treat is one of those seminal films that should be seen by every genre fan. It may not have been hugely influential, but it has a ton of heart and is probably one of the most entertaining 90 minutes you’ll spend glued to the sofa. Essential viewing.


Rock and roll * Rockin’ on a Midnight * Steal your soul……..
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 


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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.

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