Greetings once again Retro maniacs! So far it’s been an eclectic mix of android heroes, hang gliding barbarians, cave dwelling nightmares, bridge haunting ghouls, and inaccurate period costumes. Ready to dive into the deep end of cinematic insanity once again? Let’s get to it with my #6 favorite film, Trick or Treat!
Trick or Treat, not to be confused with the recent anthology film Trick R’ Treat, is the film that ignited my absolute insane obsession with horror films with rock n’ roll overtones. I’ve seen (and loved) everything from Monster Dog (with Alice Cooper!) to Rock n’ Roll Nightmare to Hard Rock Zombies and I’ve enjoyed them all, but none compare to my first love!
Trick or Treat begins by introducing us to young metal head and bully target Eddie Weinbauer. Eddie is obsessed with a heavy metal singer named Sammi Curr, who grew up in his hometown.
One day things go from bad to worse for Eddie when he views a local news broadcast about the death of Sammi Curr in a hotel fire. He is understandably upset, and visits his friend local DJ Nuke (played by Gene Simmons), a personal friend of Sammi. Consoling Eddie, Nuke gives him a demo recording of Sammi’s unreleased final album.
Eddie, ecstatic to hear new material from his idol, quickly spins the record in his attic room/metal shrine. Falling asleep listening to the album, he has a bizarre dream involving Sammi’s demise. When Eddie awakes, the album appears to be skipping, repeating a garbled phrase that when played backwards reveals a message from Sammi to Eddie about how to take care of his bullying problem.
As the plot to get revenge on his attackers escalates (everything from making them trip to having Tim’s, the lead bully, girlfriend being manhandled by a demon) Eddie begins to have second thoughts, much to Sammi’s ire. Soon Sammi is resurrected due to some spilled soda and electricity (?!!). And then things get really out of hand.
Sammi is able to travel via radios, and when he gets where he’s going death is sure to follow. He can even reach in and destroy people on TV (such as an Evangelist played by Ozzy Osborne!). Eventually Sammi arrives at the High School Halloween Dance, murders the lead singer of the band that is performing, and then gives a concert that no one will ever forget, as he murders half of the student body and the faculty from the stage by means of his demonic electric powers!
Eddie eventually traps Sammi in a cassette tape (but not before waylaying him with a toilet). Sammi breaks free, but finds himself locked in the back of a police car, which Eddie drives off from a bridge into the water below.
I think Trick or Treat appeals to me so greatly because I can identify with Eddie. In high school I was very similar (except for that whole obeying the commands of an undead rock star and ending up nude in front of a women’s volleyball team). I loved metal, and worshipped those that performed it. The film also works because it never takes itself too seriously (a scene where Eddie’s friend Roger has to clean up the remains of a corpse that finds itself on his rug courtesy of Sammi’s penchant for murdering people on TV is especially hilarious). You can check purchase Trick or Treat used right here for next to nothing! Once again special thanks to fellow Team Retroist alumni Sean Hartter for the amazing art that accompanies this article!
Next time it’s motorbikes and magic! Stay Creepy!