Before Trick R‘ Treat hit horror freaks like a ton of bricks made out of candy corn, 1986’s Trick OR Treat satisfied my Halloween movie watching tradition. This highly misinterpreted film was perfectly in line with 2 of my favorite things ever with the initials H.M: heavy metal and horror movies. If you just never bothered to watch it because you read bad reviews, you can’t take a film that stars Skippy Handelman seriously, or you’re just too young and it was before your time…NOW IS THE TIME for Trick Or Treat! One person’s cheesy movie is another person’s annual classic.
Once October rolls around I fire up my Halloween playlist which includes all kinds of spooky songs and hard rock tunes from horror movies. Fastway’s soundtrack is the nucleus of the film and if you enjoy hard rock from the ’80s, you’ll dig these songs. What makes this soundtrack better than so many others is that the lyrics and music fit the plot so well it’s almost eerie. At first listen, you might think it’s pretty generic hard rock from that era, but it’s way more than that once you get into the movie. The Halloween atmosphere is definitely in full effect when you start blasting songs like “Trick or Treat” and “Stand Up.”
I’ve already watched Trick or Treat once this month and I plan on at least one more viewing. With each viewing I notice another little detail that I may not have noticed before. This time, the dark comedy really hit me. Many people think it’s just a straight up horror movie, and that’s partly true, but there’s a few really funny scenes too. Now, I’m not joking with you here…it’s also a serious social commentary on heavy metal in the ’80s.
Back then, many parents were blaming heavy metal musicians for their children’s suicides or arson. Bad stuff was going on and parent groups and the government were actually trying to blame heavy metal musicians like Twisted Sister and Judas Priest among others. This was complete bullshit of course, but when you see the scene where rock God Sammi Curr was on the stand defending his music, it’s not far from how that all went down. Perhaps this film is more relevant now that we can look back at it and remember that heavy metal artists were looked at like Satanists. If you’re parents didn’t know anything about KISS, then just their posters would’ve given parents anxiety attacks knowing that’s the band their kid is obsessing over.
As you know, I can’t leave you without sneaking in a New Jersey tie-in! When you hit the 47 minute mark on the DVD of Trick Or Treat listen up for actor Marc Price’s audibly prominent New Jersey accent as he delivers a line in response to his mom’s question: “…Aspirin, and some soup.”