|I wonder if "death by stereo" is covered by his insurance?|
But, in my opinion, no movie did a better job of weaving these two things together than 1986's Trick or Treat. It is literally a film in which the plot centers directly on the popular headbanging music genre, and it is what I am here to talk about today. The story is all about Eddie Weinbauer, a metalhead who just so happens to live in a place where being such isn't very popular. It also doesn't help that he's not very threatening, so he's got a big target essentially painted directly on his ass. Eddie isn't just a fan or metal in general though, even though his room shows off a variety of posters from various bands. For him there is only one icon worthy of the genre, the highly controversial singer known as Sammi Curr. His hero not only serves as his music focus, but he also feels that he's very much like him since they went to the same school and he regularly writes letters to Sammi and they have an apparent friendship through their mutual experiences. As the movie opens we see him writing a letter to him. We also see a montage of Eddie being bullied at school, thus setting up a lot of the plot motivation. He finishes writing the letter and seals it in an envelope before heading downstairs where the news announces that Sammi died mysteriously in a fire while at his hotel.
|I'm sure that ring of fire just happened by pure coincidence.|
|Good poster art doesn't hurt either.|
|Not that I wasn't already looking forward to a body count, but these cliche 80s jocks are just begging to die.|
Eddie falls asleep at home while listening to the record and sees Sammi in the fire, seemingly performing some harmless satanic ritual, as heavy metal musicians do. He wakes up to the record skipping and notices the words sounding pretty non-word-like. This prompts him to play the record backwards, as everyone knows about hidden messages on records, but he gets something even more metal than that. He gets his hero speaking to him directly through the record. Of course, he's pretty damn excited about this. The message helps Eddie formulate a plan to get revenge on his bullies by letting them get themselves in trouble, and he tells he buddy Roger all about it. He doesn't believe him, of course, and Eddie turns once more to the record. Sammi gives him another message which results in him not only directly talking to him by name but also in the head bully nearly losing his head the next day. This freaks Eddie out a bit, but he's fine with it. That is until a tape he recorded of the record ends up putting the bitchy bully girlfriend in the hospital when she listens to it and some sort of demon (that may or may not be Sammi) rapes her.
|Of course, it could be Gene Simmons with that tongue.|
|As Sammi says, "you should be loyal to your heroes." Especially when they can fry you with electrical powers.|
|We all know society is to blame. And math teachers.|
|Or perhaps that hat began eating his brain and he needed to bow out.|
Overall, this is a pretty fun bit of heavy metal horror. It suffers from a lot of the 80s cliches many 80s films suffer from, but that's also something to enjoy. Many of us, myself included, enjoy these things. They were, while schlocky, very endearing parts of any 80s film and a big reason why so many people love these films even decades later. The acting was....ehhh...not horrible, but clearly B-movie quality. It's definitely better than SyFy's movies usually give us. The cameos from Gene and Ozzy were great additions to highlight that this is very much a horror film for the metal set. Ozzy's cameo was especially great, because I always love seeing televangelists getting mocked. The effects were, likes many films of this era, rather good. At least, better than constant CGI. Sammi looked and felt rather threatening, which can't be easy to accomplish when you're wearing ripped tight pants. The soundtrack is the true star of this film though, as the music of Fastway truly steals the show. It's the perfect accompaniment to the story and I feel it's has aged better than the movie by leaps and bounds.
|Some looks just aren't as timeless as we once thought they were.|
|Now go put on some pants.|