Horror Movie Review: Trick or Treat (1986)

Trick or Treat is a 1986 American horror comedy film, directed by Charles Martin Smith. Starring Marc Price and Tony Fields, with special appearances by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne.

High school outcast Eddie Weinbauer is writing a letter to his hero, heavy metal musician Sammi Curr. A vulgar and infamous superstar, Sammi is a hometown hero of Eddie’s town and an alumnus of Eddie’s own Lakeridge High School. Eddie puts the letter in an envelope and starts doing his chores. Turning on the TV, coincidentally there’s a report on Sammi being banned from performing at Lakeridge for Halloween. But that’s not the worse news to reach Eddie’s ears. The reporter goes on to say that Sammi Curr has died in a mysterious hotel fire.

Eddie is completely devastated. He goes to his friend Nuke, a radio DJ who knew Sammi Curr personally. To take Eddie’s mind off the death of his idol, Nuke gives Eddie the only copy of Curr’s last and unreleased record: Songs in the Key of Death. Nuke has recorded the disc onto high quality tape and plans to play it in its entirety on-air at midnight on Halloween as a tribute.

Once back home, Eddie falls asleep while listening to the record and has a strange dream about the fire that killed Sammi Curr. When he wakes up, he finds that the record is skipping, and after listening to it for a few seconds, he comes to realize that something is not quite right about the lyrics that the record is stuck on. Eddie plays the record backwards, but hears more than he imagined: Sammi Curr is speaking to him from beyond the grave.

Sammi instructs Eddie on how to go about getting revenge on a group of bullies who make his school life a torment. Something Sammi was never able to do with his own bullies. Eddie explains the situation to his best friend Roger, who is highly skeptical of the whole thing. At first the revenge is innocent enough. But before long, the plans start to become sinister.

Is Sammi really speaking to Eddie beyond the grave? Will he follow along with his revenge plans or is it just too far for Eddie? Watch and find out.

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As someone who’s always been into more alternative music and style and had to ride through the rocky years of school, this film had a refreshing concept. Although clearly satire, there were real truths in there.

Despite relating to the characters plight at first, I unfortunately found Eddie to be a very weak main character. Unlikeable, weasely and downright naïve to an annoying degree. I have absolutely nothing against Price’s performance but the character was simply poorly written.

I’m sure the director must have thought so too as the latter half of the movie mainly consists of Eddie chilling at home and then running to the location of the final showdown while Fields excellently chews the scenery. Perhaps he could have possessed Eddie to keep him as the main focus.

The cameos were fun little Easter eggs, especially Ozzy Osbourne. I also enjoyed the supporting cast such as Roger, Eddie’s BFF. Roger (Morgan) should have been the protagonist instead, he brought the humour this film sorely lacked on the whole. My favourite moment being when he’s desperately trying to hoover up the dusty remains of an electrified corpse.

Trick or Treat looks dated, however I enjoyed the effects and Sammi Curr looked very cool.

Overall, Trick or Treat is a bit generic and a bit too serious for a horror comedy. But, there’s nothing else out there like it. A time capsule that could have earned more recognition if it had gone full balls to the wall but unlike its antagonist, it’s too tame.


  • Sally Powell

    Editor/Writer - Stay at home mum educating the horror minds of tomorrow. If it's got vampires or Nicolas Cage in it, I'm sold. Found cleaning bums or kicking ass in an RPG. (And occasionally here reviewing all things horror and gaming related!)

Trick or Treat
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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