Awfully Good: Trick or Treat

Spend Halloween with Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons and Skippy from "Family Ties!"

Trick or Treat (1986)

Director: Charles Martin Smith
Stars: Marc Price, Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne

A dead rock star haunts his biggest fan's record player until he can be reborn.

TRICK OR TREAT is definitely more treat than trick. The film is perhaps most remembered for featuring rock icons Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons, even though the two only make brief, yet fun appearances. (Osbourne as a metal-hating preacher and Simmons as a metal-loving radio DJ named Nuke.) The real star is Marc Price, best remembered as Skippy from “Family Ties” and best forgotten as Michael from KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE.

“Call me Skippy one more damn time!”

Price plays lovable high school loser Eddie, who goes by the bizarre unexplained nickname “Ragman.” Eddie is constantly bullied at school for being a metalhead (and probably for referring to himself as Ragman), at one point getting stripped naked and thrown in the girl’s gym. When we meet him he’s writing an emo love letter to his heavy metal hero Sammi Curr detailing his problems. Providing tangible proof that God hates Eddie, Curr then promptly dies in a fire. No, really, he perishes when his hotel room burns down. This leads to one of the funnier freak out scenes where Ragman angrily destroys his room, all while the song "Tearin Down the Walls" plays. Subtle, TRICK OR TREAT.

The RAMBO JR. reboot. Good for everyone.

Eddie’s spirits are soon lifted, however, when Gene Simmons gives him the only copy of Curr's last unreleased album. He takes it home and begins to hear creepy messages when played backwards, mainly instructions for getting revenge on his tormenters. With the help of his now magical music, Eddie gets to work. His walkman takes control of his school’s shop room and nearly impales a bully. A mean girl listens to a haunted cassette tape and gets sexually ravaged by the rocker’s invisible ghost. And his mom learns a valuable lesson about invading her son’s privacy.

Darren’s fear of the optometrist was about to become very, very well-founded.

By this point it’s pretty clear that Curr’s soul is hidden in the music, though the “why” and “how” is never explained or discussed. Like Spider-Man villain Electro, he just starts appearing through bolts of electricity and coming out of Eddie’s speakers. Curr can also control electronics, from driving cars to reaching in to the TV and pulling people out. Eventually we get to the film’s big set piece (unless you prefer the electronic ghost rape), where the rocker plays a concert at the school’s Halloween Dance. (Ironically, everyone seems to love the music even though they pick on Eddie for listening to it.) Things are going great, until Curr plays the most epic rock solo of all time and his guitar begins shooting music lasers and disintegrating the student populace.

I wish I had this power during the political season.

If you couldn’t tell by the story, TRICK OR TREAT is classic cheesy 80s fun in the same vein as other Awfully Good heavy metal horror flicks like ROCK N ROLL NIGHTMARE, HARD ROCK ZOMBIES and BLACK ROSES. The music by British rock band Fastaway and composer Christopher Young (who went on to work with Sam Raimi in SPIDER-MAN 3 and DRAG ME TO HELL) is actually pretty decent, making the Curr scenes less painful than they could’ve been. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Curr himself. When Osbourne and Simmons both turned down the role of the rocker, the filmmakers instead hired Tony Fields, a former Solid Gold dancer whose only previous acting role was starring in A CHORUS LINE. Curr should be a badass, woman-slaying rock god, but with Fields, comes off more like a Broadway star. Sure, they add some scarring to his face, but instead of menacing he comes off silly—and ironically the least rock and roll thing in the movie.

One of these things is not like the other.

Some funny line readings and Ozzy Osbourne talking dirty.

1) A girl gets sexually ravaged by the power of rock and roll. (NSFW)

2) The climactic concert scene where Sammi Curr explodes some heads with his rock.

The ladies get Skippy's naked rear, while gentlemen can thank the rock gods for Elise Richard’s topless scene.

Want some candy? Get in the van and buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • Music is played backwards
  • Eddie drinks milk
  • Eddie talks to electrical equipment
  • Eddie breaks or destroys something
  • Someone has to vacuum up ashes
Double shot if:
  • A real rock star is onscreen

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: Eddie's friend Roger is played by Glen Morgan, who you might know better as a writer for the X-Files, Final Destination, Willard and The One.
Source: JoBlo.com



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