Monday, May 19, 2014

Trick or Treat (1986, USA)

Directed by: Charles Martin Smith
Produced by: Michael S. Murphey, Joel Soisson
Written by: Rhet Topham
Screenplay by: Michael S. Murphey, Joel Soisson
Story by: Rhet Topham
Starring: Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Doug Savant
Music by: Fastway, Fast Eddie Clarke, Dave King, Christopher Young
Cinematography: Robert Elswit
Editing by: Jane Schwartz Jaffe
Distributed by: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Release dates: October 24, 1986
Running time: 98 min
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: Unknown
Box office: $6,797,218
Plot: Hard rock idol Sammi Curr burns to death in a hotel fire. His biggest fan, Lakeridge High School student and resident metal head Eddie Weinbauer (Marc Price) is devastated by the news and turns to local radio DJ "Nuke" (Gene Simmons) for emotional support. After a heated discussion about the deceased rock star, Nuke presents Eddie with a rare demo record, the last ever recorded by Sammi and the only copy in existence. Overwhelmed by Nuke's generosity, Eddie accepts the gift without hesitation, unaware of it's dark role in things to come. After constant humiliation and a near drowning at the hands of school bully Tim Hainy and his sports jock friends, Eddie becomes enraged and vows revenge on all those who have wronged him, much to the dismay of love interest, Leslie and best friend, Roger. Alone in his room with feelings of rage and retribution racing through his mind, Eddie places the new record onto his stereo and is shocked to discover that he can communicate with the deceased rock star when the record is played backwards.

Info: Trick or Treat is a 1986 horror film by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, and Lisa Orgolini, with special appearances by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. The film was released theatrically in the United States by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group in October 1986. It grossed $6,797,218 at the box office. It was released on VHS by Karl-Lorimar home video the following year.

Trick or Treat original 1986 trailer.

Casting: Director Charles Martin Smith (known for his acting roles in motion pictures such as American Graffiti and Never Cry Wolf) takes the helm of this project as his directorial debut. In a brief credited cameo, Smith plays the high school principal, killed by a bolt of electricity fired from Sammi Curr's guitar during the Halloween dance. After long debate, the role of undead rock icon Sammi Curr went to Tony Fields, a former Solid Gold dancer and one of the stars of A Chorus Line. Eddie WeinBauer is played by Marc Price (known for his role as 'Skippy' on the situation comedy Family Ties). Eddie's mother is played by Elaine Joyce.

Doug Savant (of Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives fame) plays Tim Hainey, the popular bully responsible for much of Eddie Weinbauer's angst. Alice Nunn plays Mrs. Sylvia Cavell. Special effects for the movie were created by Kevin Yagher, who would go on to provide the effects for such horror icons as Freddy Krueger and the Crypt Keeper from HBO's Tales from the Crypt. Kevin also had a cameo in the movie as the lead singer / guitarist for the band, The Kickers, playing at the high school Halloween dance (Sammi Curr's hand reaches through the amplifier and explodes Yagher's head).

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Trick or Treat LP.

Soundtrack: All Sammi Curr music was composed by the band Fastway and upcoming composer Christopher Young. In the stack of records the mother looks at, the last LP is a copy of Megadeth's Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!, with a cut corner. Normally a record with cut corners denotes that it was a radio promo, or was for discounted sale only. The other records in the stack were also real releases. Included was a 4 song E.P. by U.S. heavy metal/horror rock band Impaler, Rise of the Mutants, and Canadian Thrash Metal band Exciter's 1986 LP Unveiling the Wicked and Savatage's 1984 release The Dungeons Are Calling.

On the walls in Eddie's room, there are posters of Judas Priest, Anthrax, Raven, Twisted Sister, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne and KISS. On his locker door in school there is also a sticker with Lizzy Borden. Co-Composer Christopher Young went on to compose music for the films The Gift, Urban Legend, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3, Drag Me to Hell and The Uninvited. Gene Simmons was originally offered the role of Sammi Curr, but he did not think much of the script and ultimately agreed to do only a cameo as a radio DJ. Simmons later said in an interview that he chose to play the role as a childhood hero of his, Wolfman Jack.

Fastway "After Midnight" music video. From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Trick or Treat.

Film Facts: All songs in the movie are written by the band "Fastway" which consisted of former Motorhead Guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, and current "Flogging Molly" vocalist Dave King.

Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. was to originally play Sammi Curr. Ozzy Osbourne plays a televangelist decrying the evils of heavy metal music. "Lunch of the Dead" is displayed on a cinema marquee. According to The Internet Movie Database, no such film exists. It was likely an invention of the props department.

The film was released on DVD in the United States by Platinum Disc Corporation in 2002. This version is currently OOP (out of print). Some people believe the DVD cover to be misleading because it shows Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne starring in the movie, when actually they only make very brief cameo appearances. On the back of the DVD artwork are also scenes from the making-of.

Trick or Treat VHS box art. Released by Lorimar Home Video.
Anchor Bay Entertainment was all set to release a 20th Anniversary DVD in 2006, but due to music copyrights, the release was cancelled. Anchor Bay so far has no plans to release any kind of DVD.

Eddie's best friend Roger is played by Glen Morgan, his only acting stint. Morgan later went on to be a prolific writer/producer for The X-Files (1993), Final Destination (2000), and Final Destination 3 (2006), as well as direct the Black Christmas (2006) remake.

During the 1980s when the concern over music's lyrics was at it's peak and Tipper Gore was on her PMRC crusade, this movie fit perfectly.

Released on DVD in the United States by Platinum Disc Corporation in 2002. This version is currently OOP (out of print).

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