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Another straight-to-video movie. Babysitter, Halloween, deranged slasher escapes from a lunatic asylum... Sound familiar? Unfortunately this movie stopped there when it came to emulating more famous slice-n-dice slasher movies themed around Halloween. Bloodless, boob-less and brain-less. with a weak story-line that's padded with the child being baby-sat playing pranks on the babysitter. With the addition of low-lighting (they obviously didn't have the budget to even pay the electricity bill), low-body count, low-quality and it would seem low expectations even of itself.
Bizarrely, and for any cult film fan this maybe the selling point, the movie features a whole 3 minutes of David Carradine. Apparently the Carradine footage was spliced in having been filmed a couple of years previous. Or some rumour has it.
There literally nothing redeeming about this painting-by-numbers so called slasher flick, apart from checking it off the list.
The creator of the creepy Halloween mask used in the movie Don Post was quoted as saying, "Because the masks are so significant to the movie, they could become a cult item, with fans wanting to wear them when they go to see the movie." Unbeknownst to him at the time they likely have become cult items, but not for the reasons he imagined.
A full-on horror romp, with some hysterically imaginative death scenes. You should check out the lipstick scene with Linnea Quigley! A classic twist on the so bad-its-good 80s teen slasher movie.
It is a heavy metal album after all... And at the peak of claims of backmasking during the 1980s. A period of time when crazy Christians went on the attack, claiming that many heavy metal songs contained secret Satanic messages that could only be heard if you played the album backwards. Perfectly placed at the pinnacle of the paranoia, Trick Or Treat is a wonderful piece of schlock horror. Self-referential and tongue-in-cheek before such kinds of horror movies became the vogue. An absolute classic of 80s horror movies, and much under-rated. Trick Or Treat should be placed high on anyone's Halloween play-list.
Both the novel and the narration by Bradbury in the animation, have an eerie feel about them. Bradbury was a genius of suspense and dark foreboding often set in small town America. Another great piece of fiction by Bradbury that creates the same sense of unease, loss of innocence and the metaphorical journey into adulthood is Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962), which was also made into a live action movie in 1983 by Disney. A particularly dark departure for the studio at that time, harking back to their early darkly chilling animations.
Weird Retro Fact: Death Is A Lonely Business (1985) by Ray Bradbury a previous Captain's Blog post.
The song has been covered numerous times, the earliest cover version coming out the same year as the original in 1962, by "The Cool Ghoul" Zacherley who we profiled in our Horror Hosts section of the Captain's Blog. Famous B-movie horror stars have taken a stab at the song too. Boris Karloff sang a version on a 1965 episode of Shindig! And Vincent Price also recorded a version in 1977. The song has featured either in its original version of as a cover version in TV shows and movies ever since it was first released, becoming an essential part of any Halloween.
In 1995 the song inspired a movie named after it. Monster Mash: The Movie featured Pickett in the role of Dr. Frankenstein. The movie was inspired by the song and based on the 1967 musical play "I'm Sorry the Bridge Is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night" by Pickett and Sheldon Allman. The movie has an honourable mention in Weird Retro's Top Ten: Freaky Frankenstein Movies.
Weird Retro Fact: Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow who directed Monster Mash: The Movie, were both co-writers on the Pixar classic Toy Story (1995) that came out the same year as Monster Mash.