December 2nd, 2006

Knight

Trick or Treat

SPECHTREUM



Trick or Treat
XX A.S. Directed by Charles Martin Smith. Starring Tony Fields, Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne, Marc "Skippy" Price

Premiering at the height of the SRA hysteria, this film capitalizes on it with much of the urban mythology employed, from the claim that Heavy Metal would lead to ruin and corrupt the minds of its fans, to the invocations to The Devil, backward masking, and possession.

Eddie Weinbauer {Marc "Skippy" Price from Family Ties}, AKA "Ragman", is a High School Metalhead who is picked on by New Wavey-type Jocks until he has enough, and finds an equalizer in his idol Sammi Curr, a recently deceased leather-clad Heavy Metal icon immolated by fire, whose indomitable presence returns through his theretofore unreleased record, whom Eddie uses like a Ouija Board to communicate with eachother from beyond the grave... back-masking "shilgne" comes into play here through his possessed stereo.

Channeled through electricity, Curr eventually manifests on Halloween night, when his post-humous previously unreleased malefik musick is to be broadcast from a local station run by a DJ named 'Nuke' {Gene Simmons}, and causing havoc withersoever he appears. Most notably, at the school Halloween dance, where in a scene reminicent of Carrie, the auditorium erupts in flames after he blasts several audience members with energy bolts from his guitar! While incarnate, Curr decides to have some fun with a jock's girlfriend via a reversed cassette recording of his musickal messages, where the viewer is gratified by some delectible nudity.

Eddie's bedroom walls are arrayed with posters from the likes of Judas Priest {c. British Steel/Defenders of The Faith}, Iron Maiden {c. The Trooper}, Lizzy Borden {c. Give 'Em The Axe}, Motley Crue {c. Shout At The Devil}, Twisted Sister {c. Under The Blade/Stay Hungry}, and Ozzy Osbourne {c. Diary of A Madman}, with records of Possessed {c. Seven Churches; by far the heaviest and blackest of the bunch}, Impaler {c. Rise of The Mutants}, and Megadeth {c. Killing Is My Business...}.

Compared to some of other records released at the time, with the exception of Possessed and that particular Megadeth album, those others are actually rather tame, focusing more on sexuality and in the case of Ozzy Osbourne, horror movie antics, rather than overtly Occult themes - there could have been Venom, Slayer, Celtic Frost, and Mercyful Fate!* Interestingly, the entire soundtrack is comprised of songs by Fastway.

Various other knicknacks include action figures, a skull, a bat, a plastic suction spiderweb, and dinosaur-like monsters - surely, all the tell-tale signs of an evil devil-worshipper! All that was missing was a porcelain black cat, although earlier in the film, a cat is spotted dangerously close to the microwave oven!

Ozzy Osbourne appears briefly from time to time on the tube as a clean-cut evangelical preacher railing against sexual Heavy Metal lyrics and warrior/whore aesthetics in all of its primal glory. In his own way, seems that Osbourse applies a Shibboleth principle in mocking antagonists by assuming their foolish roles, and it is actually pretty well done, and not too far from the truth of how they behave after all.

Of note, Eddie's friend 'Roger', who actually tells it like it is, regarding music executives pushing albums with the whole backward masking gimmick to sell records, and the gullible who took it seriously, with christians only fueling the hellfires of the bands benefitting from it.

Shortly prior to his death, Curr had faced the PMRC countering paranoid claims, which resulted in his suspicious demise the next night. This scene was obviously inspired by Dee Snider's and Frank Zappa's actual addresses to the said organization.

Overall, the Sammi Curr character is an archetype embodying all of the superstitions and fears of "concerned" {translate: frightened, repressed, bored, ignorant; hypocritically passive-aggressive} christians, who project all of their own sublimated and fictitous notions onto those who refuse to walk lock-step with church sheeple.

The DVD is simply packaged, with only chapter selections available. For those who appreciate productions stemming from this musical genre, Trick or Treat just might be that piece of Halloween candy with the razor blade inside. [3/5]
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* Whose singer King Diamond is an actual Satanist, and a member of The Church of Satan.</font>


Acquired this DVD recently when I unexpectedly spotted a copy along with The Gate!