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Trick or Treats (1982) - Blu-ray Review

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Trick or Treats (1982) - Blu-ray Review

3 beersAny film that credits Orson Welles as Magic Consultant must be, at the very least, viewed once in a person’s life. Even if the film is a big pile of stinky poop. Horror film or cult comedy? You decide. The film is not successful at either and yet it continues to exist and, as you’d guess with Welles’ strange involvement, even this failed attempt at candy-coated fun has its fans.  Call it a film that cannot be classified.

Mr. And Mrs. Adams (Carrie Snodgress of The Fury and David Carradine of Lone Wolf McQuade) have been invited to a Halloween party in Las Vegas. Problem is, their child, Christopher O'Keefe (Chris Graver) needs a babysitter and he’s a bit of a problem child. He likes magic. He likes pulling pranks and, as he chases off babysitters as much as his mother locks up the men she falls out of love with, getting one secured for Halloween night might be a bit of a struggle, especially when that person is going to have to stay the night.

"the film’s failed attempts at satire make for a pretty entertaining flop of a film. So much is wrong with this film that it feels perfectly right."


Poor Linda (Jacqueline Giroux), the actress (is it porn, Linda?) turned babysitter, has no idea the night she’s in for. Because this is the festive night that Mrs. Adams’ first husband, the one the movie spends its first five minutes throwing into an insane asylum, is breaking out and returning home. And Malcom (Peter Jason) is pissed as he wanders Wilshire Boulevard in a nurses’ outfit, collecting everything he needs for the revenge kill.

Trick or Treats, now on blu-ray thanks to Code Red’s new HD master from the original camera negative, is a brave B-movie. It’s horror elements turn rather quickly to comedy as one babysitter fields feisty trick or treaters, a prankster child, a phone that won’t stop ringing; and then right switches right back to horror, ending on a high note. It might have a low kill count and little in the way of female flesh, but when its bizarre ending has a child involved with a major death, well, whoa. Maybe the perceived failure of this film is the biggest joke of all.

Truth be told, I had a lot of fun with this B-movie. The acting is horrible, yet the film – including a head-rotating moment where the film comes to a screeching stop in order to make a statement about cheesy horror films, thanks to two female editors, and then insert a comedic bit from a parody film before rolling forward – entertains with loopy logic and its showcasing of pranks.

Written and directed by Gary Graver (Moon in Scorpio), Trick or Treats had a budget of a whopping $55000 and it shows. Whenever the movie leaves the main house where the babysitting is occurring, its seams begin to show. The handful of scenes in the insane asylum are hilariously awful. While the inmates might be entertaining, especially the man trying to sew Malcom’s hospital gown closed, the lack of care and concern from the nurses and doctors will have you rolling across the floor in fits of laughter.

Trick or Treats (1982) - Blu-ray Review

We go back to the “hospital” later in the movie, after Malcom escapes, and are suddenly served with a piece of The Kentucky Fried Movie as a journalist attempts to get a serious interview completed with its staff and inmates. Complete with cameos from Lifeforce’s Steve Railsback, Paul Bartel, and Raw Force’s Jillian Kesner, this supposed “spoof” of Halloween has disappointed the majority of its viewers since its debut in 1982. It’s hard to recommend, but that’s exactly what I am doing here.

Okay, so Trick or Treats is not a good movie in any traditional sense of the word. It’s horrible and relatively flat in its delivery, yet – for those at one with B-movie thrills and spills – the film’s failed attempts at satire make for a pretty entertaining flop of a film. So much is wrong with this film that it feels perfectly right.

And that’s the absolute best recommendation I can muster for this Halloween trick that was once a Vestron VHS dump. Maybe you rented it?

Trick or Treats (1982) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
91 mins
Director
: Gary Graver
Writer:
Gary Graver
Cast:
Jacqueline Giroux, Peter Jason, Chris Graver
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Halloween's over. Now It's the kids' turn to get even!
Memorable Movie Quote: "You're cute. Are you the babysitter?"
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 11, 2015
Synopsis: A baby sitter is stuck watching over a young brat on Halloween night who keeps playing vicious pranks on her. To add to her trouble the boy's deranged father has escaped from an asylum and is planning on making a visit.

Trick or Treats (1982) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red DVD
Available on Blu-ray
- August 11, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Released on 1080p (with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1) by Code Red, Trick or Treats isn’t exactly the best looking upgrade to grace your television sets. I bet you won’t mind either. There is, in some certain location shoots, a heavy layer of grain. Now, this doesn’t bother me. I like grain. Grain works, but if you are expecting a low budget knockoff to look better some number of years AFTER its release date, then you will be disappointed. The new HD transfer is the best the film is going to look. Interiors are good, but details aren’t as graphic as they could be. Black levels are good, but never impressive. The sound is presented in a basic DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • With commentary from stars Jackie Giroux, Peter Jason, Chris Graver, Cinematographer R. Michael Stringer, this panel is informative and, as it is rather random and free-spirited, very funny. It is moderated by Sean Graver.

Special Features:

Fans get an audio interview with Steve Railaback and the ability to watch it in “Katrina’s Bucketlist” mode.

  • Audio interview with Steve Railsback
  • Katarina’s Bucketlist Mode
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailers

Trick or Treats (1982) - Blu-ray Review

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