Q #2,028: This is an album by what band?
‘Trick or Treat’ is both the soundtrack to the 1986 film of the same name, as well as being the fourth studio album by the band Fastway. Formed upon his departure from the band Motorhead, “Fast” Eddie Clarke originally planned to team up with bassist Pete Way, who was also departing from his band UFO. After some nomenclature play, Fastway rounded out its lineup with vocalist Dave King, and former Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley.
The film ‘Trick or Treat’ features a great look into the heavy metal scene of the era, loaded with posters, LP’s, stickers, and magazines. Anthrax, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Lizzy Borden, Savatage, and Judas Priest (who even gets a verbal shout out during a scene) are all represented in some form throughout the movie. As far as the plot goes, it’s sort of a heavy metal ‘Carrie,’ with some evil spirit summoning record spins.
Fictional frontman Sammi Curr is the protagonist’s heroic metal maestro, who most certainly bears a strong resemblance to WASP mainman Blackie Lawless who was was intially considered for the role. Other legendary rockers of note that appear in the film are KISS bassist Gene Simmons, as well as Ozzy Osbourne. Simmons and Osbourne appear on the cover a DVD re-release of the film, which from a marketing standpoint is a super strong move, but grossly misleading. The two make what are essentially cameo appearances, they don’t appear in a scene together, and they combine for less than five and a half minutes of screentime. Appearing as a radio DJ to help get the plot moving, Simmons embodies his hero Wolfman Jack, and Osbourne gets to portray a televangelist who is against all of the evils of rock ‘n roll. Ironically, despite other cast members appearing on huge prime time television series like ‘Melrose Place,’ and ‘Family Ties,’ the rock duo help to provide some of the least cringe worthy scenes in the movie.
While being very 80’s and maintaining a good balance of cheese and awesomeness, ‘Trick or Treat’ is always an entertaining watch. It serves as quite the time capsule of rock history, before the Internet would change the industry forever. Picked on for being a “metalhead,” the main character Eddie retreats and embraces the music of those that speak to him the most, and even writes fan mail to Sammi Curr during the film. The film depicts the culture that surrounded the genre at the time, when “heavy metal” didn’t quite discriminate and was a far broader and more all encompassing term. There’s a line in there about “false metal,” but it IS coming from a murderous evil spirit described by Gene Simmons’ character as flawed for believing his own hype. Perhaps there is some greater irony there coming from the likes of a member of KISS, but even Simmons had to endure some peaks and valleys during his career.
Records, Hit Parader magazine, a walkman, cassettes, posters, and impressive home stereo systems are all marvelously on display during this metal themed Halloween cult classic. It made me long for the days where the people giving the “metalheads” shit, were those that were a part of another social group altogether, as opposed to the sort of self-proclaimed purist bullying we now see within the online culture which is arguably bereft of any culture at all.