31 Days of Horror: #28 – Trick Or Treat

31 Days of Horror: #28 – Trick Or Treat

Your daily bitesized guide to the films you should be watching this Halloween season…

Trick or TreatTrick Or Treat (1986)

Directed by Charles Martin Smith
Written by Michael S. Murphey, Joel Soissan and Rhet Topham

Starring Mark Price, Tony Fields, Doug Savant, Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne.

Sammi Curr (Fields) is a rock god who dies in a hotel fire, his biggest fan is metal head Eddie (Price) who is distraught over Sammi’s death. He visits local rock-jock DJ Nuke (played by Kiss legend Gene Simmons) who gives him Sammi’s last ever recording and only pressing on vinyl. Eddie is being bullied at school and is in despair, he needs help and needs a friend but now Sammi has gone Eddie has no-one. But lets just hope Eddie doesn’t play the vinyl backwards.

Trick or Treat is the greatest Heavy Metal horror film made. It has a killer soundtrack from the band Fastway which features ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke formerly of Motorhead and features not just Gene Simmons but also has Ozzy Osbourne playing the Reverend Gilstrom. A fast, fun and very 1980s feature Trick or Treat is THE Halloween film you must see this year.

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31 Days of Horror: #25 – Sleepy Hollow

31 Days of Horror: #25 – Sleepy Hollow

Your daily bitesized guide to the films you should be watching this Halloween season…

SHSleepy Hollow (1999)

Directed by Tim Burton
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker, story Andrew Kevin Walker & Kevin Yagher, based upon The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Walken

It’s unclear why this deliciously dark slice of campy fun is so overlooked in Tim Burton’s back catalogue. Converting the classic tale of terror by Washington Irving into a playful whodoneit romp results in the perfect blend of the downright over the top and silly mixed with several choice scary moments.

The plethora of acting talent adds a great sheen of class and it is clear they are having the time of their lives with tongues very firmly in cheek. Depp’s detective, Ichabod Crane, is a fantastic fish out water performance. His cynical cowardliness and stiff-upper lip are violently stripped from him when confronted with bucket loads of blood and the genuine threat of the supernatural Headless Horseman. His numerous awkward reactions to the horrors he faces are nothing short of hilarious.

Along with superb acting, the gorgeous art style is distinctly none more gothic. The barren black forest trees, muted clothing, austere buildings and thick mists are combined with the film’s pleasantly self-aware nature that creates a wonderful ghost train. Indeed, it is evocative of a Hammer Horror. Guaranteed to inspire shrieks of both laughter and fear, Sleepy Hollow is a perfect fit for a fun Halloween viewing.

What are you watching?
Share your own scare picks with us on twitter and Instagram!

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Follow Oli on twitter @grimm_f_f

31 Days of Horror: #11 – Jack-O

31 Days of Horror: #11 – Jack-O

Your daily bitesized guide to the films you should be watching this Halloween season…

Jack OJack-O (1995)

Directed by Steve Latshaw
Written by Brad Linaweaver (story), Fred Olen Ray (story), Patrick Moran

Starring Ryan Latshaw, Linnea Quigley, Gary Doles, Maddisen K. Krown

“Plan 9 from Outta State,” laments Fred Olen Ray on the commentary for Jack-O as he and director Steve Latshaw explain their reasons behind some genuinely crazy/inspired filmmaking decisions on this Florida lensed picture. The narrative is largely incidental here, but for the sake of formalities we have a wizard who years ago swore vengeance upon the townsfolk who facilitated his demise. In the present day, this revenge takes the form of the pumpkin-headed demon Jack-O who has his sights set on the Kelly family – direct descendants of those pitchfork waving yokels.

Jack-O IS a terrible film, however, it’s also enjoyably bad in that Ed Wood mould where you find yourself sat with your jaw gaping at what unfolds before your eyes. The cameo from John Carradine – who had been dead for seven years – is the undoubted highlight, though listening to Ray you can’t help feel yourself shrugging and nodding in begrudged agreement at his justification for shoehorning him in! Jack-O himself is a rare sight for most of the movie, while Cameron Mitchell turns up from another picture for a spliced in scene, Linnea takes a very prolonged shower and there’s a very out of place Brinke Stevens cameo too.

Jack-O is a totally inept schlockfest that underlines the danger of just what you could have come home with from the Video Store had you been hypnotised by some funky artwork. I say that, but then it’s really hard to refuse repeated viewings as its awfulness is truly endearing.

What are you watching?
Share your own scare picks with us on twitter and Instagram!

#UKHS31

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Follow Dave on twitter @thedavewain