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Trick or Treat (1986) – Episode 156 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“This could kick you off into becoming an absolute pervert.” Been there, done that. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – along with guest host and effects artist Ralph Miller as they partake in some heavy metal dead-resurrecting and demon-summoning with Trick or Treat (1986).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 156 – Trick or Treat (1986)

A bullied teenage boy is devastated after the death of his heavy metal idol, Sammi Curr. But as Hallowe’en night approaches, he discovers that he may be the only one who can stop Sammi from making a Satanic comeback from beyond the grave.


Your Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew is joined on this episode by special effects artist Ralph Miller whom Grue-Believers will remember from his interview in episode 155. Ralph worked on the creation of the backseat demon that makes its appearance on lover’s lane in Trick or Treat. It seemed only natural to invite him back for this episode and he was so kind as to accept our invitation.

Trick or Treat is Chad’s pick and you can probably guess why. In fact, he saw it several times in a theater. Bill wonders where the heck the teachers are in the high school featured in this film. The demon’s tongue grabs Crystal’s attention while Jeff gets stuck in pointing out that The Beatles created what might be the most well-known instance of backmasking. The members of the 80s Grue-Crew unanimously think the demon Ralph helped create was the best part of the film and should’ve received far more screen time!

It bears mentioning that Gruesome Magazine’s own Paul Cardullo (Yes, Patreon members, those weekly updates are coming from Paul!) is a high school extra in Trick or Treat. The film was shot in North Carolina and John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington was used to depict Sammi Curr’s high school. You should be able to see Paul lurking in the stacks during a chase scene through the school library.  

The 80s Grue-Crew recommends Trick or Treat but it’s a tough watch to find. As of this writing, it is available on YouTube. Keep your fingers crossed for a future US release on Blu ray.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s is part of the Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1970s. In episode 157, the 80s Grue-Crew will visit director John Carpenter’s work again in Escape from New York (1981). A-Number-One!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.