Monday, August 17, 2015

TRICK OR TREATS (1982) Blu-Ray from Code Red Releasing

Code Red spine No. 39, limited edition 1,050 print run, exclusive to Screen Archives:


Previously completely unknown to me, I popped the disc in expecting a bad "Halloween" knock off. It certainly has elements of John Carpenter's classic slasher, but it is a bit more than JUST a knock off. After a few scenes, it became apparent that this was a comedy, and I was on board. The set up is typical of a lot of 80's slasher films. A babysitter on Halloween is visited by a deranged killer. Along the way, the babysitter (along with the audience) is annoyed, nearly to death, by the little boy she is babysitting, who is an aspiring magician. His "tricks" fall into "Harold and Maude" territory as he fakes death and dismemberment, nearly driving his sitter crazy. In the opening scene, the little boy's mother has her husband committed to a mental institution. He dresses in drag in order to escape and hilarity ensues. David Carradine shows up in a pretty meaningless, but silly and funny, role as the mother's new boyfriend. Once I realized what the movie was trying to do, I really warmed to it and enjoyed it. The "Problem Child" meets "Halloween " premise is a lot of fun. The film has a really great ending, as well. The great Orson Welles was credited on the film as "magical consultant." To what extent that's true, I have no idea, despite researching.


Even by Code Red standards, the disc is fairly bare. As with most Code Red and Scorpion releases, you have the option to watch the film in "Katarina's Bucket List Mode," with Elvira-like intro and outro.

The bulk of the special features is the audio commentary with actors Jackie Giroux, Peter Jason, Chris Graver, and cinematographer R. Michael Stringer, moderated by the director's (Gary Graver) son, Sean Graver. The participants have a lot of fun and lots of laughs, though it's not as informative as more recent commentaries on Code Red releases. Still, a great addition and I'm glad it's on the disc.

The final extra is a brief audio interview with actor Steve Railsback about his work on the film. It's only about four minutes, but still great to hear.


As a complete blind buy, I'm extremely happy with the disc. If you're a slasher completist, or a fan of horror comedy, it's a must own. There is a very brief audio sync issue about 11 minutes into the film that last a few seconds at most. I tried to find out the reason for this and according to a few sources (including Bill of Code Red himself) on the forums, this issue is a part of the source material and appeared on previous home video and broadcast releases of the film as well. Apparently, it was a bad dubbing job that never got fixed back when the film was made.

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