With Halloween just around the corner there’s no better time for a Throwback Thursday of the 1986 horror film Trick or Treat and Fastway‘s excellent soundtrack for the same film. Sure the movie is a little cheesy at times as well as a picture-perfect tale of teen angst but it stays focused on the aspects I love the most; metal and horror. Fastway, coming off of an album that veered away from heavy metal, found their sweet spot again here. Equal parts heavy metal and rock-n-roll, it compliments the movie seamlessly but also stands strong on its own.
Fastway – Trick or Treat
Fastway was formed in 1983 by “Fast” Eddie Clark, formerly of Motörhead, and Pete Way, formerly of UFO. But with recording contract issues, Way never played on an album and throughout the band’s career lineup changes have been the norm. Trick or Treat was the fourth full length album from the band and, at least to me, is their finest moment. It recaptures the loud and fast approach of their self-titled debut and abandons the generic rock that plagued their preceding album Waiting on the Roar. Approaching this album with reckless abandon couldn’t have been a better choice and they prove it on the hard driving, anthemic tracks like “After Midnight” and “Get Tough”. “Hold On To the Night” is the undisputed rocker here and “Heft” draws very successfully from doom and classic heavy metal. The drums are huge in the mix but its Dave King’s vocals and Clark’s riffs that shine the brightest throughout. Catchy, loud, and aggressive this album has long been a favorite of mine. In part because it captured a pivotal point in my life but also because it forever sealed album and movie in my memory.
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat is about high schooler Eddie Weinbauer (Marc Price) and his metal obsession with Sammi Curr (Tony Fields). Sammi was an alumni of Eddie’s high school and had hit the big time in heavy metal music. Eddie idolizes Sammi but very early in the movie learns of his untimely death and, obviously, is floored. Friend and local radio personality Nuke (Gene Simmons), knowing his buddy would be devastated, gives Eddie the one and only copy of Sammi’s yet to be released album, Songs In the Key of Death and unknowingly sets about a chain of events that leads the rocker back to our world and back to his main goal of killing as many people as possible.
Tony Fields plays the part of Sammi Curr to the hilt. He’s vile, vulgar, and makes for one hell of a rock star. I’ve always wondered if he missed his true calling. And Marc Price nails the role of the outcast, high school metalhead Eddie Weinbauer. Times are very different now but how he was portrayed was spot on for the era in which this film was released. If you could find a like minded metalhead you could count yourself lucky and most of the time you literally were on your own. Also finding its mark is the portrayal of idols, rock gods if you will. Eddie’s infatuation with Sammi and his music is something we’ve all been through at some point and this is one of many reasons why I still return to this movie as a Halloween ritual, year after year. To some point I can identify with the themes because during this time I was finding my own way in metal and horror. When something is new, gods are easy to find but as we age we tend to stick to those that made the biggest impact early on and hold them close but also are more critical to new ones.
The movie also features a cameo by Ozzy Osbourne as Rev. Aaron Gilstrom, a preacher denouncing metal music as the work of Satan (go figure). This is a very small role, much like Gene Simmons role, but when the DVD was released in 2002, both were featured prominently on the cover as if they were the stars. Marketing at it’s finest I guess. Trick or Treat is well worth your time to seek out and it stands up extremely well to this day. I’ve already had my annual viewing but will make it a double this year. Both the DVD and VHS are out of print so hit this link and grab one before they are gone.