Plot: Malcolm (Peter Jason) has been in a mental institution for five years, held there against his will thanks to the actions of his ex wife. His ex Joan (Carrie Snodgrass) had him locked in the asylum to allow her to move on with new her love, a magician named Richard (David Carradine). If Malcolm wasn’t crazy before being unjustly committed to the nut house, his experiences there have turned him quite insane. On Halloween night he manages to escape after he assaults a nurse and disguises himself in her clothes, which…seems to work well for some reason. He plans to get revenge on Joan of course, but she isn’t at home and instead, babysitter Linda (Jacqueline Giroux) is. She is being tormented by Malcolm and Linda’s young son, who is obsessed with gory magic tricks and practical jokes. What kind of hijinks will ensue when Malcolm returns home and can Linda survive one of the most annoying kids ever?
Entertainment Value: Kids in horror movies can be eerie and shocking, but most of the time, we just want them to die horrific, slow deaths. In Trick or Treats we have Chris, a chunky little sadist who provides great entertainment. I still wished he would be torn to shreds in violent fashion of course, but his interactions with the babysitter are such corny and over the top fun. She is reduced to tears constantly and struggles to even continue living, but the little shit just can’t help himself. The cast is good overall and everyone seems to embrace the goofy tone of the script. Peter Jason is hilarious in the least convincing drag ever, while small but memorable parts are well played by David Carradine and Paul Bartel. A traditional slasher this isn’t, as blood is minimal and the body count is rather low. But the game cast makes the offbeat tone work well and the film is never dull. If you’re here for buckets of blood or a tense slasher movie, you’ll be let down, but if you like horror with a twisted sense of humor and a kid who you’ll want to see burned alive, check out Trick or Treats.
Only one topless scene, but the chick is in the shower using an old school, corded telephone at the time. Not sure why keeps a phone on the floor next to the shower, but obviously it was a wise choice. Not much blood at all and none of it is graphic, just some blood smeared on a girl’s body or someone spitting up blood, etc. A slasher movie with no slash…I know. The pranks from Chris even have more blood than the killer’s murders, so yeah. The dialogue is a lot of fun, whether the humor hits or it provides unintended laughs. The scenes between Chris and Linda are the highlights and that’s good, since the movie puts a lot of focus there. David Carradine’s role is small, but creepy and weird, while Paul Bartel’s concern about potential rape is hilarious. But Chris has the best lines, hands down. Trick or Treats isn’t that crazy, but it does have a number of odd moments and an overall offbeat tone. I love the goofy scenes with Linda’s boyfriend, who can’t seem to find phone privacy to save his life. Even so, the movie never goes totally off the rails, so the score isn’t that high.
Overall Insanity: 3/10