Shaun vs. Trick or Treats (1982)

A wife admits her husband to an insane asylum so she can be with the man she really wants but four years later her husband escapes on Halloween with the intention of murdering his dear wife.

Judging a Book by its Cover




– I can see where Chopping Mall got its poster idea from.  And they put more body parts in it too.


-Who “trick or treats” with a shopping bag?


-If this shows Halloween not being fun, why should I watch it?





…when Halloween night stopped being fun.

Directed by Gary Graver

Staring Jacqueline Giroux, Peter Jason, Chris Graver and David Carradine

The film begins with Joan answering the door and finding two workers from the town insane asylum to pick up her husband Malcolm (Jason) who knows nothing about what’s going to happen.  After a short scuffle and a dip in the pool, Malcolm is put in chains and taken away much to Joan’s delight.  So begins the film!


You’ll be crazy and you’ll like it!

Fast forwarding a few years later, babysitter Linda (Giroux) gets a call for a job on Halloween night which dashes her plans with her boyfriend.  Linda arrives at the home and we discover that Joan is the one who hired her, along with Joan’s new beau Richard (Carradine in an extended cameo.)  Joan has a little boy named Christopher who needs to be looked after while she and Richard go to a Halloween party.  Linda discovers that Christopher is an amateur wizard (of gore) and takes every chance he can get to annoy Linda using his cheap tricks to trick her into thinking he’s killed, maimed or otherwise hurt himself.


Need me for anything else? I have a Sizzler commercial on standby.

Meanwhile, at that local mental institution, Malcolm plans out his escape so he can kill his wife.  I didn’t think he was crazy before but if he’s been in that place for four years, you’d think they’d know he’s a nutbar by now, right?  I guess he is.  He knocks out a nurse and sneaks out of the place wearing her uniform.  Ohhh, this is a comedy all of a sudden?  Malcolm goes all over town getting hit on by drunkards (at least I hope they are) making phone calls to his old home not knowing that his wife isn’t there.  Sure enough, he shows up, stabs a few people and gets killed in a silly set up involving a guillotine of all things.


That must be good shit!

Trick or Treats starts off with a shaky enough premise to begin with and even trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, this Halloween-themed slasher is as lifeless as the corpses at the end of the movie.  There’s very little in the positive I can say about the film, it’s just not good.  There’s no tension or anything evoking terror; the majority of those scenes go to Christopher’s antics in trying to scare his babysitter though they’re so over-the-top you might laugh at them instead.  Might.  The final twenty minutes eventually make this movie the slasher it was supposed to be but even then it’s dull as Malcolm kills anyone who he thinks is his wife, because I guess he’s really crazy, but the movie lost me a long time ago and certainly didn’t reel me back with it’s ending.


Story: 4 – A man wrongfully put in a mental institution by his wife escapes four years later with the intent on killing her in the house.  Or whoever’s in the house.  I guess it doesn’t matter.

Blood: 3 – Most of the blood comes from the young magician’s gory antics but there is a little trickle of blood later on when the killer finally shows up.

Nudity: 3 – A brief shower scene with star Jacqueline Giroux shows a little bit through the curtain, but that’s all.

Overall: 2 – Even the tag line on the poster says it won’t be fun.  Best to avoid this holiday stinker of a trick.


-The house used to film the bulk of the scenes was owned by Carrie Snodgrass who played Joan in the film.

-The film took three weeks to shoot and were only at night.

-Orson Welles, yes that Orson Welles, is listed in the credits as a Magic Advisor.  Okay…

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