Special treat today! One of my favorite Halloween-themed movies of all time is the incredibly visual and hauntingly, Halloweeny, Trick 'r Treat. I LOVE this movie. It is one of the best horror movies old Doctor Zombie's had the pleasure of ever watching (and believe me when I say I've seen literally thousands of horror movies.... it's what I do, folks!).
Like I said, very few movies can fully capture the look and feel of Halloween so well as this little independent movie did. Off the top of my head, only a few come close - Carpenter's Halloween, for example; or Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. But neither of those come close to capturing the magic of that one night of the year when the gateway - the physical and psychic barrier - between this world and darker, spookier worlds is so thin.
Part of my grotesque fascination with this wondrous little film is the character of Sam. He's an iconic creature that - in my mind - rivals the ubiquitous and much heavier horror movie baddies like Michael Meyers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or Chucky. He's Samhain personified, and it really almost pisses me off that I didn't create him myself or think of him for one of my own short stories.
So, in honor of Trick 'r Treat's Sam, I've attached the original Michael Dougherty animated short that inspired and turned into Trick 'r Treat. Dougherty seriously spilled blood making this cartoon (the blood on the animation cells is literally his own!) and it pays respects to the vintage imagery of Halloween. But at the same time, it melds itself with the 70's and 80's paranoia and fear of Halloween that all of our parents warned us about. That same urban legend that warned of razors or poison in candy, or roving bands of pedophiles looking to scoop up kids wearing Spiderman or Darth Vader costumes, all of those things from when we were young and trick or treating by ourselves.
It's ingenious, well-drawn, captures Halloween in all of its glory, and shows the genesis of one of horror's more iconic creatures!