(music) Welcome to the Kill Count where we tally up the victims in all our favorite horror movies. I’m James A. Janisse and today we’re looking at Trick ‘r Treat, the Halloweentastic 2007 movie written and directed by Michael Dougherty. Trick ‘r Treat consists of a series of intertwining vignettes that take place on Halloween night in the fictional town of Warren Valley Ohio, a place that just loves to get its trick or treat on. Loosely connecting the stories is the burlap sacked kid-sized entity Sam, whose happy to be an impassive observer until he sees the spirit of Halloween being rejected, at which point he’ll step in to personally intervene. Although it doesn’t have any single overarching story, Trick ‘r Treat is a true treasure of a film, not taking itself too seriously but also never trying to be too cool with detached irony. It’s a sincere film that lovingly explores various Halloween traditions and you know what? It’s got a pretty high kill count to boot. So grab your favorite candy bar and let’s get to the kills! (music) The movie begins with a grumpy robot, this lady Emma, who’s complaining to her partner that Halloween is lame. She blows out a jack-o’-lantern despite him saying it’s ancient tradition to leave them lit, and takes off her robot costume right there on the sidewalk. All this bah-humbuggery attracts the attention of someone with a glossy field of vision who runs across the street towards their house. After she finishes de-roboting on the porch, Emma tells her man she wants to take down the decorations right meow. Lady are you serious? Look at your house! That’s literally going to take hours to put away. “I hate Halloween.” Yeah, well you must hate getting a good night’s sleep too cause this is ’bout to take you all night. But she presses on in her anti-Halloween crusade, stopping only when she sees a JabbaWockee across the street that spooks her out. But false alarm, he’s just waiting to get picked up to go to dance practice so they can nail their performance at Horror Nights this year. No, Emma, the real threat for you is that GHOST SHEET! Nah just playin’, it’s not a ghost. It’s something inside the sheet that starts tearing at her and knocks her out to the sidewalk. It takes a bitten off lollipop and slits her throat with it which scares this trio of kids away. Get outta here, ya buncha clowns. Emma becomes our first kill of the movie just 4 minutes in, and shortly thereafter her man finds her body beneath a sheet, hung up and dismembered and with that yummy pumpkin lolly in her mouth. The opening credits are in the style of a comic book since Wildstorm Comics had originally planned to release a related comic series alongside the film. Although the comics were delayed, the opening still gives us a nice little preview of the vignettes to come. Then we’re taken earlier that evening to a news report talking about how fuckin’ bonkers this town goes over Halloween, like they’re that place in Hocus Pocus or something. A little kid pervs on some girls in changing rooms which is weird because he’s like 6, but also this is the kid that plays Sam so at least you get a little cameo there. The girls he’s looking at are a trio of girls in sexed up Halloween costumes, also known as Halloween costumes, Danielle, Marie, and Janet. And then there’s Laurie, younger sister to Danielle the Sexerella over there, who’s much more sexed down in a demure Little Red Riding Hood costume. Danielle invites the elven cashier to a party that night after asking when he gets off. “In about 20 minutes, actually.” Yeah right dude, you’re working a costume shop on Halloween brah, you ain’t gettin’ off till the vampires go to sleep. On their way to the party, after bumping into Grouchbot, Danielle tells Laurie she needs to find a date because it’s sad that she’s a 22 year old virgin. Wow this really might be the town from Hocus Pocus. And Marie and Janet seem just as obsessed with getting that D, since they ask these random guys loading up a news van out on dates to the party. A couple of van beers later and this party is ready to roll. Danielle reluctantly agrees to leave Laurie behind to go find her own date in the streets of this crazy Halloween party. Meanwhile Charlie, played by that kid from Bad Santa is, walking down the street doing his best Billy Corgan impersonation. When he goes to steal some candy from an unsupervised porch, he’s caught red-handed by the owner of the house, Principal Steven Wilkins. “Uhh-” “Don’t waste a good lie on this.” Wilkins makes him sit down and eat his candy while he talks about carving jack-o’-lanterns and other Halloween traditions. He must be a bad storyteller because Charlie starts having a physical reaction, gagging and burping and making all sorts of disgusting sounds there. What’s going on there, Chuckster? Something you forgot to do? “Always check your candy.” (retches) Yeah, I think he forgot to do that, which is why he sits there doubled over puking up blood and/or chocolate. I don’t really see the joke there but Wilkins sure is having a laugh. Probably cause he’s the one who poisoned all that chocolate. With that, Charlie dies, slouching over into Wilkins’s lap for our second kill of the movie. I guess that’s one less kid to process paperwork for at school, right Steven? Wilkins’s corpse removal is interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s a trio of trick-or-treaters and they ask him for his jack-o’-lantern as part of a scavenger hunt. He gives it to them along with some candy, and after they leave there’s a cute little bag-headed feller who Wilkins also gives candy to. You don’t know how much of a right decision that was, Steve. You don’t want to get on that kid’s bad side. Wilkins goes out back and uncovers a grave containing another body, but before he can heave Charlie’s down into it, he gets interrupted again, this time by his son Billy who’s just yelling his god damn lungs out about how he’s done trick-or-treating. Then, because this segment is a black comedy of errors, Wilkins gets interrupted yet again, now by his neighbor old Mr. Kreeg, who overhears when the other body in the grave start screaming and moving around. Kreeg walks over to the fence and hidey-ho-neighbors Mr. Wilkins, asking him what the hell is going on. Wilkins is able to talk himself out of the situation and tries to silence the body for good but gets interrupted ONCE MORE by Billy screaming about carving jack-o’-lanterns and asking to go with his dad to the parade later. “No, Daddy has a date!” Billy goes away and Wilkins seems to be in the clear. “But don’t forget to help me with the eyes!” Jesus, Billy, you know what? Halloween is cancelled. No more Halloween for you on account of your screaming into the night sky like that. With the coast finally clear for really reals, Wilkins takes his shovel and delivers an overhead smack to the shuffling bag, giving us a kill that cuts away immediately but at least we get to see him watering the grave. That’s nice. What’s not nice is the way Wilkins is mocking his own son. He seems real friggin’ annoyed with that kid so it’s troublesome when he grabs a knife and heads downstairs with him to carve the jack-o’-lantern. We don’t need two weeks in a row with young dead Billies, kid, so get the hell out of there! Wilkins raises his knife up and brings it down in a powerful stab! But turns out Billy’s not in danger after all, and that the jack-o’-lantern is actually Charlie’s head. Sorry to scare all of you, there’s no filicide going down here, it’s just some father-son bonding! “But don’t forget to help me with the eyes.” See, nothing to worry about here at all! Now we’re back to those trick-or-treaters, Macy, Sara, and Chip, who are trick-or-treating at another teacher’s home and interrupting her swinger-looking party. Eye on the prize kids, you’re there for jack-o’-lanterns, not…whatever’s going on in that party. Yo, what IS going on in that party? “Coach Taylor was in a hot dog costume, butt-fucking a pig.” Oh. They’re joined by another kid, Schrader, who’s real shitty at Supermarket Sweep and only got 3 more pumpkins for ’em. To get enough jack-o’-lanterns for their quest they go to this house, home of Rhonda, who they call an idiot savante, but honestly? Looks to me like she’s just dope as hell at carving pumpkins. Schrader turns on his charm cause they gon’ be needin’ some of dat squash. Over at the town’s Festival of Costumed Fools, a lady makes out with a masked stranger in an alleyway, the start of every good love story. Their tongue tangle stops when she lifts up her hand to find out she’s bleeding, like kind of a lot there, and that dis dude’s got fangs. Hot damn, do we got a vampire on our hands? She runs away from him and towards the parade in a very I-Know-What-You-Did-Last-Summer-like shot but unlike Sarah Michelle, this chick actually makes it to safety. But her victory is short lived, since her pleading for help is rebuffed by the Grumpy-Tron 9000 who mistakes her for just another drunk hoodlum with fake blood all over her body. Masked Man shows up behind her and whips his cape over her for another offscreen kill, resting her body against a storefront to look like she’s just passed out, you know, like people do all the time in public streets at crazy Halloween parades. Masked Vampire Man walks off into the night, presumably to find another victim. With a wagon full of pumpkins in tow, the trick-or-treater kids are led by Macy to a cliff overlooking a rock quarry where she regales them all with a Halloween story. It’s a sepia-toned tale of a bus full of eight kids who are described as so troubled and disturbed that their embarrassed parents bus them to a school miles out of town to keep them hidden from sight. But once upon a Halloween the driver takes a different route, one that passes a cemetery and Sam, straight to the abandoned rock quarry that Macy and co. are now standing in. Turns out the parents were sick of dealing with their dirty little secrets and paid the bus driver to kill them all. And it would’ve worked, too, if not for these meddling kids, especially this Dracula who realizes they aren’t where they should be and tries to drive the bus home on his own. He only manages to get it moving in a straight line that goes straight off the cliff, where it falls and sinks into the water below. The eight children are killed as their masks float away along the surface of the water. They all get added to our list, although I’m not sure of their genders, while the driver is spared. He makes it out and according to Macy was never heard from again. Macy’s plan is to leave eight jack-o’-lanterns by the side of the lake as an offering to the kids who died. She and the other two alpha-most kids descend on the elevator first, and when Rhonda and Pirate Boy follow a little later, they hear the first three kids screaming and watch as their jack-o’-lanterns go out. That doesn’t stop Rhonda from stepping out of the elevator to go see what happened. She tells Chip not to let the jack-o’-lanterns go out ’cause they’ll protect him, then heads out and finds herself staring at a school bus, half-sunken in the lake. This creepy image that corroborates Macy’s tale only gets worse when a hand reaches out to grab her leg. Creatures emerge from the water and Rhonda runs back to the elevator where she finds Chip on the ground getting his guts good and nommed on. After she really Velmas it up, her blind ass gets cornered by the creatures all wet and be-chained and Rhonda falls backwards off a ledge into some water, getting knocked out as the creatures lean over her and stare. When she comes to she learns that the creatures were just the other kids and that Chip wasn’t even dead, those are probably just nasty cold hot dogs ’round his neck. Schrader finally learns what empathy is and says that it’s ’bout time these ramblers get ramblin’, so they should pack it up and leave. Over by the bus, Macy kicks the last lit jack-o’-lantern nearby into the water, which immediately proves to be a mistake when they start hearing spoooooky noises. Sho nuff, looks like we got some zombie kids on our hands, who giggle as they shamble towards the four mean kids. During their retreat, the chains on Sara’s costume get hung up and she’s dragged away by the zombie bus kids, who temporarily stop their pursuit to get their murder on. The other kids reach the elevator where Rhonda has locked herself inside, safe with the final lit jack-o’-lantern. She goes to let them in then is all PSYCHE and hits the button to go up by herself, waving bye bye to them as she ascends. The kids are cornered by the zombies and killed offscreen, their screams and some nasty wet tearing noises filling the rock quarry as Rhonda walks away from it all completely stone-faced. Sam shows up but is happy to leave Rhonda alone, for she is true and has the Halloween spirit within her. Meanwhile Laurie’s been walking around looking for a date but having no luck which is pretty hard to believe since she’s frigging Sookeh. Danielle calls her saying she has a back-up date for Laurie but he’s a little too Baby-Oopsie-Daisy for her. While she’s on the phone, Laurie notices the masked killer from earlier staring at her, and later when she’s walking to the bonfire party by herself, he pops up out of nowhere and attacks her, slamming her up against a tree and biting into her neck like a freaky, freaky vampire. Danielle and the others at the party, worried about Laurie’s whereabouts, scream in horror when a body in Laurie’s costume falls from the tree. When they check it out and lift the hood they find that it’s… the masked killer, who’s now gasping for breath and begging them for help. Laurie shows up to the party looking much more like a little pirate wench and she tells the rest of the ladies, “ARRRR, that dude bit me!” Maria goes over to him and takes out his fake fangs. You’re not a real vampire at all! You were never a real vampire! In fact you’re just a high school principal, Steven Freakin’ Wilkins. Man, you’ve had a busy night. Steve does have a good question though: “Who are you people?” And then he discovers for himself. Let’s see, we got a pirate, a uhh…nother body lyin’ there, that’s cool, I guess… oh, that’s uh, that’s one of the news van dudes. And, oh shit, it’s a wide shot and there are a lot of bodies here. I actually paused this and went through it a TON in slow motion, and all in all, I think there are nine bodies here, including the two van guys, the cashier, the big baby man, and five others. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know. This number makes sense to me though, since there are also nine girls other than Laurie at this banger and after all, they all need a date. And Laurie’s date is Steven Wilkins, who ain’t goin’ nowhere on account of a broken leg. She climbs atop him and gives him fair warning. “It’s my first time so, just…bear with me.” Then, to a sexy montage scored by a Marilyn Manson cover of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), the ladies at the party strip down and transform. Laurie straight up unzips her back and she and the others start tearing off their own skin in delightfully nasty shots. They’re becoming shagadelic werewolves, baby! Do they make you horny, Steven? No, just terrified? That’s cool, you’ll make a tasty snack either way. As Laurie feasts on Steven, Danielle howls at the moon in victory, since Laurie’s finally lost her werevirginity. Sam sits there and watches it all, which makes me a little worried about his development. This is not for young eyes, Mister! …If, you know, you even have eyes. We do another timejump to earlier in the night when that one trio of trick-r-treaters from the opening visit a house only to get scared off by glowing eyes and growls emerging from the dark. Get outta here you buncha clowns! Turns out it’s just Mr. Kreeg and his pup, and he HATES HALLOWEEN. Kreeg hates everything about this holiday, up to and including the candy. Looks like his Halloween traditions involve his good buddy Jim Beam and everyone’s favorite past time of burning photographs in the fireplace. While he’s busy Scrooging it up at all the Halloween specials on TV, a prankster eggs his window, sending Kreeg to the closet to fish out a friggin’ baseball bat. He heads out back to go all Neegan on some punk prankster ass, but instead just overhears Wilkins and we get that earlier scene from a slightly different perspective. He goes back inside before more noises send him storming out the front door where he finds his front yard has been covered with jack-o’-lantern by some decorative pagan. He’ll have none of that, thank you very much, so he takes his shotgun and heads upstairs to investigate more noises. In his bedroom a pumpkin lights up and reveals a remodeling job done by Kevin Spacey’s character in Se7en. Bought that wallpaper from Serial Killers R Us. While Kreeg is admiring the redesign, he gets stabbed in the leg, and out from under the bed comes…Sam! The cute little kid with the bag over his head and adorable orange footie pajamas. Looks like he’s packin’ a candy full of razor blade just for Kreeg. Trick or Treat, mutha fucka! Kreeg runs away and falls down the stairs onto a whole bunch of candy and loose razor blades, so when he tries to get back up all he manages to do is cut up his hands real bad. As he fiddles with the locks on his door, trying to escape, Sam crawls across the ceiling until he’s right over Kreeg and then drops down for a fun little grapple sesh. During the fight, Kreeg pulls off Sam’s bag mask to reveal a skeleton face on a pumpkin head! You know what? Still kinda cute! He’s even cute as he bites into Kreeg’s leg for a tasty snack until Kreeg recovers his shotgun and shoots Sam point blank, which sends him across the room against the door. When Kreeg goes buckwild with a couple extra shots, he reveals pumpkiny innards. Mmmm, make yourself a little Sam Pie. Sam recovers and re-masks himself and out of his trick-or-treating sack grabs a bright orange pumpkin lolly that he bites into a weapon. He raises the candy up high to bring it down on Kreeg, but we get another fakeout stab when he just pierces a candy bar instead. What, that’s all you wanted? Oh Sam, you’re not you when you’re hungry. His sweet tooth satiated, Sam leaves, closing the door behind him with some Halloween magic. A close-up on those burning pictures reveals that the reason Kreeg hates this damn holiday so much is because he was the bus driver from the Rock Quarry story. Later on, Kreeg gets a visit from three little pigs, and damaged as he may be, he complies with the sacred laws of Halloween and gives them all some candy. With the spirit of the Halloween restored, the movie wraps up its disparate storylines, showing an orphaned but cheerful Billy Wilkins dressed up like his dad and handing out candy, the last quarry jack-o’-lantern being pulled in a wagon by Rhonda, and the Weregals heading home in a mood of elation. Sam watches over it all, keeping an eye on Kreeg until something else catches his eye – one grouchy fucking robot lady who blows out her jack-o’-lantern. You know what to do, Sam – go enforce those Halloween laws. Just when you think it’s all over, Kreeg gets one final knock at the door. Looks like it’s those meddling kids from the school bus! Ready or not. Here they…kill? The final kill of the movie is done in quick flashes of a graphic novel death as Mr. Kreeg gets his comeuppance from the kids he killed so long ago. And thus ends our Halloween tale, where lessons were learned and kills were counted. How many kills? Let’s find out and get to the numbers. (music) Twenty-seven people were killed in Trick ‘r Treat, maybe. Real hard to tell around that bonfire. Of the 27 I counted, only 4 were female, 16 were male, and the 7 kids besides Dracula were unverified either way. Regardless, pretty imbalanced distribution there. At a lean runtime of 82 minutes, we wound up with a kill on average every 3.04 minutes, a new Kill Count record. Happy Halloween! I’ll give the Golden Chainsaw for coolest kill to Charlie. So many of the other kills were offscreen but here we have the Bad Santa kid puking up gallons of blood chocolate. Plus we see his severed head a little later, cementing his fate as the most graphic of the film. Dull Machete for lamest kill will go to Macy, Chip, and Schrader who are killed offscreen with nothing but some sound effects to show for it. And that’s it! Trick ‘r Treat is the perfect film for Halloween. It’s short, light, and fun, which is everything a Halloween movie should be, in my opinion. Next month is Alien – I’ll be covering the original Alien Quadrilogy each Friday in November. Until then I’m James A. Janisse. This has been the Kill Count. Thanks a lot for watching my Kill Count for Trick ‘r Treat. I wanna thank some of my patrons like Allison Gail, Nick Smolich, and Kellen DeRuy. I’m gonna try to get a video out showing the Halloween party that we had where I was Pennywise. Halloween is probably my favorite holiday and we spent two months celebrating it starting in September. That being said, I’m kinda happy it’s gettin’ back to normal next month because this had been an insane month for me. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it’s been a blast.