Trick or Treat Taglines: Five B-Movie Gems to watch this Halloween

Oct 04, 2016 No Comments by

Most holidays boast a rather benign greeting of sorts. Think “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukah.”

But only Halloween boasts the combination of innocence and mischief rolled into “Trick or Treat.” Let’s face it: the implication is you give me candy … or else. Nearly everyone has experienced the “or else,” be it soaped windows, toilet-papered trees or something worse (i.e., the Devil’s Night vandalism that seems to befall the city of Detroit year in, year out).

Sure, Halloween remains a festive exercise for kids of all ages, but it’s a bit dispiriting to think this greeting — or tagline, if you will — is at its core a threat.

All of which brings to mind the taglines associated with horror movies. In keeping with the Halloween theme, one might remember the 2007 B-movie Trick ’R Treat. Its tagline bore this wicked promise: “If you don’t follow the rules tonight, you won’t live to see tomorrow.”

Well, OK then! And who can forget these Grade A horror one-liners?

Jaws: “Don’t go in the water.”

Alien: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”

Poltergeist and Poltergeist 2: From “They’re h-e-e-e-r-e” to “They’re b-a-a-a-c-k.”

All classics. But some of the best taglines are attached to under-the-radar horror flicks known mostly to aficionados. So with a tip of the hat to Halloween, here are five Grade B gems that, like “trick or treat,” profess a touch of implicit wickedness … and humor.

I Dismember Mama (1972): “May she rest in pieces.”


Re-Animator (1985): “Death is just the beginning.”


Rabid Grannies (1988): “Grandma, what a big mouth you have!”


Fido (2006): “He’ll steal your heart … or eat it.”


House on Haunted Hill (1959): “Consult your doctor! Bring your seatbelts!”


Movies & TV

About the author

Allan is a retired mainstream (does that word even apply anymore?) journalist whose bylines traveled with him to six newspapers and a final resting place at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In Da ’Burgh, he served as entertainment editor, features editor and closed out his career creating and directing the PG’s multimedia department. He once authored a horror blog titled “How Awful About Allan,” an homage to a little-known TV movie starring the original Norman Bates, i.e. Anthony Perkins. In an alternate universe, he played drums for a band that recorded two albums and even a single that popped up on a jukebox or two. And yes, he’s old enough to remember what a jukebox is. Uh, was.
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