Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jem And The Holograms: "Trick Or Techrat"

Premiered October 30,1987

Jem and her band mates are hanging out Starlight House (the home for foster girls Jem operates) watching a scary vampire movie.  Suddenly, two girls run in wearing Halloween masks, scaring everyone.

Most of them laugh it off, but Terri (one of the girls who is in foster care) is more scared than anyone else.  She is absolutely terrified and takes a few minutes to calm down after realizing the "monsters" are just kids like her.

The Holograms' manager Rio shows up late at night and takes them for a ride to an old opera house. He tells them it is being threatened with demolition, but could be saved if the Holograms play a benefit concert.

They meet Frederick Vincent, the nice but eccentric owner of the opera house.  Vincent is grateful for the Holograms offer to help the opera house, their benefit concert will be held on Halloween Eve.

Frederick Vincent greets the Holograms in a Dracula costume!

Later, Jem and the residents of Starlight House start preparing for Halloween.

Terri is carving a pumpkin when she is suddenly scared again by a Halloween mask.  This causes her to accidentally smash her pumpkin.

She cries and declares "I hate Halloween".  Jem consoles her, saying that it can be fun to be scared at Halloween, since it's all just pretend.

Terri gets scared by a mask

Terri accompanies the Holograms to the opera house.  She gets scared once again when she sees the venue's address is 1313.

Elsewhere, the Misfits (a rival band and the Holograms' arch nemesis) are angry and jealous when they learn that the Holograms are holding a benefit concert.  The Misfits' leader Pizzazz decides to stage their own concert billed as "The Misfits Present:Midnight Madness".

The Misfits,L-R:Jetta,Pizzazz,Roxy

Their manager Eric sends them to real estate mogul Terrence Landau.  Landau says he'll finance the Misfits concert.  He wants the opera house to close because it gets in the way of his "beautiful skyline". Landau will by the site of the opera house when it closes, then he plans to demolish it.

Pizzaz and Terrence Landau plot the destruction of the opera house

The Holograms are rehearsing for the concert. Their choreographer Danse is onstage, when suddenly a giant jack o'lantern falls on her.  She survives, but Terri is convinced the opera house is haunted. Vincent agrees with Terri and says the concert must be cancelled.

The Misfits call the local building inspector to the opera house, they tell him it's in violation of safety codes.  During the inspection, an arm reaches out from a cabinet, frightening the Misfits. They're also convinced the venue us haunted.

A black cat (it turns out to be Vincent's cat, named Phantom!) runs past Terri, she gets scared again. Right after that, a chandelier falls from the ceiling.  It nearly lands on Terri, but Jem saves her.

The night of the concert finally arrives. Jem & the Holograms are dressed in Halloween costumes, the Misfits have set up a tent across from the opera house to stage their show.

In the Holograms dressing room, a talking skeleton appears in the mirror and says if they take the stage, it will be their last concert. The skeleton disappears, then the mirror cracks. Jem is angry and sick of all these strange happenings, and she doesn't think the Misfits are capable creating these horrors.

Vincent tells them they must leave.  Jem is perplexed and wonders why Vincent wants them to leave, since they're trying to save the opera house.

The opera house starts shaking, the lights start flickering and evil laughter can be heard throughout the building.  Terri freaks out and says "it's the ghost!"  She runs away, falls through a trap-door and disappears.

Frederick Vincent,Terri(in a Raggedy Ann costume) and Phantom the Cat run from the bad guys!

Will Jem and the Holograms survive the haunted opera house?  Even if they do, can they save the opera house from demolition?   Will Terri survive long enough to overcome her chronic fear of everything?

J.A. Morris says:
I've never watched a full episode of Jem and the Holograms until now, but I remember when it was on the TV in the 1980s.
"Trick Or Techrat" succeeds in creating a nice seasonal atmosphere, with lots of jack o'lanterns and black cats popping up throughout.  And there's just something inherently funny about 80s cartoon glam rockers wearing Halloween costumes!.

But it's not something I see myself watching every year, nor do I see myself watching other episodes of Jem.  If you watched it as a kid, this episode might be a nice nostalgia trip to watch around Halloween.

My rating:
2 jack o'lanterns

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