Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best Horror Movies of the 1980's

American Werewolf in London (1981)
John Landis directs a frightening and occasionally funny werewolf movie. With its mix of classic horror, award-winning special effects by Rick Baker, humor and some freaky dream sequences we have fun and entertaining play on the classic werewolf movie.

Bad Taste (1987)
Aliens invade the Earth and look to turn us into the latest happy meal. Director Peter Jackson's film debut is one of the most disgustingly funny movies ever to released on video.  The low-budget look and excellently cheesy gore make this film the tastiest debut film since The Evil Dead and the original Night of The Living Dead.

Beetlejuice (1988)
Michael Keaton is the comical ghost with the most called upon to exercise a home of its human occupants. Tim Burton uses his incredible imagination and Danny Elfman's music genius to create a funny and sometimes frightening movie that packs a little more fright than Ghostbusters but still does not fall completely into all-out slapstick.

Blob, The (1988)
Kevin Dillon plays the rebellious teen who has to battle the mega goo before its makes his town into nothing. The effects are what make this movie better than the original.

Changeling (1980)
George C Scott is a composer who becomes the caretaker of a mansion after the death of his wife and daughter in an auto accident. He then discovers that the house may be haunted by an angry spirit that wants to communicate. There are many terrifying moments to keep up the suspense as we learn the real truth behind the ghost.

Child’s Play (1988)
Dynamic character villain Brad Dourif plays a voodoo worshipping serial killer who returns to life as a cute Good Guy Doll named Chucky. A big hit with horror fans, this film, used clever FX and a good cast to overcome its blatant swipes from Trilogy of Terror and a couple of classic Twilight Zone episodes.

Creepshow (1982)
An excellent cast of actors and Romero's stylish direction give us a funny and terrifying tale that recreates the magic of those scary little comics of the fifties. This movie may have brought about the return of the horror anthology on both televisions and in the movies.

Cujo (1983)
Stephen King presents a harrowing tale of a woman and her child trapped in a car with a rabid dog. Great use of camera angles and claustrophobic setting add to the realism of Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro predicament with the crazed St. Bernard.

Dead Zone (1983)
In what I feel is one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel, Christopher Walken stars as Johnny Smith. Portraying a man who wakes from a long coma to the horror that he can view the death of those he meets. A great movie that seems to be hidden away by Kings more flashy and more crappy gore movies.

The Evil Dead (1983)
Got to love Sam Raimi! With a very low budget and a group of unknown Detroit actors Sam Raimi was able to create this great and scary horror classic that just kept coming and did not fail to deliver in the gore department. The real star was Bruce Campbell as the intrepid Ash, who would later appear in the subsequent Evil Dead sequels.

Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Not quite a sequel, more of a remake with better FX and way funnier gags. The story is the same, a group of students visit a cabin and discover an ancient Sumerian Book of the Dead. When all else seems to fail, we leave it to the dynamic and very funny Bruce Campbell as Ash, the Demon Killer! Ash takes charge and with a nifty chainsaw hand and a trusty sawed-off shotgun, he tackles the Zombie menace tooth and nail.

Fly (1986)
Jeff Goldblum plays Seth Bundle, an eccentric scientist who invents a device that can teleport matter. During a routine test, he realizes that his DNA is being altered to that of the fly that rode with him. Cronenberg delivers a great film with incredible FX and a show stopping metamorphosis that will never be forgotten.

Fright Night (1985)
Fright Night was a welcome change from the usual gore flicks, great actors and some great FX turn this simple vampire movie into an exciting show with a great climax.

Hellraiser (1987)
Hellraiser is a very frightening movie that creates a mood of fear and lust in the world of the Cenobites where the pain is an aphrodisiac and suffering is eternal. Clive Barker's first directed movie is a major triumph in Horror and his evil creatures called Cenobites are very much the true stars of this film.

Howling (1981)
Dee Wallace Stone plays a TV reporter who is taking a leave after an encounter with a stalker. Along with her husband, the couple travels to a North California retreat hosted by psychologist Patrick Macnee. What they don't realize is that this club is full of really nutso werewolves.Joe Dante went for homage and humor in this FX ridden horror classic.

Humanoids From the Deep (1980)
Roger Corman presents a terrifying film that combines The Creature from the Black Lagoon with Jaws. As silly as it is sounds this is a terrifying film that boasts some cheap but well used special makeup effects.

The Hunger (1983)
Catherine Deneuve plays the ageless vampiress who longs for a new mate when her latest companion dies of old age. This adaptation of a Whitley Strieber novel places Deneuve in a posh and stylish mansion in New York's Sutton Place, the elegance adding to the bizarre atmosphere of this film. Unlike those standard vampire films of recent sparkly years.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A disfigured boogeyman haunts and murders the children of the people who had stalked and murdered him a generation before. Robert Englund would shine in the stripped shirt, fedora hat, and trademark finger knives. This movie was well made and boasted some great special effects, the story was top notch. Wes Craven put his full energy into this classic and helped create a horror legend.

Poltergeist (1982)
Steven Spielberg created what had to one of the best Ghost Stories of the 80's. Making use of state of the art special effects and the acting talents of Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams we are presented one of the most frightening PG movies ever made. Surprisingly there is not blood or gore, an ironic note to Director Tobe Hooper, best known for directing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Phenomena (1984)
Dario Argento presents yet another of his unique and stylish horror movies. Jennifer Connelly plays an American, who is attending a prestigious Swiss boarding school and discovers that a vicious killer is preying on her classmates. We discover that she has a unique gift, a psychic link to insects that she uses to help track the killer down.

Re-Animator (1985)
In what is considered his most benign series of stories, Gordon delivers what may be the best-made movie based on any Lovecraft story. Herbert West (played so well by Jeffrey Combs) arrives at Miskatonic University with a weird green fluid and an attitude that would put fighter jocks to shame.

The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick is one of the best directors and when you team him with an outstanding novel by horror writer Stephen King you have a film that will set a place in cinema history. Jack Nicholson is a school teacher turned writer who takes a job as a caretaker of a Colorado resort. He takes his wife and 5-year-old boy along looking forward to the peace and solitude the resort will offer. The solitude drives him into madness, and his family are on edge as they fear for their lives.

The Thing (1982)
Many recall the classic movie The Thing From Another World, a great Sci-Fi film of the cold war era. John Carpenter does it better this time, following the original story of William Campbell, Who Goes There more closely. We have what may be the goriest and most FX ridden film of the 1980's.

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