Forums Horror Movie Talk
The Quintessential Guide To 80's Horror: 130 Must See Flicks (Part 2)

It's time to march forward with my lengthy guide to gripping 1980's horror films. If you missed the first installment of this article, you can read it here and catch up on the films featured thus far.

In this second chapter of insanity, you'll run into a few highly recognizable genre offerings, some controveral selections, a handful of sequels and some fairly obscure picks. If your favorite movie didn't make the list, fret not, we've got a few more installments remaining, and your favorite film of the decade may very well be included!

Take a gander at the second batch of 130 awesome flicks to hit the market from 1980 to 1989, and make note of the fact that these numbers do not represent any official ranking, they act as a mple means of keeping track of this insanely long list.





27. Omen III: The Final Conflict: While this isn’t the greatest sequel to be shot, it is fun for a few different reasons. First off, we get to see a young Sam Neill exercise his awkward charm as the film’s central character. Second, it’s a bold maneuver and interesting idea seeing Damien all grown up with his bad self.

28. The Prowler: Dancing and death go hand in hand, as The Prowler taught us three decades ago. This one openly “borrows” from a number of its predecessors, and it does so with little shame. Some of the kills are fun, and our antagonist is effectively creepy (though overtly predictable). Tom Savini is also aboard as the films main makeup maestro, adding a bit of icing to the cake.

29. Amityville II: The Posseson: Like a few flicks on this list, this sequel is noticeably inferior to its predecessor. That said, it’s a decent follow up to a creepy flick. It’s also one of the last times an Amityville feature can lay claim to be entertaining.

30. Cat People: This is one of those remakes that can make a rightful claim to being superior to its original predecessor. A naked Nastassja Kinski with fatally feral de is like a fine wine; it sure as hell doesn’t get worse with time!

31. Creepshow: Widely condered the king (see what I did there?) of anthologies, Creepshow was a hit in the early 80’s, and it’s still a fan favorite today. The film consts of five wicked shorts, all penned by Stephen King (maybe now you get it). "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill", "Something to Tide You Over" and "The Crate" are amongst the flick’s stronger segments.

32. Friday the 13th III: While I’m not huge on this sequel, as it’s probably one of the most disastrous in the entire franchise, it remains a fan favorite. The most noteworthy element of the film comes in the form of Jason’s discovery of the now iconic hockey mask. A miserable 3D transfer left this one a grainy mess for years on end until a recent re-release provided some extent of visual clarification.

33. Halloween III: Season of the Witch: The perfect standalone film, Halloween III bore one ngle resemblance to the previous two franchise installment: the terror takes place around the holiday season. Creepy masks that explode and release loads of creepy crawlies are being donned by children everywhere, which leaves a smile on the face of the ominous creator, Conal Cochran, who’s out to see the youth of America die hideous deaths. A fantastic holiday gem is what we have here ladies and gents!

34. Poltergeist: We’ll probably never know the truth as to whether Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg acted as the features primary director (Hooper is credited, though rumors have long lived on that it was indeed Spielberg who spent the majority of the time behind the cameras, notTobe), but we do know that the final product is a thing of beauty. This story centers on the Freeling family, who are tormented by unseen forces in their modest, but relatively plush suburban home.

35. Slumber Party Massacre: Hot chicks, a rampant madman and a damn intimidating drill… what the hell else can you ask of a cheesy 80’s slasher (yes, I'm inclined to let my shallow de shine through)?

36. Tenebrae: Dario Argento smacked viewers into frightened consciousness with this stellar giallo journey. The film follows an American author who’s stalked by a psychopathic serial killer while venturing in Rome. This one is the perfect companion piece to Dario’s sublime, Deep Red.

37. The Thing: John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing from Another World is not only a clasc piece of art, it’s the greatest creature feature ever made. From Rob Bottin’s insanely gruesome special effects to Dean Cundey’s flawless cinematography to the remarkable performances of Kurt Russell and crew, this one unfolds without a hitch!

38. Christine: Another Carpenter film lands on this list, and it sure as hell shouldn’t surprise you. This tale of a haunted car with a life all its own is exciting, strangely realistic in its character portrayals and surpringly chilling. Carpenter and source scribe Stephen King make a fantastic duo, and should the two ever reunite for a new project, I’ll surely be the first in line to witness the magic!

39. Cujo: Stephen King this, Stephen King that, guess what kiddies, Stephen King’s back! Yet another King story travels to the screen in this harrowing tale of a woman and her child trapped inde her car in the blistering heat while a rabid St. Bernard stands watch, waiting for a chance at another taste of human flesh. Gotta love it!

40. The House on Sorority Row: Here we have the perfect companion slasher to Slumber Party Massacre. There are some masve milarities, and you’ll notice them immediately as we follow a group of young ladies who are stalked and slaughtered after a prank goes wrong. The House on Sorority Row is far from perfect, but there’s some cheesy goodness on display all the same. I’d recommend this picture for hard core slasher fans more so than casuals, though most will likely enjoy this one for what it is.

41. Jaws 3: Much like the third installment of the Friday the 13th franchise, Jaws 3 received the 3D treatment and a subsequently grainy VHS transfer. An eventual transfer to disc went a long way to clean up the picture, though it’s still not the most aesthetically pleang viewing experience. Just the same, it’s a blast to watch a young Dennis Quaid portray the now grown son of chief Brody, who’s (like his father) forced to deal with a masve 30 foot man eater.

42. The Keep: This story of an abandoned citadel that serves as the home of a long-dormant, violent entity wasn’t exactly a commercial success, but it did eventually gain a zeable following. It’s good for a ngle viewing in my opinion, though many will swear by its greatness.

43. Psycho II:

This immediate sequel lacks the chill of its predecessor and the awkward charm of the third franchise installment, but I’m always game for a little Norman Bates madness, and the sorely missed Anthony Perkins never fails to enthrall me as a viewer.

44. Sleepaway Camp:

Robert Hiltzik’s creepy camper slasher will always be remembered for its insanely outlandish climax, and rightfully so, condering the film as a whole is flawed in many ways. Just the same, Angela is a legendary character and it’s nearly imposble to not enjoy watching her madness at work. This one is another must have for slasher fanatics.

45. Something Wicked This Way Comes: Being an unbridled fan of Ray Bradbury’s work, director Jack Clayton would have had to completely drop the ball for me to not enjoy this one. As it is, the screenplay, which was penned by Bradbury himself is pretty damn impresve. The annexation of Pam Grier in the featured ensemble only further cements this adaptation as a personal favorite. Beware Cooger and Dark’s creepy carnival, and whatever you do, steer clear of the carousel at all costs!

46. Videodrome: It amazes me that many of today’s younger audience are oblivious to David Cronenberg’s brilliant early 80’s offering, Videodrome. This freaky tale of broadcast mind-control is absolutely fascinating, and features some fine performances from some outstanding actors. If you’ve missed this one, seek it out ASAP!

47. Children of the Corn: If there was ever a doubt as to the impact that Stephen King has had on the genre, this list should completely erase it. Children of the Corn is a creepy little flick based on a king short that sees the children dominate the grown folks, turning them into breathing sacrifices to something hideous in the corn fields. This one is flawed to the core, but a blast all the same; there are also a couple incredibly effective drinking games associated with the picture, so if you’re a fan of horror and beer, plug away!

48. C.H.U.D.:

Ah, the good old Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers… what should be said? If you love movies that are so terrible they make for outstanding comedy, then this one is an absolute must-see!

49. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter: Jason Voorhees, plus Corey Feldman, plus a surpringly sound script, equale one of the best Friday sequels to surface. If you haven’t already (unlikely!), seek this one out, it’s a load of fun.

50. Gremlins: This quirky fuon of comedy and horror is loaded with memorable moments and hilariously bad notions brought to life onscreen. I’ve been searching for my own little Mogwai for years, nce I haven’t been able to track one down, I frequently return to this awesomely ludicrous feature. And for the record, I drink beer while watching, not water.

51. A Nightmare on Elm Street: Here we have the feature that launched the burnt child murderer Freddy Krueger to prominence. Before filmmakers had opted to turn this terrifying creation into a walking stand-up act, there was Craven’s original creation, a dark, brooding figure who was far more interested in scaring the piss out of viewers than making them laugh at goofy one-liners. This one is a mandatory for any self-proclaimed genre fan.

52. lent Night, Deadly Night: If you enjoy a good Christmas themed horror flick, you’ll likely get a kick out of this one. Though it caused quite the uproar upon release in 1984, lent Night, Deadly Night is pretty tame by today’s standards. It’s just a pain in the ass that this one is so difficult to track down, as I’m always up for a Santa suited psycho slasher!
Matt_Molgaard Thursday 8/04/2011 at 04:48 PM | 79965
So glad to finally see some props for Halloween 3. There's just nothing like it.
DeadMou$e5 Thursday 8/04/2011 at 07:52 PM | 79980
So glad to finally see some props for Halloween 3. There's just nothing like it.

An absolute clasc that would be condered so by a much larger audience had it been released under the title Season of the Witch, as opposed to Halloween: Season of the Witch.

I recognize its genius!
Matt_Molgaard Thursday 8/04/2011 at 09:47 PM | 79995
Sleepaway Camp is HANDS DOWN my favorite slasher from the 80s. It has an intangible quality that i can't begin to put into words.

@Matt, there are a lot of titles on your list i have yet to see (i'm embarrassed). Knowing that i'm not a big fan of F13 part 3 or Children of the Corn, Which ones would you recommend i watch first? P.S i've seen Videodrome and LOVED IT. (Also really liked H3 and The Thing)
AgnesItsMeBilly Thursday 8/04/2011 at 10:07 PM | 79997
Matt_Molgaard Thursday 8/04/2011 at 10:20 PM | 80000
Great list as always Matt.

Love reading your posts and can't wait till you finish this up.

indygogo Thursday 8/04/2011 at 11:54 PM | 80008
Great list as always Matt.

Love reading your posts and can't wait till you finish this up.


thanks brother, i really appreciate it.

A lot more awesome flicks coming extremely soon!
Matt_Molgaard Friday 8/05/2011 at 12:36 AM | 80013
if you haven't seen these, look into:

The Prowler (not superb, but theres some serious talent involved with the picture, and it certainly shows in spots) Cat People is still quite creepy for me lent Night is a must see, despite how questionable the film really is in terms of pure technical work - Savage Santa is an awesome idea i still enjoy Cujo, Christine and Creepshow are all three sound adaptations of King works. Something Wicked This Way Comes holds a really special place for me - and while not ultra faithful to the sourca material, it's well executed with a handful of awesome performances and creepy scenes - its actually kind of horror (hate that term, though it actually applies here), but it's beastly, with a kick ass finale.

Those are some of my serious favorites from this portion of the list (save for Videodrome, which you've seen - props to you BTW brother, too many ignore this gem!) I'm gonna watch Something Wicked and Cujo tonight! nce i found HorrorBid i have been stumbling across dozens of must-see horror films

that i otherwise didn't know about or somehow overlooked. A lot of that is due to you and your awesome articles. Thanks, man.

AgnesItsMeBilly Friday 8/05/2011 at 06:52 PM | 80066
never a problem Nick!
Matt_Molgaard Friday 8/05/2011 at 07:04 PM | 80072
part 3 coming tonight/tomorrow morning!
Matt_Molgaard Monday 8/08/2011 at 11:33 PM | 80268