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A-Z Complete Guide to 1980s Slasher Movies: 1980

Slasher movies have been around for a long, long time. The idea for the slasher film probably began in 1897, when the Theatre du Grand Guignol was opened in France. The theater put on disturbing acts of gruesome murder and torture, and was a success. The theater continued to operate until the Nazis invaded, when buness sank. The theater closed in 1962. The first real slasher film came in 1932, entitled Thirteen Women. It was about a group of women who are killed by a woman because of how the group had made fun of her heritage.

In the 1960s, three "proto-slashers" emerged: Peeping Tom and Psycho in 1960, as well as Dementia 13 in 1963. These three were suspenseful and scary films, but they lacked a little element called gore. H.G. Lewis fixed that in 1964 in the controveral splatter film, Blood Feast. He followed this up with two more splatter clascs in '65-'66.

In 1971, a film was released by Mario Bava called Twitch of the Death Nerve (A Bay of Blood) which contained several elements from the standard slasher: Lots of blood, creative kills, gratuitous nudity, and a high body count. Black Christmas came in 1974 which was a great slasher, but the sub-genre really kicked off with a 1978 movie called Halloween. After this phenomenal success, movie studios wanted to make their own successful slasher movie, and that's where the '80s come in...

The A-Z Slasher Guide to 1980


Anthropophagus Tourists travel to a remote island town and find it deserted, and something is stalking them. In a hidden room in a manon, they find a diary that tells them what's going on. Will they make it off the island in one piece?



Christmas Evil After Harry saw Mommy being felt up by Santa Claus (really his dad in a Santa suit), he's been a little weird. He's now all grown-up and obsessed with Christmas. His house is filled with Christmas knick-knacks, and he sleeps in a Santa suit. Soon, Christmas rolls around, and Harry is horrified at his boss for being so cruel during the holidays. Harry dons his Santa suit, fills up his bag, and begins to reward the nice and brutally punish the naughty.


Demented After Linda is gang-raped, she's put in a mental facility. Years later, she's released. When she confuses some kids in masks for her attackers, she begins to avenge herself." class="photoborder" />

Don't Answer the Phone A disturbed Vetnam-vet goes around strangling young women and calling in to a psychologist's radio call-in show to describe the murders.

Don't Go in the House A disturbed man who was abused as a child stalks women at a disco, takes them home, and sets them on fire with a flamethrower in a steel room.

Dressed to Kill A call-girl witnesses a murder committed by a tall blonde woman and soon becomes the killer's next target.



Fade to Black Eric Binford, a movie geek, has been pushed around all his life. One day, he decides he's had it. He starts dresng up like his favorite movie characters and begins to murder everyone who wronged him.

Friday the 13th Teenage counselors at a summer camp about to be re-opened are stalked and killed by an unknown assailant.


Ghost Dance The spirit of a dead warrior possesses an Indian medicine man and turns him into a psychopath.


He Knows You're Alone A bride-to-be's friends are all murdered around her, and she could be the killer's next target. She teams up with her ex-boyfriend to stop the killer.






Maniac Frank Zito, a victim of child abuse, stalks and kills women in New York, then scalps them. He puts the scalps on the mannequins decorating his apartment. Things get interesting when he meets a young photographer.

Motel Hell Farmer Vincent, along with his ster Ida, kidnaps people and buries them neck deep in his secret garden to make his special fritters. However, he falls in love with a young girl and his sheriff brother begins to suspect something vile is going on at Farmer Vincent's place.

Mother's Day Three female hikers get kidnapped by a sadistic mother and her two psychotic sons. They are put through torturous experiences and one of them is killed. The remaining two girls decide it's time the homicidal family got their just desserts.


New Year's Evil A killer is murdering people on New Year's Eve whenever it strikes midnight in a different time zone. He also calls in to a punk-rock icon, telling her she will be the last to die.

Nightmares Actors and actresses working on a play are offed one by one. Could the mysterious Helen be responble?

Night of the Demon A professor and his students search for Bigfoot in the woods, who they believe is the one responble for numerous deaths in their area.



Phobia A psychiatrist treats his patients of their fears by showing what they fear most on a large screen. This causes the patients to go berserk and murder people, before dying by what they fear.

Prom Night x years ago, four children caused the accidental death of another, but vowed never to tell. Now, someone plans to exact brutal revenge on them on prom night.




Schizoid A woman who works for the newspaper begins to receive letters saying she will be murdered, while the members of the therapy seson she attends are all being murdered, one by one.

lent Scream A young woman attending a college moves into a boarding house with other students. Soon, someone begins picking them off one by one.


Terror on Tour "The Clowns" a rock group, fall under suspicion from the police when prostitutes begin getting killed by people who are dressed like the band.

Terror Train A masked killer targets x college kids who were responble for a prank gone wrong aboard a train.

To All A Goodnight A group of girls staying at a finishing school for the holidays are murdered by a killer in a Santa suit. Directed by David Hess.

Trhauma A murderer is picking off people staying at an old house one by one.







And that was just one year out of ten! Even though Halloween was insanely popular, Friday the 13th is the movie that really started the slasher craze. So if you thought this was a lot, wait till you see 1981...expect it sometime late this week or early next week.
ObscureCinema101 Thursday 8/04/2011 at 08:46 PM | 79988
good stuff!
Matt_Molgaard Friday 8/05/2011 at 12:21 AM | 80010
Being a HUGE fan of slasher films, I love this guide. I hope you continue it all the way to 1989.
Anonymous Friday 8/05/2011 at 12:26 AM | 80011