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The Quintessential Guide To 80's Horror: 130 Must See Flicks (Part 4)

This guide to 1980's cinema was an exhausting piece to compile; thankfully, we're finally approaching home stretch. You're about to get a look at one of the final two installments of this particular article, and be ready, as you'll spot even more featured sequels, a few legendary vampire flicks and some brilliant Clive barker adaptations.

Take a gander at the fourth 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.




79. Psycho III: One of the most under-appreciated sequels in cinematic history, Psycho III is a genuine joyride. For this franchise is installment, the normal Norman undergoes an unusually difficult moral battle with himself. You can go ahead and guess as to whether or not he wins (go ahead and insert smiley emoticon here).

80. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: It’s hard to imagine The Texas Chainsaw Massacre being outdone in terms of pure chaos, but somehow director Tobe Hooper manages to make that posbility a reality. Ratchet all the ludicrous elements of the first feature up a couple of notches. Switch the locale from home of death to local radio station, incorporate the awesome Dennis Hopper and you’ve got one of the strangest sequels known to man.

81. Troll: Troll kings in San Francisco? What the hell, I’m in, although if my memory serves me correctly, there are some glaring technical weaknesses to this forgotten flick.

82. Bad Taste: Before Peter Jackson found commercial success with blockbusters like King Kong and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there was a super low budget gorefest called Bad Taste. If it doesn’t sound appealing, just conder a swarm of aliens who vit earth in order to gather humans to restock their alien fast food chains. Yeah, it’s that damn outlandish!

83. Creepshow 2: This flick is one of the better anthology sequels you’ll spot, despite what critics may have you believe. Though initially bashed to hell and back, there are some extremely fun moments in this film. The segment titled “The Raft” is arguably the best installment between both Creepshow flicks; if for no other reason, seek it out for this brief tale that should tap a nerve in all swimmers.

84. Dolls: I’m not one to claim a fear of dolls, but Stuart Gordon’s tale of twisted toy makers and their lively contraptions is creepy to the tenth power. Enjoyable special effects and eerie atmosphere lend to the memorability of this flick, which I recommend to anyone who leans toward the macabre!

85. Evil Dead II: It’s easy to conder this sequel superior to Sam Raimi’s initial franchise installment. It’s just as grim as the first feature, with a noticeably heavy dose of humor thrown in for good measure. The severed hand of Ash should be enough to win fans over, in the instance that it isn’t, well… let’s just say there’s plenty to chew on in this fantastic follow-up.

86. The Gate: This goofy picture showcases an early appearance by Stephen Dorff, and focuses on a couple kids who unintentionally open a gateway to Hell in their very own backyard. It’s lly, shoddy and hasn’t aged well, but it’s also soaked in nostalgia, which this specific old man truly appreciates; even despite all the technical deficiencies on display.

87. Hellraiser: Cive Barker’s story of otherworldly monsters and disturbing taboos is one for the ages. Not only did the film birth an iconic villain, it also brought extreme gore to the forefront of commercial cinema. If you haven’t seen this one, you’re misng something special.

88. House II: The Second Story:

Crazy creatures, crumbling corpses and some hilarious dialogue ensure that House II will always possess a fan following. Seeing the now gung-ho politically voiced, Bill Maher lend his acting “talents” only lends to the allure of this one!

89. The Lost Boys: Perhaps the finest vampire film to be shot over the last two-plus decades, Joel Schumacher’s, The Lost Boys captures the essence of teen angst and the need for acceptance perfectly. The cast is outstanding, the story is well crafted and the special effects are absolutely sublime. I’d tell you to seek this one out, but I’m assuming every living horror fan already has.

90. The Monster Squad: Every now and then consumers are treated to effective “family” horror offerings; this is definitely one of the rare cases. Dracula, the creature, the wolf man, the mummy and the good Doc Frankenstein’s monster are all present for this homage piece, and it’s a genuine joy for any fan of the clasc Universal monsters.

91. Near Dark: While The Lost Boys was busy developing a wonderful reputation as a fine vampire feature, Near Dark was busy being ignored by general audiences. That’s too bad really, because this flick is insanely dark, features Bill Paxton in one of his finest (and most vile) roles, and also showcases a prime Lance Henriksen.

92. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: Arguably the strongest of the Nightmare sequels, Dream Warriors boasts the franchises most creative means of murder, the official debut of Particia Arquette and the return of franchise favorite Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson. Screw Charlie Sheen, this is winning!

93. Opera: Once again, Italian giallo maestro, Dario Argento sets up a chilling tale of murder. In what’s been a fairly rare occurrence for Argento, Opera was met with recognizable commercial success here statede. That alone should indicate the quality of the film.

94. Predator: John McTiernan is best known for his action efforts, and honestly, it’s easy to conder Predator an action flick, despite the blatant horror elements within the picture. However you choose to clasfy this film, it’s damn awesome, boasting fine special effects (and plenty of gore), some sound performances and a break-neck pace that’s certain to keep viewers transfixed.

95. Prince of Darkness: Here we have another one of John Carpenter’s memorable genre contributions. There’s wonderful atmosphere and fine cinematography at work here; an intriguing tale centered on a strange cylinder that may hold the ability to wipe the world from existence pushes the total package over the edge. Seek this one out if you haven’t already!

96. Slumber Party Massacre 2: This slasher sequel was absolutely mangled by critics. Just the same, there’s a goofy quality about the picture that I find quite appealing. I may be alone on this one, but I could care less, this is fine low-budget slasher fare if you ask me!

97. The Stepfather: Holy Christ is this film creepy! Terry O’Quinn is absolutely haunting as the sociopathic Jerry Blake, who leaps from relationship to relationship in search of the perfect family. Sounds pleasant enough… until you disappoint this lunatic, at which point he mply slaughters you and moves on to the next!

98. The Blob: Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of the 1958 Steve McQueen-starred shocker is arguably grander than the original. Superb special effects as the pictures selling point, but in truth, the script has been tightened up conderably, and Kevin Dillon’s performance is just plain bad ass. The perfect remake companion to Cronenberg’s, The Fly; The Blob is not to be missed!

99. Child’s Play: There is no doll as recognizable as Chucky, there just isn’t! This unique slasher gained a cult following fast, and acted as a then career high point for Brad Dourif, despite an extreme lack of face-time onscreen. This here is an awesome film that helped usher a new (plastic) face of horror into the spotlight.

100. Dead Heat: This one is just so unbelievably outlandish it’s almost imposble to dislike it. Dead criminals, lly effects, Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo…

Yes, Dead Heat is every bit as awesome as it sounds!

101. Friday the 13th Part VII: While I’ve avoided a few franchise sequels in this list, I just can’t do it to the almighty Friday the 13th series. As I stated previously, anything with the hockey mask wearing monster is landing on this list… so long as said offering falls within the degnated time frame I’m covering, that is.

102. Fright Night II: This sequel lacks the charm of the original, but it boasts plenty of other noteworthy assets. Improved special effects are greatly appreciated, but the return of key characters Charley Brewster and Peter Vincent really anchor this creepy gem.

103. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: Michael Myers returns to the franchise after a one-film hiatus. The stunning Danielle Harris also makes her series debut, as does Sasha Jenson (of Dazed and Confused fame), which is already more than enough to solidify this as a personal franchise favorite.

104. Hellbound: Hellraiser II: The first and only Hellraiser sequel that I actually remember, Hellbound is a flawed but fun film that introduces viewers to more disturbing cenobites and showcases some more bloody fun special effects.
Matt_Molgaard Thursday 8/18/2011 at 03:41 AM | 80939
The bar fight in Near Dark is among the best sequences i've ever seen in film. Epic.

I haven't seen Child's Play in forever, but i love Brad Dourif and i remember the flick scared the heck out of me as a child. I know i have the DVD laying around somewhere. I think its time for a revit.

I love Evil Dead 2 - but it isn't better than the first. You can't beat perfection.

AgnesItsMeBilly Thursday 8/18/2011 at 06:47 AM | 80966
Once again brilliant piece Matt, there's a few here I still need to check out (Deadheat, Dolls and The Monster Squad).

I'm surprised to read such nice words for Psycho III. I too enjoy it, but it is heavily flawed. I really do think that Psycho II is by far the best sequel in the series.
joshk1986 Thursday 8/18/2011 at 12:28 PM | 80975
THIS is the 80s horror list I've been waiting for! Dead Heat, Slumber Party Massacre II, The Monster Squad, TCM2, ANOES Part 3, The Gate, Creepshow 2, and Bad Taste are great, great 80s flicks. I just got House II: The Second Story in the mail today, so expect a review of that later tonight.
ObscureCinema101 Thursday 8/18/2011 at 08:18 PM | 81022
Love it. The Gate scared the bejeezus out of me. It was the construction worker in the wall that really got me. Granted, I was five or x at the time, but I was otherwise fairly desentized to horror, and yet that one still got to me.

Love these lists. They keep reminding me of films I need to watch again, or telling me ones I need to check out for the first time! Bravo.
dew Thursday 8/18/2011 at 08:41 PM | 81028