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The Quintessential Guide To 80's Horror: 130 Must See Flicks (Part 5)

It feels as though this final Quintessential piece is long overdue. In all honesty, I'm happy to be wrapping this beastly creation up; it took a staggering fifteen hours to compile the full list, add an obnoxious amount of time required to post all these wild images and you've got a project that ate up damn near enough time to fill a 40 hour work week.





On the bright de, this is a fun piece that drips nostalgia, and it's informative. Those between 30-40 may be better suited to relate to this piece than say, those between 15-25, but that's almost to be expected: it can be tougher to have deeply personal feelings attached to a film you weren't around to see it upon initial release. Ultimately, the hope is that older fans spot a few titles that encourage reviting this tumultuous decade, while the younger crowd pins down their curious de, and opts to seek some of these beauties out.

Get ready to trek the final leg of this lengthy journey, in which you'll spot some beloved cult clascs, more sequels, and of course, a Stephen King flick or so!

Take a gander at the final 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.

105. Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Where do I start with this wonderfully terrible flick? We’ve got aliens who happen to look like clowns, the most ignorant cop in the history of cinema, and cotton candy cocoons in store for viewers. If it sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. It’s also insanely enjoyable and truly hilarious!

106. Maniac Cop: A psychopath decked out in an officer’s uniform slaughtering random folks? Sounds like fun. Wait, Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell are aboard for this wild ride? Hell yes this one is fun!!

107. Monkey Shines: I’m not a big animal guy, but, save for the flying dung I’m a big fan of monkeys. In fact, if not for this tale of a quadriplegic man whose trained asstant monkey turns on him, I’d probably have taken the appropriate steps to obtain one of these cute critters. After this viewing experience, I’ve opted to steer clear of the little tree hugging boogers.

108. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: I’ll admit the Nightmare franchise began to jump the shark right about here. Just the same, something about these over-the-top death scenes really appeals to me; come on, a human cockroach stuck in a roach motel? Grand I say!

109. Night of the Demons: Here we have a fun little Halloween gem that sees a group of youngsters perform a séance in an abandoned funeral parlor that just so happens to rest atop a piece of evil-infested land. It’s outrageous, unintentionally funny and somehow, it all works wonderfully.

110. Phantasm II: Nearly a full decade after Don Coscarelli introduced to the world to the Tall Man and his wild, high-flying chrome balls of death, fans were treated to the long overdue sequel. It’s grand to see Reggie Bannister return to the franchise, and although A. Michael Baldwin and Bill Thornbury are sorely missed, Phantasm II is an enjoyable piece of film that sees Mike, resume his longtime goal of overcoming the Tall Man.

111. Pumpkinhead: Reckless kids, a distraught father and one hideous creature make for an awesome flick. The story equates to little more than a mple tale of revenge, but scribes Mark Patrick Carducci and Gary Gerani add a few extra layers to the tale, which play upon a number of intimate emotions. The end result is a kick-ass monster movie that’s far deeper than it should be (no worries, the sequels are all stripped of the treasured complexity that this feature offers).

112. The Serpent and the Rainbow: This story of Haitian black magic practitioners who possess the ability transform living man into zombie is one of Craven’s more unsettling features. Bill Pullman gives a career defining performance, and Wes further cements himself as a horror heavyweight. Serpent is often disregarded, but I chalk that up to memory loss more than a reflection of the features quality.

113. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers: I’ve got to keep it real with readers: this is the last worthwhile Sleepaway Camp flick to be filmed. From here on out, it’s all downhill for the franchise. Pamela Springsteen fills in for Felissa Rose as the now notorious Angela. While Springsteen is adequate, it’s still a bit disheartening to see Rose absent. All the same, there are some creepy moments on display here, and I’d be a dishonest gent if I claimed otherwise.

114. Watchers: This Dean Koontz adaptation isn’t exactly uber faithful to its source material, but it’s got some fun qualities to it. Seeing the late Corey Haim tangled up with a hulking genetic beast summons memories of lver Bullet, which alone earns major points from me.

115. Waxwork: Waxwork holds some cool milarities to The Monster Squad, though it’s aimed at an older audience. Viewers are graced by the presence of Dracula, the Invible Man, a shot of what looks to be one of the pods from the original Invaon of the Body Snatchers and more. Of course these ghouls are initially presented as wax replicas, though Mark (Zach Galligan, who starred in both Gremlins features) and company soon realize there’s more life in these detailed duplications than should be.

116. 976-EVIL: there’s no need to lie, this movie is ass cheeks by today’s standards. That doesn’t sway the nostalgia of the film, as it’s wonderful to see Stephen Geoffreys' portray the kookie kid-next-door that finds himself ensnared in a deadly game of dial-up-death.

117. C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.: There’s not much to say about this one really: it’s (arguably) superior to the first film (which isn’t saying a whole lot) in the sense that the action is more entertaining and the unintentional comedy is still certainly intact. I’d definitely only recommend this one to die-hard C.H.U.D. fans.

118. The Church: This flick fits in perfectly with the demonic Italian wave of our focal decade. That should come as no surprise condering Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini and Michele Soavi penned the script. If you’re a fan of the Demons franchise, you’ll likely get a masve kick out of this flick, as it bears a strong resemblance to Lamberto Bava’s popular franchise.

119. Clownhouse: This one is terrifying now more than ever, knowing Victor Salva’s interest in pedophilia. A couple brothers are stalked by escaped mental patients all decked out in clown gear. While that concept alone is disturbing, it’s even more unnerving knowing that these boys spent plenty of time running around the set in their skivvies. Now that is truly frightening.

120. Cutting Class: Cutting Class is best known for introducing Brad Pitt to the realm of feature length films (although he did have a few minor credits under his belt at the time). It’s a run-of-the slasher-stalks-high-school-kids flick, but it does attempt to break the mold by inserting a little comedy and attempted mystery. It’s not the greatest sub-genre effort, but it’s definitely worth at least a ngle viewing.

121. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan: Widely regarded as the worst Friday film in existence, this one does feature the masked madman in a highly entertaining fist fight with one of the franchises more popular victims, Julius (Vincent Craig Dupree). Need I say more?

122. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers: This Halloween installment should be reserved for those who can’t get enough of Michael Myers, under any circumstance. It’s filled with technical blunders, but it’s still an enjoyable flick that sees a young Danielle Harris reprise her role as Jamie Lloyd.

123. Leviathan: This obvious Alien rip-off takes place beneath the ocean’s surface and boasts a surpringly proficient cast that includes Peter Weller, Ernie Hudson, Daniel Stern, Richard Crenna and Hector Elizondo. Condering my note of the Alien “influence” I shouldn’t need to run through the plot for you, but I will point to the feature’s special effects, which are so awful they call for major laughs.

124. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child: More inventive death scenes are on display here in Freddy’s fifth trek to the big screen. Not much else need be said about this one!

125. Pet Sematary: Well, I suppose it’s time to highlight another Stephen King adaptation; this one, is arguably stronger than the majority I’ve already mentioned in this piece. By now, genre fans should know the story well, but in the rare chance they don’t, I’ll break it down very briefly: Whatever is laid to rest in a hidden ancient Indian burial ground doesn’t remain resting: they come back, and they’re vile, relentless zombies who kill with complete disregard. Good times!

126. Puppet Master: Puppet Master is an absolute blast of a film that features a whole truckload of eerie looking puppets with mind’s and murderous methods all their own. A very fun fan favorite flick, I highly recommend Puppet Masters, especially to those with a fear of dolls.

127. Shocker: Make no mistake about it: this is not a technically polished film. There are plot holes that remain unfilled, some sketchy performances and terrible special effects that plague the picture. That said, Horace Pinker is an extremely intimidating villain that somehow manages to make a menacing character extremely fun. I love the execution-gone-wrong idea, and this film certainly plays the card well, even if imperfect.

128. Stepfather II: This one isn’t all too different from the first Stepfather film, but when you’ve got an insanely creepy antagonist like Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn): why alter the formula? If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

129. Tetsuo: The Iron Man: What’s not to love about an awkward fellow with a strange metal fetish? And when I say metal fetish, I mean this guy loves to stick it in open wounds, decorating his flesh for kicks. Tetsuo has gained a masve cult following nce arriving in 1989.

130. Warlock: This picture tells the story of a rebellious warlock who is cast from the 17th century to the 20th. It may be a culture shock, but this warlock has a few shocks to deliver himself. A genuine standout performance from Julian Sands adds fuel to a fire fans love to see jump uncontrollably.
Matt_Molgaard Monday 8/29/2011 at 01:58 PM | 81752
You have no idea how wonderful i think this (and the others) list is. I love me my clasc horror. Even the really cheesy awful ones.
nolifefan Monday 8/29/2011 at 03:22 PM | 81758
I'm glad to hear that. The noise really died down after the first piece; i wasn't sure just how many people cared about these articles.
Matt_Molgaard Monday 8/29/2011 at 03:32 PM | 81759
Some great clascs on here. I still have to get around to seeing the Sleepaway camp sequels.

Can't get behind you on the Wes Craven selections, though.
AgnesItsMeBilly Monday 8/29/2011 at 06:41 PM | 81766
The photo you showed for Cutting Class is actually the much better (or, actually, worse) Slaughter High. Here's Cutting Class: While the image shown might be a German poster for the film, I just wanted to clairfy that that is the poster art for Slaughter High, in case there is any confuon. Great list, by the way! I'm actually sad it's over.
ObscureCinema101 Monday 8/29/2011 at 08:02 PM | 81773
Some great clascs on here. I still have to get around to seeing the Sleepaway camp sequels.

Can't get behind you on the Wes Craven selections, though.

you didn't dig Serpent? Really?
Matt_Molgaard Monday 8/29/2011 at 08:03 PM | 81774
Cutting Class is the only reason I remember "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" lol

What I really enjoy about these lists is that they remind me of flicks I haven't seen in years and have to dig up to watch again!
dew Monday 8/29/2011 at 09:31 PM | 81784