1980s Horror Movies: Cult Films That Stuck in the Imaginary

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The Success of Horror Films in the 1980s

The 1980s saw the return of studio films, after the New Hollywood rebellion of directors of the ’80s 70, in which many were made film masterpieces. By contrast, 1980s movies had to be easy to understand and had cinematic plots that could be summed up in a couple of sentences. Hollywood blockbuster is the most popular film trend of the 1980s. Producer Don Simpson is credited with developing the top-tier projects of the blockbuster Hollywood hit. In the mid-1980s, a wave of British filmmakers consisting of Ridley Scott, Alan Parker, Adrian Lyne and Tony Scott introduced a new blockbuster series using their skills as UK TV commercial directors.

have 1980s horror movies been a popular category, with several significant franchises. Among the most popular franchises were Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, and Poltergeist. Aside from these films, the B-grade horror film principle spawned a wide variety of cult horror movie.

An example of this is the 1981 film The Evil Dead, which marked the launch of Sam Raimi’s directing. Highly commercial and mainstream horror comedy films such as Beetlejuice and Gremlins have also acquired cult status.

The expansion of home video to VHS indicated that films had a market outside of cinemas for the first time, and rental shops appeared around the world. Direct-to-video ended up being a legitimate method of launching movies, and many people wanted to take advantage of the growing horror trend. In fact, some of the more scary horror movies were made in the 1980s, along with cult oddities and hidden gems from these vibrant years.

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The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980) is a psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and co-written with novelist Diane Johnson. It is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name and stars Jack Nicholson, Danny Lloyd, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers.

Plot

Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, a writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a new position as the off-season caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. Lloyd plays his young son Danny, who has psychic abilities (“the shining”), which he learns about from head chef Dick Hallorann (Crothers).

As the winter progresses, Jack becomes increasingly isolated and unhinged, at the mercy of the hotel’s malevolent spirits. Danny, meanwhile, begins to experience visions of the hotel’s dark past and a terrifying prophecy of the future.

Launched the exact same month as the first Friday the 13th, The Shining isn’t just an 80s horror movie. It is a film that has left an indelible mark, like almost all of the maestro’s films Stanley Kubrick.

An arthouse film as well as a ghost film with extraordinary photography, the skill of stars Shelley Duvall and Jack Nicholson. It is the only horror film made by Kubrick in his career. The Shining remains a haunting and chilling cult film with a big impact on modern cinema.

The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling (1980) is a Canadian supernatural horror film directed by Peter Medak and starring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, and Melvyn Douglas. The film was a critical and commercial success, and is considered one of the best horror films of the 1980s.

George C. Scott plays a recently widowed dad in The Changeling, an original version of the subgenre of ghost movie that is still downright scary. The story takes place on a remote and empty Victorian estate, where John Russell (Scott) retires after losing his wife and child in a car accident.

If you feel that a large Victorian house is the stereotypical place to see ghosts, you are right, however this avoids making The Changeling a must-see movie, thanks to the exceptional craftsmanship of director Peter Medak.

Dead & Buried (1981)

Dead and Buried (1981) is an American horror film directed by Gary Sherman. It is set in a small town in California and follows the story of a sheriff investigating a series of seemingly inexplicable murders.

The film is known for its unsettling and claustrophobic atmosphere, created by a combination of factors including the remote location, the bleak cinematography, and the eerie music. The performances by the actors are also very good, with James Farentino being particularly convincing in the role of the sheriff.

Plot

In a small town in California, Sheriff John Gillis investigates a series of seemingly inexplicable murders. The victims are all young women, who are found dead with their bodies mutilated.

Gillis discovers that the women have been killed by a group of voodooists, who are performing magical rituals to summon the spirit of an ancient deity. The sheriff is forced to confront his own fears and his past to stop the rituals and save the town.

A dreamlike version of the zombie legend, Dead & Buried is among the most unusual scary movies of the 1980s.’s second film Gary Sherman is set in a seaside town where packs of residents kill unwary travelers, only those travelers who are seen wandering the city. A film forgotten for years before being discovered as a cult classic.

Possession (1981)

Possession (1981) is a psychological horror film directed by Andrzej Żuławski and starring Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill. The film is known for its disturbing atmosphere and graphic violence.

Emerging from obscurity to become a cult classic, Possession by Andrzej Żuławski is among the most interesting and particular visions of horror cinema. From a certain point of view, it is a arthouse film stunning and disturbing.

Deeper it’s a painful parting film. Even more deeply, it is a psychological thriller about a woman losing her grip on reality, with a touch of Cold War era political satire. Bleak, uncompromising and anchored in star Isabelle Adjani’s memorable performance, Possession is a film that is hard to forget.

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The Beyond (1981)

The Beyond (1981) is an Italian supernatural horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. The film is known for its graphic violence, surreal imagery, and nihilistic tone.

The film tells the story of Liza Merril, a young woman who inherits a rundown hotel in Louisiana. Liza soon discovers that the hotel is built on a portal to Hell, and that she is now the target of a horde of demons.

The Beyond is a controversial film, having been criticized for its violence and nihilistic tone. However, it is also a film that is recognized as a classic of horror cinema.

The film is a perfect example of Italian horror cinema of the 1980s. Fulci is known for his use of violence and gore, and The Beyond is no exception. The film is full of scenes of decapitation, dismemberment, and demonic possession that are sure to disturb viewers.

In addition to violence, The Beyond is also characterized by surreal and unsettling imagery. Fulci often uses experimental camera techniques to create an atmosphere of terror and unease.

Finally, The Beyond has a nihilistic and hopeless tone. The film offers no easy solutions to the evil that is descending upon Liza and the other characters.

Films of Lucio Fulci are a guarantee. Once they are known, little else satisfies the horror movie fan in the same way. The Beyond is the second and best film in Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy about a woman who arrives at a seedy hotel in the middle of Louisiana only to find out that she is cursed and there is hell in the basement. The Beyond is a gore film yet it is also something more: a psychedelic miasma of slowly moving zombies that confuses and hypnotizes.

The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead (1981) is a horror film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. The film is the first installment in the Evil Dead trilogy, and is considered a classic of horror cinema.

Plot

A group of five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for a weekend of relaxation. However, their vacation turns into a nightmare when they discover that the cabin is infested with demons.

The early 1980s saw Video Nasty in the UK distribute many horror films that were banned for obscenities, and distributors and directors were prosecuted . The bootleg VHS cassettes of “Video Nasties” were underground, broadcast clandestinely among passionate collectors and fans.

“The Evil Dead” was one such movie. There is a lot in this guerrilla cinema, which really gets a lot out of a non-existent budget. “The Evil Dead” shows all the brands that Sam Raimi would become known for; vibrant footage, insane speed and design, and a comic-like perception.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

An American Werewolf in London (1981) is a horror film directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, and Jenny Agutter. The film is a classic of horror cinema and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup in 1982.

Plot

David Kessler and Jack Goodman are two young American college students who are in England for a vacation. During a walk in the woods, they are attacked by a werewolf. David survives, but Jack is killed.

Back in London, David begins to show symptoms of lycanthropy. First he starts to feel a growing pain in his arm, then he begins to transform into a werewolf.

David must find a way to stop the transformation before it’s too late.

Thanks to An American Werewolf in London, the tradition of violent transformation images and inhospitable pubs began, copied in countless subsequent films. For a director with a rich heritage in comedy, “An American Werewolf in London” fits perfectly with John Landis. 

It’s a horror movie with a big, black comic heart, rising above the titles of the same years. To audiences, Rick Baker’s monstrous moonlight change from David to werewolf was a revelation. It was not a sophisticated transformation, but a brutal and agonizing act in which the bones rearranged and the skin stretched to the point of tearing. It is a horror film with a real depth, faithful to the custom of monsters, but with an innovative cut, as well as being a moving tragedy. 

The Thing (1982)


The Thing (1982)
is a science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, Keith David, and Wilford Brimley. The film is a remake of the 1951 film “The Thing from Another World” and tells the story of a group of American researchers at an Antarctic research base who are attacked by an alien entity that can assume the form of any living being.

Plot

The story takes place at an American scientific base located in Antarctica. A group of researchers are conducting scientific experiments when they are attacked by an alien entity. The entity can take on the form of any living being, making it difficult for the researchers to identify and fight it.

As the entity continues to transform and spread, the researchers begin to doubt anyone, including themselves. Who is human and who is an alien entity? Who is the next victim?

Among the number of horror arthouse films directed by John Carpenter, The Thing was not appreciated by critics or audiences during its initial release. Forty years later, it is the most popular horror cult in cinewa history. Directors are still studying Rob Bottin’s unique, gruesome and innovative effects, whose excess contrasts with the rigor of directing. 

Creepshow (1982)

Creepshow (1982) is an anthology horror film directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The film is based on two of King’s short stories, “Father’s Day” and “The Crate,” and also features segments written by Romero.

The film stars Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, E.G. Marshall, and Fritz Weaver. It tells the stories of five people who are confronted with their deepest fears and darkest demons.

Integrating the stories of author Stephen King, the talent of director George Romero and artist Tom Savini, Creepshow is among the best horror episodes, not just of the ‘ 80, but always.

Influenced by the scary CE King comics of the 1950s, the 5 episodes that make up Creepshow have many macabre twists, unusual paranormal beings, and amoral characters getting their well-deserved supernatural punishment. The film is a tribute to the youthful fears that inspired these scary icons.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) is a slasher horror film directed by Amy Holden Jones and starring Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, and Michael Villella. The film follows a group of high school girls who host a slumber party, only to be stalked and murdered by a power drill-wielding psychopath.

The Slumber Party Massacre is a classic of the slasher genre, and is notable for its graphic violence and exploitation elements. The film was also one of the first slasher films to feature a female killer.

Plot

The film opens with a group of high school girls preparing for a slumber party at the house of Dana Halloran (Michelle Michaels). Dana’s father has gone out of town for the weekend, leaving her and her friends unsupervised.

As the night goes on, the girls begin to disappear one by one. The audience soon learns that the girls are being stalked by a psychopath who is using a power drill as a murder weapon.

The only 1980s horror movie franchise written and directed entirely by women, The Slumber Party Massacre changed the subgenre while still in training.

Directed by Amy Holden Jones from a film script by lesbian feminist author Rita Mae Brown, The Slumber Party Massacre was written as a parody, however the producers firmly insisted that Jones film it as a scary slasher movie. His irony came however, hitting scary tropes with creative visual gags and a comically large power drill.

Basket Case (1982)

Basket Case (1982) is a horror film directed by Frank Henenlotter and starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, and Beverly Bonner. The film tells the story of Duane Bradley, a young man who carries his deformed conjoined twin brother, Belial, in a basket. Duane and Belial seek revenge on the doctors who separated them at birth.

Plot

Duane and Belial were born conjoined twins, but they were separated at birth by a team of doctors. The operation was a success, but Belial was left severely deformed. Duane, on the other hand, was able to live a relatively normal life.

Years later, Duane and Belial have escaped from the hospital where Belial was being kept. They travel to New York City, where they seek revenge on the doctors who separated them.

Along the way, Duane and Belial commit a series of gruesome murders. They also become involved with a group of artists and musicians, who are initially drawn to their dark and mysterious aura.

Frank Henenlotter has an uncommon directorial ability: the ability to cover every frame of a film with an intangible layer of dirt. During its short but renowned career, New York has actually been a character in his films as much as all the wacky characters and monsters.

“Basket Case” is a love letter to the Big Apple like anything Woody Allen did, however it focuses on the rotten core of the city: the seedy side of the metropolitan area. “Basket Case” is a story about a boy and his deformed mutant brother, however it is the humans in the film who are the real beasts.

Some of his special effects are ridiculous however, just like the rest of Henenlotter’s work, there is a particular charm. “Basket Case” follows a drift more towards the black comedy and anything but scary.

Videodrome (1983)

Videodrome (1983) is a science fiction horror film directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Woods, Sonja Smits, and Debbie Harry. The film follows Max Renn, the CEO of a small UHF television station who stumbles upon a broadcast signal of snuff films.

Plot

Max Renn is a sleazy TV executive who is always looking for new and exciting content. One day, he discovers a mysterious broadcast signal that is showing snuff films. Max becomes obsessed with the signal and begins to broadcast it on his station.

As Max watches the snuff films, he begins to experience strange hallucinations. He starts to see a talking head in a television set, and he begins to develop a tumor in his hand.

Max soon learns that the snuff films are part of a conspiracy to control people’s minds. He is being manipulated by a group of people who want to create a new form of reality television.

Denying the stereotype that Canadians are naturally meek individuals, David Cronenberg’s 1983 body horror film Videodrome mixes restlessness and amusement, violence with entertainment and human awareness with pixelated broadcasts from a world of propaganda.

James Woods plays a sleazy TV executive seeking TV audience supremacy, alongside Blondie’s Debbie Harry as the sexy woman hosting the title broadcast.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is an American slasher film directed by Wes Craven and starring Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, and Johnny Depp. The film follows a group of teenagers who are stalked and murdered by Freddy Krueger, a disfigured dream demon.

Plot

The film opens with Tina Gray, a teenage girl, being murdered in her sleep. Her boyfriend, Rod Lane, is the prime suspect, but he claims to have been dreaming at the time of the murder.

Other teenagers in the neighborhood begin to experience similar nightmares, in which they are stalked and killed by Freddy Krueger. Freddy is a disfigured man who was burned alive by the parents of the children he molested. He now exists in the dream world, where he can kill his victims without being stopped.

Nancy Thompson, one of the teenagers being stalked by Freddy, begins to research his backstory and learns that he can only be defeated if his body is found and destroyed. Nancy convinces her friends to help her track down Freddy’s body, which is buried in a junkyard.

This horror movie from the 80s provided immense impact. Is a horror film inspired by a true story. Wes Craven adapted a story about a headache-afflicted Cambodian refugee into this cult movie, with the mythical and scary character of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a bloodthirsty burn victim armed with blades, and Johnny Depp.

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Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)

Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984) is a slasher film directed by Joseph Zito and starring Thom Mathews, Corey Feldman, and Crispin Glover. It is the fourth installment in the Friday the 13th series and follows the story of Tommy Jarvis, a young survivor of Jason Voorhees’ attacks.

Plot

After being killed in the previous film, Jason Voorhees is resurrected by lightning. He escapes from the morgue and returns to Camp Crystal Lake, where he begins to stalk a group of teenagers.

Tommy Jarvis, who witnessed the death of his mother at Jason’s hands, is obsessed with the killer. He decides to return to Camp Crystal Lake to stop him once and for all.

Tommy teams up with a group of surviving teenagers to confront Jason. In the end, Tommy manages to defeat Jason by decapitating him with a baseball bat.

The original 1980 film generated 9 follow-ups, a remake and a lot of rip-offs. Friday the 13th Part IV is the film par excellence, the best of Friday the 13th. Mislabeled as “The Final Chapter”, Part IV does whatever is expected of an ’80s slasher, in particular, put a bunch of lewd boys in a hut and let Jason Voorhees kill them one by one.

And it does it well, with creepy scenes, extraordinary characters, a rare thing in the Friday the 13th series. And there’s also an absolutely crazy ending that includes a young Corey Feldman.

Night of the Comet (1984)

Night of the Comet (1984) is a science fiction/horror film directed by Thom Eberhardt. The film follows the story of two sisters, Regina and Samantha Belmont, who are among the few survivors of a radiation epidemic caused by a comet.

Plot

The film opens with Halley’s Comet, which passes close to Earth. The comet releases radiation that transforms most of the population into cannibalistic zombies.

Regina and Samantha, who were inside a grocery store when the epidemic broke out, are among the few survivors. The two sisters set out to find other survivors and a way to stop the epidemic.

Valley women’s culture was over in the 1980s and 2 of the most enticing characters to come out of this mall-obsessed teen cult appear in 1984’s Night of the Comet. Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney play Regina and Samantha, teenage sisters seeking survival in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, with shopping breaks, after a passing comet transformed most of the population into zombies.

Filmed with bright colors and good-natured humor, this fun sci-fi hybrid isn’t an art film but it’s interesting.

Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night (1985) is a horror film directed by Tom Holland. The film stars William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, and Chris Sarandon.

Plot

Charley Brewster is a teenage horror movie fan who suspects that his new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge, is a vampire. Charley confides in his friend, Peter Vincent, a washed-up horror movie actor who hosts a late-night horror show.

Peter initially dismisses Charley’s claims, but he eventually agrees to help him investigate Dandridge. The two friends discover that Dandridge is indeed a vampire and that he is preying on the residents of Charley’s neighborhood.

Charley and Peter must race against time to stop Dandridge before he can complete his evil plan.

With some great old-fashioned thrills and a rock and new age music, Fright Night is a comedy timeless cult horror. Starring Roddy McDowall as a scary TV host facing the supernatural in reality, Tom Holland stars William Ragsdale as Charley Brewster, a horror-obsessed teenager who ends up being convinced that his neighbor is a vampire.

Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Return of the Living Dead (1985) is a horror film directed by Dan O’Bannon. The film stars Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, John Philbin, Jewel Shepard, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., and Terry Alexander.

Plot

Frank, an employee of the Uneeda Corporation, is working in a secret laboratory when he accidentally releases a gas that reanimates the dead. The gas quickly spreads through the air and soon the dead begin to rise from their graves, becoming ravenous zombies.

Frank and Freddy, another Uneeda employee, try to stop the epidemic before it’s too late. The two find themselves in a difficult situation, as the zombies are unstoppable and the government is unable to help them.

Critical reception

Return of the Living Dead was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $30 million at the box office. The film was praised for its action sequences, special effects, and its black humor.

Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator (1985) is a science fiction/horror film directed by Stuart Gordon. The film is based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story “Herbert West—Reanimator”.

Plot

Herbert West is a brilliant young medical student who has developed a serum that can reanimate the dead. West transfers to Miskatonic University to continue his research, but his experiments are met with disapproval from his colleagues, including Dr. Carl Hill.

West befriends Dan Cain, a fellow student, and the two begin working on his re-animation serum together. They successfully reanimate a dead cat, but West’s experiments soon escalate to include human subjects.

West and Cain’s experiments attract the attention of Dean Alan Halsey, who is determined to stop them. Halsey tries to discredit West, but West is determined to continue his work.

In the end, West and Cain are successful in re-animating a human body, but the re-animated corpse escapes and begins to kill people. West and Cain must work together to stop the re-animated corpse and prevent it from causing any more harm.

Critical reception

Re-Animator was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its special effects, humor, and performances, particularly those of Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott.

Sleazy, silly, filthy, vibrant and a lot of fun, Re-Animator is a classic of 1980s horror movies.

Day of the Dead (1985)

Day of the Dead (1985) is a post-apocalyptic zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero. It is the third film in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series, following Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).

Plot

Years after the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors take refuge in an underground military bunker. The group is led by Captain Rhodes, a tough and authoritarian man who is determined to exterminate the zombies.

Sarah, a young woman who has lost her husband and child, begins working as an assistant to Dr. Logan, a doctor who is conducting experiments on the zombies. Logan believes that it is possible to find a way to coexist with the zombies, but Rhodes is firmly convinced that the only solution is their destruction.

Critical reception

Day of the Dead was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $10 million at the box office. The film was praised for its suspense, violence, and social commentary.

This movie of George Romero is path from political criticism and dark vision of society as other movies of director. The story arrives in a military bunker in the Everglades, where the last survivors of humanity have gathered in search of safety; part splatter film and part meditation on the threats of mad science, Day of the Dead is an inspiring and sobering version of genre of zombies.

The Fly (1986)

Another remake that is much better than the first film, “The Fly” by David Cronenberg which reaches its peak with one of his most cult films. The story, an extraordinarily faithful adaptation of the 1958 film, is perfect for the director of body degeneration, mutation, entropy and disease.

“The Fly” is a hybrid: one love story and horror body. What begins as a compelling love between Veronica and Jeff Goldblum’s charming but eccentric researcher Seth Brundle turns into something much darker.

Launched during the height of the AIDS epidemic, the film gained importance over time. A mix of advanced prosthetics and animatronic work, Brundle’s degeneration from man to fly is heartbreaking. While the opening film saw the researcher separated into 2 entities Cronenberg shows them merged into one.

Aliens (1986)

Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action horror film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, and Paul Reiser. It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien, directed by Ridley Scott.

Plot

The film follows Ellen Ripley, a former crewmember of the Nostromo, who joins a team of space marines to investigate a distress call from the remote colony of LV-426. After being in stasis for 57 years, Ripley joins the mission to defeat the aliens and survive.

Critical reception

Aliens was acclaimed by critics for its spectacular realism, exceptional direction, and intense performances from its cast. The film was also a major commercial success and won two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

In addition, Aliens is considered one of the best sequels of all time and a landmark in the science fiction genre. Its mix of action, adventure, and horror has influenced many other films in the genre and has made the Alien franchise one of the most popular and enduring in film history.

Analysis

By moving the main location from a haunted house to the Vietnam War, Aliens succeeds in still telling Ripley’s character story as much as the original film. It simply increases the scope and scale.

The Xenomorphs are back, but this time they’ve brought their mom. Thanks to a deleted scene from Alien, the life cycle of the ferocious beasts was never fully discovered. Thus, a much more terrifying monster emerges: the Alien Queen. Aliens is also a perfect screenplay, with not a frame or line of dialogue wasted.

Opera (1987)

Opera (1987) is a giallo horror film directed by Dario Argento. It stars Cristina Marsillach, Urbano Barberini, Daria Nicolodi, and Ian Charleson.

Plot

The film follows Betty, a young soprano who is cast in a production of Verdi’s Macbeth. On the night of the opening performance, Betty is attacked by a masked killer in the opera house. The killer is obsessed with opera and sees himself as a kind of arbiter of taste. He believes that Betty is not worthy of performing in Macbeth and sets out to destroy her.

Some might argue that Italian horror legend Dario Argento was already in its prime by the time the 1980s arrived. Opera, however, is a good film on the same level as its previous filmography.

Opera shows a psychopathic fan terrorizing a young soprano (Cristina Marsillach) during a production of Verdi’s Macbeth. The film ranks among the serial killers the most beautifully shot and devilishly innovative

Hellraiser (1987)

Queer horror icon Clive Barker makes his most popular production, Hellraiser, one of the supernatural movies of the 80s.

Plot

Adapted from Barker’s novel The Hellbound Heart, Hellraiser focuses on a magical box called Lament Configuration that evokes the Cenobites, sadomasochistic beings who live in discomfort and suffering.

In Morocco, Frank Cotton, a hedonist, buys a board game that seems to open the doors to the supernatural world. At home Frank solves the puzzle in the box and monstrous beings with deadly hooks suddenly emerge. 

Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark (1987) is a vampire western film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, and Bill Paxton.

Plot

Set in the American Southwest, the film follows Caleb, a young cowboy who is bitten by a vampire and becomes a member of a nomadic vampire gang. The gang travels from town to town, preying on the locals. Caleb must learn to control his new thirst for blood and decide whether he wants to remain with the gang or return to his old life.

Critical reception

Near Dark was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its unique blend of vampire mythology and western tropes. The film’s stylish visuals and dark humor were also well-received.

Blending western models with punk-rock mentality, director Kathryn Bigelow puts a luscious twist on rockabilly mixed with the cinematic vampire subgenre in Near Dark, one of the best and bloodiest ’80s vampire movies.

Evil Dead II (1987)

Basically a remake of Sam Raimi The Evil Dead (1981) with a larger spending plan and a comic and grotesque style that blends with horror , Evil Dead II is one zombie horror film set in a cabin in the woods as the first film in the series.

Bruce Campbell returns as Ashley “Ash” Williams, who defends her life against demons in an even more bloody, and very comical, this time around. The appeal of Evil Dead II is that it is both really scary and really fun, producing a roller coaster ride of emotions. A film that never takes itself seriously but that at times is really scary.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

“Killer Klowns from Outer Space” doesn’t work and the idea is absurd but for some mysterious reason this 1980s horror film has remained in the public consciousness more longer than he ever deserved. There is a crazy, campy B-movie energy to the whole film, which is successful by having a main cast who take the whole thing seriously.

Any clowning occasion is insane: giant spaceship, monstrous popcorn and death for custard pie. It’s a film that does exactly what it sets out to do. Noteworthy is John Massari’s energetic score and the song by the 70s punk band The Dickies.

cult-movie

They Live (1988)

They Live (1988) is a science fiction action film directed by John Carpenter and starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It is a satirical take on capitalism and consumerism, and explores themes of propaganda, control, and freedom.

Plot

Nada is a down-on-his-luck drifter who finds a pair of sunglasses that reveal the true nature of the world around him. He sees that the world is actually controlled by an alien race that is using subliminal messages to keep humanity docile and compliant. Nada decides to join a group of rebels who are fighting to overthrow the aliens and free humanity.

Critical reception

They Live was a critical and commercial success. The film was praised for its satirical humor, its action sequences, and its social commentary.

The best cult movie of the 80s, by horror master John Carpenter, They Live is a horror satire of science fiction whose comment on senseless consumerism.

With Rowdy as a drifter discovering a pair of sunglasses that show an alien plot to dominate humanity through occult power, They Live is a cutting edge social critique with elements of an action movie, a reflection on illusory reality and on propaganda created by a world elite against humanity.

The Blob (1988)

“The Blob” is simply one of several remakes on this list, all following the exact same concept; make it bigger and much better. Steve McQueen’s initial is a B movie highly rated sci-fi. The remake is a fantastic piece of 80s body horror that time seems to be doing its best to forget.

Like Tom Savini’s outstanding remake of “Night of the Living Dead”, the remake plays with the concepts of the first film by adapting them for a contemporary audience.

The athlete who appears to be the protagonist dies in the first act, author Frank Darabont and director Chuck Russell violate the main rule of the Hollywood screenwriter: don’t touch the protagonist. It all fits in perfectly with the 1980s fascination with government conspiracies. 

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) is a Japanese cyberpunk science fiction film directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. It explores themes of technology, human mutation, and subjectivity.

Plot

The film follows a man who, after being involved in an accident with a cyborg, begins to gradually develop metallic features. As his body transforms, the man becomes increasingly insane and violent, causing chaos and destruction wherever he goes.

Critical reception

The film was praised for its surreal and disturbing vision of technology and its relationship with humanity, as well as for its exceptional direction, cinematography, and editing. Tetsuo: The Iron Man has also had a major impact on popular culture and has inspired many other works in the science fiction and horror genres.

Analysis

Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto’s messy and sensual journey takes cyberpunk to some new and extraordinary places, using innovative low-budget effects to tell the surreal story of a “metal fetishist” whose death in a car and truck accident triggers an outrageous chapter in human progress.

Society (1989)

Society (1989) is a cult classic horror film directed by Brian Yuzna. It is a surreal and disturbing film that explores themes of social class, corruption, and the dark side of human nature.

Plot

The film follows Billy Whitney, a young man from a wealthy family. Billy begins to suspect that his family and the other members of their social class are involved in a secret society that engages in bizarre and disturbing rituals.

Critical reception

Society was a critical and commercial failure upon its release. However, it has since gained a cult following for its unique and disturbing vision of society.

The 1980s were great years for satirical horror comedies, and Brian Yuzna is one of the best of the subgenre.

Beverly Hills’ manicured courtyards and nouveau riche styles form the ideal backdrop for this unusual declaration of wealth decay, with Billy Warlock as a wealthy teenager who believes his mother and father belong to a cannibal cult. Everything culminates with a prolonged orgy of body Horror that strikes the viewer’s imagination.

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