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Lesser Known Horror Movies: 80s Edition

This two part series continues on into the 90s, check out the list here.

I’m sure true horror buffs will have seen these films multiple times, but for the casual horror fan, these movies might be a little more obscure than your typical Friday The 13th.  All real horror fans know that watching most older horror films is less about the scary aspect of them and more about the humor.  This list of movies could easily fit on any comedy list as well.

Madman – 1982

madman-bigA great and silly camp slasher.  Pretty standard stuff with one ugly cast, but I love this movie because it’s shot really well and has some creativity to it.  Campers awake an evil psycho legend and he stalks and kills them one by one.  The funniest line is when the kid whispers gently “Smells like death.” before getting a rope around his neck.

New York Ripper – 1982

new-york-ripperShortly after watching this movie, I visited a friend in Brooklyn and took the “New York Ripper” tour.  Great little slasher in the vein of Maniac directed by Lucio Fulci with some pretty nice gruesome moments.

Pieces – 1982

pieces_15This movie is fucking crazy.  The gore is really well shot and some of the FX are amazingly well done.  I’m speaking directly of the elevator scene in which a girl gets her arm sawed off with a chainsaw.  Looks awesome!  And prepare to laugh hystericaly at the final scene.  Worth a few rewinds.

Q – 1982

Q-the-winged-Serpent-1982-movie-6A nice and unique little movie from one of the gods of campy, Larry Cohen.  It’s about a giant dragon that attacks modern day New York and what great Cohen movie is complete without Michael Moriarty?  Some really funny stuff in here including a lewd wndow washer getting beheaded.

Visiting Hours – 1982

still-from-visiting-hours-2This movie is pretty awesome.  A woman hating psychopath attacks a female journalist but doesn’t kill her.  When he finds out what hospital she is staying at, he stalks her there to finish the job.  Some nice and tense moments and you can’t go wrong with Michael Ironside.  That guy is a maniac!

Silver Bullet – 1985

silver bullet1A Stephen King werewolf tale, but this movie is fucking crazy!  Gary Busey hunting werewolves.  Need I say more?  Some funny shit when a guy falls through the floor of his house in slow motion.  Is there anything funnier than slow motion in the 80s?

Chopping Mall – 1986

chopping-mall-remakeFour “teens” (they look in their late 30s) break into a mall they work in after hours to party and fuck.  Unfortionatly for them, a group of security guard robots with laser beams ready to kill have malfunctioned due to a circuitry overload and are now killing anything they see.  Yes…that is actually the plot of Chopping Mall, and the movie is as damn good as it sounds.  Watch for an awesome head explosion.

Spookies – 1988

SpookiesSpookies isn’t all that great, but the story behind it’s making makes it worth it.  Basically, an entire movie was shot with the intention of calling it Twisted Souls.  After 90% of the footage was shot, production shut down and the filmmakers were fired.  A new director was hired and basically shot 10% new footage and re-edited the other 90% into a totally different movie called Spookies.  It’s worth a look just for that story and also a girl in lingerie being chased through the woods by creatures for like 20 mins.

A Return To Salem’s Lot – 1987

salemslotAnother great Larry Cohen outing.  Sequel to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, this time Michael Moriarty (who else?) fights a town full of vampires.  I can’t think of anything better.  Cool scene from inside a coffin.

Black Roses – 1988

black roseA late 80s heavy metal band are really demons trying to turn kids into their demonic helpers and kill parents.  Isn’t that what 80s metal was really all about?  Some really funny shit in this crazy ass flick including demon arms ripping through speakers and killing a parent and the metal band turning into demons that look like Sy Snootles from the Rebo Band.

Pin – 1988

PIN1This movie is actually pretty fucked up.  A dad makes his young children talk to an anatomically correct life size medical dummy, whom he names Pin.  As kids, they tell all their fears and secrets to Pin, but when they grow up, the boy still thinks Pin is alive….which he might actually be.  This movie is really creepy.  Look for Lost’s Terry O’Quinn as the dad.

Intruder – 1989

intruderNice little slasher from the late 80s about a killer killing overnight workers in a supermarket.  Some nice kills including a guy getting his head sliced in half with a meat cutter.  Also, some silly cameos from Sam and Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell.  This is directed by their buddy Scott Spiegel, who wrote the awesome Evil Dead 2.

Parents – 1989

Parents - 1989Another pretty fucked up movie.  Very surreal images and a creepy these of a kid who suspects (and is correct) his parents are cannibals.  Takes place in the 50s and has some really weird, Lynchian shit in it….but when you see who directed it, you’ll be pretty surprised.  Worth a look.

Society – 1989

Society - 1989One of my favorite horror flicks ever.  Brian Yuzna creates a fucking crazy film about a country club full of people/creatures who have these huge orgies and actually just melt into each other forming giant wet, fleshy blobs.  They try to recruit this one kid, but when he starts to figure out what is going on and rejects it, they then try to kill him.  Really great and gross body horror FX including a guy getting an arm up his asshole and being pulled inside out.  Takes a little time to really get going, but once it does, it’s awesome!

What about the 90s? Check out the list of Lesser Known Horror Movies from the 90s

2 thoughts on “Lesser Known Horror Movies: 80s Edition

  1. Society could have been directed by Cronenberg. OK, not THAT good…but similar. We need more movies like this. The market for fleshy weird movies has not been tapped out in any way.

  2. How can you mention Terry O’Quinn as the dad in Pin, but leave him out as the sheriff in Silver Bullet? Shameful…

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