Youtube is one of the greatest inventions of our lifetime. It has everything from a baby monkey riding backwards on a pig to 10 hours of He-Man singing “What’s Up” (AKA the “Heyehyeh Song”). Amidst all the viral vids and “how to” tutorials is an untapped wealth of full length movies, many of which are fantastic 80s horror titles that may have flown under your radar.
These are 10 films worth wasting some time over, get em’ quick because they may get yanked before too long.
THE CHANGELING – (1980)
One of director Martin Scorsese’s favorite horror films, The Changeling is a slow burning supernatural horror about a man (George C. Scott) who is being haunted while staying at a secluded mansion. While this isn’t an obscure title, it’s definitely worth checking out if you missed it.
JUST BEFORE DAWN – (1981)
An elevated slasher-in-the-woods horror film, Just Before Dawn follows a group of campers who are checking out property they recently purchased, only to find it’s inhabited by a psychopathic murder. The film opens with a kill shot that will make any man queasy and has a nice twist towards the end that changes things up a bit.
BLOODY BIRTHDAY – (1981)
If you enjoy the evil-killer-kid subgenre of horror, then Bloody Birthday is a must see. Centering around a group of young creeps who were born during a solar eclipse, fast forward 10 years later and they’ve turned into murderous assholes. Bloody Birthday is basically 90 mins of kids killing people, lots of nudity, and everything else you’d expect from a solid 80s slasher film.
THE BURNING – (1981)
After getting disfigured in a prank gone wrong, a summer camp counselor returns to back to his former stomping grounds to kill innocent teenagers. The Burning isn’t necessarily an original concept when it comes to 80s slasher films, but what it does, it does extremely well. The gore and practical effect are fantastic and the kids are actually likeable, thus making their untimely demise a little harder to swallow.
DEADLY BLESSING – (1981)
Director Wes Craven passed recently, so in honor of him and his amazing work, I’m adding in Deadly Blessing to this list. While not as popular as Scream or the A Nightmare on Elm Street, Deadly Blessing is a Wes Craven film that deserves your attention. The film stars a young Sharon Stone, the legendary Ernest Borgnine, and combines horror and religion in a truly unsettling way.
SLEEPAWAY CAMP – (1983)
Featured on our list “20 HORROR MOVIES FROM THE 80S YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF, BUT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME“, Sleepaway Camp takes place at summer camp where a mute girl enacts vengeance on the people who mistreat her. Sleepaway Camp is a cult classic that has one hell of a twist ending that’ll leave your jaw dropped, if you haven’t seen it, do so right away.
THE MIDNIGHT HOUR – (1985)
The Midnight Hour aired on ABC back in the mid 80s and was a favorite of mine during my youth. It’s extremely high quality and doesn’t look like a TV movie, it also stars Levar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow) and Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Howling). It’s very tame compared to everything else on the list, yet it features a lot of fun monsters including: zombies, vampires, werewolves, witches and creepy cheerleader ghosts.
LADY IN WHITE – (1988)
This is a strange 80s oddity that is ambitious and truly one of a kind. Set in a small town during the 60s where a young boy is haunted after witnessing the death of a young girl. It’s a perfect film to ease into the Halloween season, a bit whimsical with striking visuals and an interesting storyline that even has some subtext.
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS – (1988)
This movie is a must for any fan of 80s horror. It’s straightforward, jammed packed with good times, and offers everything you could want: T&A, amazing practical effects, gore, dismemberment, a killer score, and a crematorium filled with ungodly demons.
SOCIETY – (1989)
Society is weirdest film on this list. It’s jammed packed with unforgettable imagery and gore that rivals films like The Thing and Evil Dead II. Out of any movie on this list, I’d say this is a must see for horror hounds. Giddy up!