In the 1980's, special effects technology has matured and filmakers are racing to dream up sequences that will satiate and terrify audiences. Energy and vitality returns to the genre that exhilarates us as we are given our fill of full color, brutally realistic (for the time) gore scenes, malicious monsters and devilish stalkers. Materialism and excess is a hallmark of the decade and cinema is not left behind. Slasher flicks reign supreme and alongside them we begin to see the exploration of the body and its limits. While the country is busy working out with Jane Fonda, horror filmmakers are tearing bodies apart and rebuilding them in a grotesque new image.
The Shining - 1980 (duh...)
Prom Night - 1980
Friday the 13th - 1980
Motel Hell - 1980
Inferno - 1980
The Evil Dead - 1981
American Werewolf in London - 1981
The Howling - 1981
Poltergeist - 1982 (This is a film I wish I could see again for the first time...masterpiece)
The Thing - 1982
Creepshow - 1982
Videodrome - 1983
Sleepaway Camp - 1983 (I watch this every year and it only gets better...)
The Company of Wolves - 1984
Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984 (did you know that our Mr. Krueger is technically a ghost?)
Children of the Corn - 1984 (creepy kids, amiright?)
Re-Animator - 1985
Day of the Dead - 1985 (a triumphant return to zombies for Romero...le sigh)
The Fly - 1986
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer - 1986 (a young Michael Rooker gives a stunning performance as the title character)
Vamp - 1986 (campy, silly, and totally wonderful...also Grace Jones. I mean...)
Hellraiser - 1987 (if you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor)
Evil Dead II - 1987
Near Dark - 1987
The Lost Boys - 1987 (even as a mean, possessive vampire Keifer Sutherland is still a dreamboat)
They Live - 1988 (my favorite from John Carpenter)
Hellbound: Hellraiser II - 1988 (rarely are sequels this good)
Pet Sematery - 1989 (Dead is better!)
Bonus: Nekromantik (1987) - This movie is not for the faint of heart, its a bit intense.
Killer Clowns from Outer Space (1988)- This comes highly recommended. I don't do clowns.
Join me tomorrow as we continue our trip down nightmare lane with our next 25 titles from the decade that was too cool to care...the 1990's! For now, relax with this trailer from They Live.