Brooklyn, NY goth rockers The Amatory Murder have just released their new album Exploiting Our Dreams. When I heard it I got a strong 80’s vibe from it, the electronic tinges reminiscent of that glorious era. So when I was told that vocalist Christian Peppas was a horror fanatic, I had to know his top 10 80’s horror movies. And he delivered in spades! Below is a list that covers pretty much some of the very best that the 80’s had to offer, from zombies to psychological to B-horror to supernatural, it’s got a little bit of everything! Check out the list and leave your favorites in the comments.
You can snag your copy of Exploiting Our Dreams for only $5 via Bandcamp.
Christian Peppas states, “It is my belief that the best horror movies were made from the 1930’s through the 1980’s; but there’s something about horror films from the 80’s that stand unchallenged by any other decade. Producers and directors hired more makeup and special effects artists to actually make props as opposed to relying on computer technology. Stop-motion animation was big, so art departments were much more hands-on and creative. Much of the time, these films were low-budget B movies; but for a kid like me that grew up when snoozers like Scream and Urban Legend were big, that actually added to the greatness. I think there’s something much cooler knowing that the puss spewing out of someone’s rubber neck is obviously corn starch. That being said, compressing my favorite 80’s horror movies into a Top 10 was a trying task and I know I’ll be kicking myself later on for forgetting things…”
The Shining: I don’t even know where to begin. This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and in my opinion one of Jack Nicholson’s best performances. This film has EVERYTHING: suspense, horror, action, great acting…such an amazing thriller. Kubrick was an absolute genius.
Poltergeist: I LOVE this movie. It’s so quotable and scared the crap out of me when I first saw it. The special effects are awesome–and that mirror scene is GROSS. “This house is clean!”
Return Of The Living Dead: This movie is just hilarious and campy. Also, I believe it’s one of the first zombie movies that focuses on eating the brains of the living. The scene with the two security guys in the beginning is the best.
The Evil Dead: I love over-the-top movies where the gore is obviously home-made and low budget and the acting is horrendous. I LOVE Bruce Campbell. This movie set a standard for me in terms of what I expect from a “horror” film.
Scanners: I love when horror and sci-fi mix and take themselves too seriously. Such is the case with Scanners. The end result always makes it great in a different way, and this film does not let you down.
The Evil Dead 2: More Evil Dead? YES! Another thing I love about these flicks is that you can put ’em on and it’s blatantly obvious what period they were filmed in. Raimi needs to do more stuff like this.
The Stuff: C’mon, it’s called ‘The Stuff’. And people are obsessed with it. Again, another quotable and hokey movie that I will never get bored of. I love that horror movies from these period relied on actual, physical props for effect as opposed to CGI.
Cheerleader Camp (Bloody Pom Poms): This one has more of a cult following. It’s another one of those films that’s so bad it’s good. It was directed by John Quinn who now directs late night “movies” and “TV shows” on Cinemax. So yeah, there’s that.
Ghostbusters: Yeah, yeah yeah…I know it’s not technically a horror film. But let me tell you, this movie is probably what got me interested in horror movies in general. I used to beg my parents to bring me to the local video store and rent it for at least once a week. And don’t get me started on how awesome Ghostbusters 2 is…
Maniac Cop: More fine acting from horror movie icon Bruce Campbell. They really don’t make ridiculous thrillers like this anymore. It’s a cop who is a murderous maniac. ‘Nuff said.