Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1980
Every week for the next ten weeks I will be posting my top 10 favourite horror films for each year of the 1980’s. The 1980’s were an important decade for me as a horror fan. As a kid I watched tons of Sci-Fi and monster flicks on TV and once in a while my parents would let me stay up late on the weekend to watch a Hammer or Corman film. My dad was a pop culture junkie and loved this stuff. I loved it too, at least until I read my first Stephen King novel in my pre-teens. Salem’s Lot rocked my world and soon monster flicks and Hammer Films weren’t enough. Unfortunately I wasn’t old enough to see most horror films in the theatre yet. It really wasn’t until video stores became a mainstay in the early 80’s that my thirst for horror would be truly quenched. Video rentals would be responsible for draining my part-time paycheck and warping my mind in the most wondrous of ways! So without further ado, here is my list of favourite horror films from the year 1980 and a few others that made the shortlist…
#10 THE FOG
Directed By: John Carpenter
The Fog is a decent supernatural thriller, with an impressively creepy atmosphere and memorable performances. There are a few thrills to be had and some nice tension building early but I always found the ending a bit anti-climatic.
#9 DRESSED TO KILL
Directed By: Brian De Palma
Dressed To Kill is a horror-thriller that is surprisingly intense and occasionally amusing. DePalma’s interesting style provides great visuals, and some decent thrills and chills. The film felt a bit redundant in sections due to the overuse of specific techniques but it doesn’t mess much with the films overall effectively voyeuristic vibe.
#8 CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato
Cannibal Holocaust is a well-made, fascinating, brutal and disturbing film. I think it’s the best of the cannibal films and one of the most biting films to come out of Italy during the period. If the film didn’t contain the brutal and graphic killing of animals I would definitely rate it higher. To read my review click here.
#7 THE GATES OF HELL (City of The Living Dead)
Directed By: Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci’s The Gates Of Hell features some creative kills, great sets and props and some stylish direction that conjures up some impressive atmosphere. The film is not without its flaws but is nonetheless an enjoyable romp particularly if you enjoy the gore. To read my review click here.
#6 DR. BUTCHER M.D. (Zombie Holocaust)
Directed By: Marino Girolami
Zombie Holocaust is a beautiful gory mess. I mean how can you go wrong with zombies AND cannibals in the same movie? Its story is illogical, the dialog is awful, the acting is iffy but it moves along at a rapid clip delivering unintentional laughs and a hearty helping of gore! Good times!
#5 FRIDAY THE 13th
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham
Friday the 13th inspired countless clones, and spawned a crapload of sequels and proved that horror was a marketable commodity. The gore seems a bit tame today but it was a big deal back then. I always preferred part two but this 1980 original was one of the first slashers I ever seen and introduced me to the concept of a multiple body count and creative death sequences and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Directed By: Dario Argento
Inferno is a visual extravaganza. The cinematography, lighting, fantastic surreal sets and beautifully bizarre and nasty images linger in the mind for days on end. The film is truly a feast for the eyes, sit back and let it wash over you and expect dream logic.
#3 THE CHANGELING
Directed By: Peter Medak
The Changeling has a perfect mood and atmosphere, amazing sets, solid acting and is a well-written effective ghost story. The scene where the child’s rubber ball comes bouncing down the staircase after George C. Scott throws it into the water chilled my shit the first time I seen it!
Directed By: William Lustig
I love how gritty and grimy Maniac looks and feels, it always makes me feel like I need a shower. Joe Spinell is one of the creepiest, sweatiest stalkers of all time! Plus, this film has one of the best endings…EVER! Classic slasher sleaze.
#1 THE SHINING
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson is great, the pitch-perfect mood and top-notch tension are aided in no small way by the remarkable location! It may not be 100% faithful to its source material, or what Stephen King envisioned for his book, but I think the film stands on its own as a highly visual experience that stays with you long after it has ended.
Here are the rest of the films that made the shortlist: Eaten Alive, Fade to Black, Macabro, Stage Fright, Motel Hell, Terror Train, House on The Edge Of The Park, Prom Night, Altered States, and Mother’s Day.