Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1983

This was a tough list to work through. There were several titles I hadn’t seen in a long while and I wasn’t sure they belonged on the list. On re-watch I discovered films I once liked, failed to entertain me (Twilight Zone: The Movie and Cujo) and films I barely remember (Zeder and Of Unknown Origin) rocked my world! When all was said and done, it turned out to be a pretty interesting list. MacDonald’s introduces the McNugget, high ranking Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is arrested and charged with war crimes, Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space and Kiss appear in public without makeup. It’s 1983!!

#10 SLEEPAWAY CAMP
Directed By: Robert Hiltzik

Sleepaway Camp is infamous for having one of the most outrageous slasher endings ever filmed. I personally think the ending completely lives up to its reputation. It also has some gory and original deaths. The acting is pretty bad and the dialog is ridiculous but that’s all part of the fun. A smidge slow at times but overall, an entertaining and campy slasher.

#9 MACUMBA SEXUAL
Directed By: Jesus Franco

Macumba Sexual is a highly visual experience. Its sexual, disturbing and bizarre imagery definitely leaves an impression. It stars the always delightful Lina Romay but Ajita Wilson who plays Princess Obongo steals the show. A slick and sexy film with a pinch of depravity. This is one of Franco’s best.

#8 THE DEADLY SPAWN
Directed By: Douglas McKeown

The Deadly Spawn is a lively and hilarious bit o’joy. This film just kills me! I love the 3-headed alien penis monster! The creatures and effects are pretty amazing for a film clearly made on a low budget. The Deadly Spawn is cheesy, campy, hysterical fun!

#7 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK
Directed By: Sergio Martino

2019: After The Fall Of New York
is one of several post-apocalyptic films from the 80’s. This version is from Italian director Sergio Martino. Lot’s of over-the-top dialog, wacky characters including mutants and rat-eating dames, violence and nifty visuals. The plot is lunacy, but that’s okay. 2019 is fast-paced, bloody, action-packed apocalyptic fun!

#6 OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

Of Unknown Origin is an engrossing display of obsession leading to near insanity. Peter Weller is great as the yuppie banker with the newly renovated home. His obsession is a rat that he spends pursuing throughout the film. The film looks good and moves along well with some steady building intensity and watching Weller losing it is a real trip.

#5 PANIC BEATS
Directed By: Paul Naschy

Panic Beats is a film directed and starring the great Paul Naschy. It has excellent atmosphere and a few decent moments of intensity. It’s well shot, bloody, gory and the effects and makeup look pretty damn good. The plot is wacky and it does have its share of cheesy moments, which just adds to the entertainment value. Viva La Naschy!

#4 THE HUNGER
Directed By: Tony Scott

The Hunger is about obsession with beauty and youth. It’s also about vampires. A great cast, with excellent performances from David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, but it is really Catherine Deneuve who owns this film. It’s beautifully shot and the effects are top notch. Particularly impressive was Bowie’s rapid aging. The Hunger is a subtle and engrossing vampire film.

#3 HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS
Directed By: Pete Walker

House Of The Long Shadows
is a delightful classic featuring four of the greatest horror icons who ever lived; Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine. As an added bonus you also get the great Sheila Keith! The group is completely in their element here, the plot is full of twists and turns and even though it may be predictable at times it is a shitload of fun. Even Desi Arnaz Jr. can’t take away from the pure entertainment value! I watched this video countless times over the years and I think it’s very sad I haven’t been able to find this film on DVD.

#2 ZEDER
Directed By: Pupi Avati

Zeder is not your typical zombie film. Definitely not as graphic as most Italian fare but feverish tension and an incredible atmosphere stoked with some serious paranoia more than makes up for it. The great Riz Ortolani provides the score, which, as always, is a treat. A lesser-known film that is one of the more intelligent and interesting films from the decade.

#1 VIDEODROME
Directed By: David Cronenberg

Videodrome is one of the most interesting and original horror films from the 1980’s. Cronenberg’s bizarre, surreal, and disturbing images are simply amazing. The effects in this film are truly outstanding. There is an intriguing plot and great performances from James Woods and Debbie Harry. Videodrome is a fascinating, sexy, sleazy, and violent masterpiece. To read the review click here.

Here are the rest of the films that made the shortlist: Cujo, Curtains, A Blade In The Dark, Christine, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Scalps, The Keep

13 Responses to “Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1983”

  1. bizarre_eye Says:

    Great #1 Pick GG – one of all time favourites. Panic Beats is another favourite of mine, too.

    • goregirl Says:

      I re-watched a ton of 80’s horror this weekend. After this crazy project is over I think I need to take a little break from the 80’s! Videodrome and Panic Beats were easy additions to the list, I’ve seen them both countless times over the years and I love em!

  2. Bartleby Says:

    Videodrome is exactly the right choice as the number one film of 83.

    I agree wholeheartedly about Of Unknown Origin. I used to have a review up at Cinematropolis. Should look at reprinting it for the new site. It’s a really underrated little gem.

    I’m also giving props to The Deadly Spawn. I saw this movie as a kid but could never remember the name of it. When Netflix was first testing their ‘watch-it-now’ feature, this was one of a handful of horror movies they offered. I wached it and suddenly realized it was the same flick from my childhood. On such a small budget it’s pretty awesome, especially the rainy afternoon tone it has. 80s through and through.

    So on to 1984…hmm…that seems like a hard year too.

    • goregirl Says:

      I am pretty sure I recall reading your review of Of Unknown Origin. I wasn’t even sure if I had seen this one, but according to my records I had, and I gave it a pretty decent rating too. I like Peter Weller.

      I thought 1983 was pretty tough and 1984 is actually worse!

  3. Yaaaay Videodrome — “I just can’t cope with the freaky stuff. “

  4. Hola 2G!

    Wow, some great flicks here – and I’ve added the ones I haven’t seen to my “to see” list. Specifically, Of Unknown Origin (I’m hoping this will be the film that enables me to say Peter Weller is great in *two* films!), The Deadly Spawn, and Panic Beats. Those all seem like my kinda movies.

    I wrote a graduate paper on Sleepaway Camp for a class on Lacan a few years back – I had to do a presentation for class, and no one seemed very impressed with that final shot. Fuck those haters!

    Best,
    3G

    • goregirl Says:

      Hola to you 3G,

      When I think Weller, I think Naked Lunch. Of Unknown Origin won’t change that, but I found it entertaining none-the-less.

      If you like Naschy you should definitely check out Panic Beats. Personally I think it was his last good film.

      The pic for The Deadly Spawn speaks for itself!

      I believe the director of Sleepaway Camp dedicated the film to his mother. Now that sounds like a presentation on psychoanalyst that I could get into! Fuck the haters indeed!

  5. The Film Reel Says:

    Aside from Videodrome and Sleepaway Camp I have yet to watch any of these flicks. Although The Deadly Spawn looks like it would be right up my alley!

    I gotta say that as I was quickly scanning through the rss feed I thought you had just posted a pic of a giant vagina before I quickly realized it was Videodrome! HAHA!

    • goregirl Says:

      The Deadly Spawn is a lark man, you gotta check it out!

      The vagina stomach…it’s an eye-catcher! Of course I would have no problem with putting a big old pic of a vagina if I deemed it relevant to a post. Chances are it won’t come up, but one never knows!

  6. Videodrome is so effing good. James Woods, man, where’d you go?

  7. […] from Pupi Avati this year. I was quite impressed with Avati’s Zeder which I included in my top 10 favourite horror films of 1983. The tone and pace of the two films are definitely similar and I’m pleased to report that […]

  8. Great Reviewww!!! hahaha well i didn’t watch most of them IM very curious and interested in THE DEADLY SPAWN 🙂

    Congratulations Great Blog!!!

    SAludos

    Gorthik

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