Best Italian Zombie/Horror Movies of the 80s

by alexander-davenport | created - 08 Jan 2011 | updated - 08 Jan 2011 | Public

A compilation of my favorite/best work made by Italian directors in the 1980s (or 60s, and 70s).

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1. Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

Unrated | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

In a post-apocalyptic Earth, a group of punk friends find themselves against millions of bloodthirsty rats - but the weirdest is yet to come.

Directors: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso | Stars: Ottaviano Dell'Acqua, Geretta Geretta, Massimo Vanni, Gianni Franco

Votes: 2,083

2. Zombie (1979)

R | 91 min | Horror

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately seeks the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver

Votes: 23,531

3. The Beyond (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror

A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John

Votes: 18,271 | Gross: $0.12M

4. City of the Living Dead (1980)

Not Rated | 93 min | Horror

A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from their graves.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi

Votes: 14,245

5. Hell of the Living Dead (1980)

Unrated | 99 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A tough female reporter and her cameraman boyfriend team up with a four-man commando unit in the New Guinea jungle who are fighting flesh-eating zombies.

Directors: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso | Stars: Margie Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay, José Gras

Votes: 4,198

6. Pieces (1982)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The co-eds of a Boston college campus are targeted by a mysterious killer who is creating a human jigsaw puzzle from their body parts.

Director: Juan Piquer Simón | Stars: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom

Votes: 7,440 | Gross: $2.03M

It's not Italian, but it kicks ass.

7. Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Horror

Three friends out to disprove cannibalism meet two men on the run who tortured and enslaved a cannibal tribe to find emeralds, and now the tribe is out for revenge.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova

Votes: 8,358

8. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Unrated | 95 min | Adventure, Horror

22 Metascore

During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.

Director: Ruggero Deodato | Stars: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi

Votes: 46,907

9. The New York Ripper (1982)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A burned-out New York police detective teams up with a college psychoanalyst to track down a vicious serial killer randomly stalking and killing various young women around the city.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross, Andrea Occhipinti

Votes: 8,397

10. Deep Red (1975)

R | 127 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

89 Metascore

A jazz pianist and a wisecracking journalist are pulled into a complex web of mystery after the former witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Macha Méril

Votes: 28,143

11. Opera (1987)

R | 107 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini, Daria Nicolodi

Votes: 13,031

12. Torso (1973)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A string of appalling lust murders shocks the University of Perugia as a sadistic serial killer strangles to death beautiful college girls with a red and black scarf.

Director: Sergio Martino | Stars: Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson

Votes: 4,920

13. Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)

99 min | Adventure, Horror

A girl and her brother fly to New Guinea to look for a lost expedition, led by her husband, which has vanished in the great jungle.

Director: Sergio Martino | Stars: Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach, Claudio Cassinelli, Antonio Marsina

Votes: 3,449

14. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

R | 93 min | Horror

A cop chases two hippies suspected of a series of Manson family-like murders; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh by chemical pesticides being used by area farmers.

Director: Jorge Grau | Stars: Cristina Galbó, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy, Aldo Massasso

Votes: 6,693

15. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

GP | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An American writer and his English girlfriend are stalked by a serial killer terrorizing Rome after the former witnesses a murder attempt on a woman's life.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi

Votes: 15,926

16. Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

Not Rated | 105 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A reporter and a promiscuous young woman try to solve a series of child killings in a remote southern Italian town rife with superstition and a distrust of outsiders.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian, Irene Papas

Votes: 7,068

17. Demons (1985)

Not Rated | 88 min | Horror

A group of random people are invited to a screening of a mysterious movie, only to find themselves trapped in the theater with ravenous demons.

Director: Lamberto Bava | Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, Fiore Argento

Votes: 18,144

18. Antropophagus (1980)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of tourists become stranded on an uninhabited island where they are stalked by an insane, violent, and grotesque killer that slaughtered the town's former residents.

Director: Joe D'Amato | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini

Votes: 4,935

Though somewhat overrated and slow, the gore scenes are sweet, along with the villain.

19. The House by the Cemetery (1981)

Not Rated | 86 min | Horror

A New England home is terrorized by a series of murders, unbeknownst to the guests that a gruesome secret is hiding in the basement.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza

Votes: 11,265

Probably my least favorite effort by Fulci, but it's still somewhat entertaining.

20. Suspiria (1977)

R | 92 min | Horror

79 Metascore

An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Votes: 70,018



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