Goregirl's Favourite Horror Films of the 1980s

by GoregirlsDungeon | created - 18 May 2012 | updated - 14 Jul 2013 | Public

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1. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 394,159 | Gross: $13.78M

2. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated | 83 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Arriving in Chicago, Henry moves in with ex-con acquaintance Otis and starts schooling him in the ways of the serial killer.

Director: John McNaughton | Stars: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles, Mary Demas

Votes: 34,343 | Gross: $0.61M

3. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

72 Metascore

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 155,200 | Gross: $5.92M

4. They Live (1988)

R | 94 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

55 Metascore

They influence our decisions without us knowing it. They numb our senses without us feeling it. They control our lives without us realizing it. They live.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower

Votes: 121,008 | Gross: $13.01M

5. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 948,461 | Gross: $44.02M

6. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

75 Metascore

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent

Votes: 28,437 | Gross: $1.11M

7. Videodrome (1983)

R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

A programmer at a TV station that specializes in adult entertainment searches for the producers of a dangerous and bizarre broadcast.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky

Votes: 88,222 | Gross: $2.12M

8. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

Director: Dan O'Bannon | Stars: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews

Votes: 58,132 | Gross: $14.24M

9. Santa Sangre (1989)

NC-17 | 123 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Thelma Tixou

Votes: 20,338

10. Maniac (1980)

R | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

22 Metascore

A psychopathic man goes on a killing and mutilation spree in New York City.

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton, Kelly Piper

Votes: 16,196

11. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

55 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 99,985 | Gross: $30.57M

12. Tenebrae (1982)

R | 101 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

An American writer in Rome is stalked and harassed by a serial killer who is murdering everyone associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi

Votes: 22,290

13. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

R | 82 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

42 Metascore

Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.

Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman | Stars: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion

Votes: 27,678

14. Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | 104 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale

Votes: 60,682 | Gross: $2.02M

15. Revenge of the Dead (1983)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery

Stefano, a young journalist, buys a used typewriter and accidentally sees that some text is still readable on the ribbon. He manages to reconstruct the story of a scientist, Paolo Zeder, ... See full summary »

Director: Pupi Avati | Stars: Gabriele Lavia, Anne Canovas, Paola Tanziani, Cesare Barbetti

Votes: 2,103

16. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel

Votes: 169,174 | Gross: $40.46M

17. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

A woman discovers the newly resurrected, partially formed, body of her brother-in-law. She starts killing for him to revitalize his body so he can escape the demonic beings that are pursuing him after he escaped their sadistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker | Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman

Votes: 112,499 | Gross: $14.56M

18. Baxter (1989)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

A white Bull Terrier named Baxter is given to an elderly woman by her daughter. As time passes, the dog develops aggressive and murderous behavior in order to be adopted by another family.

Director: Jérôme Boivin | Stars: Lise Delamare, Jean Mercure, Jacques Spiesser, Catherine Ferran

Votes: 2,019

19. The Changeling (1980)

R | 107 min | Horror, Mystery

70 Metascore

After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, a music professor staying at a long-vacant Seattle mansion is dragged into a decades-old mystery by an inexplicable presence in the mansion's attic.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh

Votes: 32,708

20. The Beyond (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror

38 Metascore

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: 21,707 | Gross: $0.12M

21. The Living Dead Girl (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Horror

A toxic spill revives a beautiful, dead heiress who, with the help of her childhood friend, must quench her insatiable thirst for blood.

Director: Jean Rollin | Stars: Marina Pierro, Françoise Blanchard, Mike Marshall, Carina Barone

Votes: 2,112

22. Day of the Dead (1985)

Not Rated | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

60 Metascore

As the world is overrun by zombies, a small group of scientists and military personnel dwelling in an underground bunker in Florida must determine whether they should educate, eliminate or escape the undead horde.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Jarlath Conroy

Votes: 66,509 | Gross: $5.80M

23. The Hitcher (1986)

R | 97 min | Action, Thriller

32 Metascore

A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitchhiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.

Director: Robert Harmon | Stars: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 45,702 | Gross: $5.84M

24. Bad Taste (1987)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Terry Potter, Pete O'Herne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett

Votes: 45,747

25. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

R | 98 min | Fantasy, Horror

64 Metascore

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Paul Winfield

Votes: 24,415 | Gross: $19.60M

26. The Church (1989)

R | 102 min | Horror

An old Gothic cathedral built over a mass grave develops strange powers that trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.

Director: Michele Soavi | Stars: Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Barbara Cupisti

Votes: 7,605

27. Inferno (1980)

R | 106 min | Horror

69 Metascore

An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi

Votes: 20,185

28. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

26 Metascore

Five years after the events of the first film, a summer camp next to the infamous Camp Crystal Lake is preparing to open, but the legend of Jason is weighing heavy on the proceedings.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King

Votes: 64,082 | Gross: $21.72M

29. Basket Case (1982)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Horror

77 Metascore

A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed, formerly conjoined twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

Director: Frank Henenlotter | Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel

Votes: 17,855

30. The Hunger (1983)

R | 97 min | Drama, Horror

52 Metascore

A love triangle develops between a beautiful yet dangerous vampire, her cellist companion, and a gerontologist.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Cliff De Young

Votes: 24,567 | Gross: $5.98M

31. Razorback (1984)

R | 95 min | Horror, Thriller

As a vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback, the husband of one of the victims is joined by a hunter and a farmer in a search for the beast.

Director: Russell Mulcahy | Stars: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood

Votes: 6,424 | Gross: $0.15M

32. Demons (1985)

Not Rated | 88 min | Horror

53 Metascore

A group of random people is 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: 22,119

33. From Beyond (1986)

R | 85 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

60 Metascore

A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree

Votes: 24,743 | Gross: $1.26M

34. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 36,554 | Gross: $3.37M

35. Brain Damage (1988)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

61 Metascore

One morning, a young man wakes to find that a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but demands human victims in return.

Director: Frank Henenlotter | Stars: Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes

Votes: 10,655

36. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto | Stars: Tomorô Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Shin'ya Tsukamoto

Votes: 21,277

37. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

22 Metascore

A group of camp counselors trying to reopen a summer camp called Crystal Lake, which has a grim past, are stalked by a mysterious killer.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 130,108 | Gross: $39.75M

38. The Entity (1982)

R | 125 min | Drama, Horror

35 Metascore

A woman is tormented and sexually molested by an invisible demon.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, George Coe

Votes: 15,859 | Gross: $13.28M

39. Dr. Caligari (1989)

R | 80 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mrs. Van Houten has shown signs of losing touch with reality, and her husband discusses possible treatment with Dr. Caligari, who says Mrs. Van Houten has a disease of the libido. The staff... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Sayadian | Stars: Madeleine Reynal, Fox Harris, Laura Albert, Jennifer Balgobin

Votes: 1,117

40. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 196,606 | Gross: $2.40M

41. 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: 10,422

42. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

62 Metascore

A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 65,726 | Gross: $24.92M

43. Panic Beats (1983)

94 min | Horror

A man moves his ailing wife to his family's ancestral house for a period of recovery. Things are not what they seem to be, when the wife becomes plagued with terrifying visions, which begin to worsen her ailment.

Director: Paul Naschy | Stars: Paul Naschy, Julia Saly, Lola Gaos, Silvia Miró

Votes: 573

44. The Company of Wolves (1984)

R | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

69 Metascore

A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine, and has a disturbing dream involving wolves prowling the woods below her bedroom window.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Graham Crowden

Votes: 15,876 | Gross: $4.39M

45. Phenomena (1985)

R | 116 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A young girl who has an amazing ability to communicate with insects is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi, Fiore Argento

Votes: 25,112

46. Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

5.7