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: 318,553 | Gross: $13.78M

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

Unrated | 83 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.

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

Votes: 27,357 | Gross: $0.61M

3. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

69 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: 131,638 | Gross: $5.92M

4. They Live (1988)

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

54 Metascore

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

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

Votes: 92,024 | Gross: $13.01M

5. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 747,334 | Gross: $44.02M

6. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

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: 19,007 | Gross: $1.11M

7. Videodrome (1983)

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

60 Metascore

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

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

Votes: 72,201 | 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: 47,019 | Gross: $14.24M

9. Santa Sangre (1989)

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

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: 16,344

10. Maniac (1980)

R | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

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

Votes: 11,886

11. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 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: 79,100 | Gross: $30.57M

12. Tenebre (1982)

R | 101 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo

Votes: 17,219

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: 21,971

14. Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | 105 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

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: 47,920 | Gross: $2.02M

15. Revenge of the Dead (1983)

R | 89 min | Horror

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: 1,564

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: 140,135 | Gross: $40.46M

17. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

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

Votes: 89,564 | 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: 1,639

19. The Changeling (1980)

R | 107 min | Horror

70 Metascore

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

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

Votes: 25,507

20. 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: 17,454 | 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: 1,649

22. Day of the Dead (1985)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Thriller

60 Metascore

A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.

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

Votes: 56,456 | Gross: $5.80M

23. The Hitcher (1986)

R | 97 min | Thriller

32 Metascore

A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker 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: 38,212 | Gross: $5.84M

24. Bad Taste (1987)

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

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: 40,400

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: 19,728 | Gross: $19.60M

26. The Church (1989)

R | 102 min | Horror

An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which 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: 5,618

27. Inferno (1980)

R | 106 min | Horror

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: 15,138

28. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

26 Metascore

Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.

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

Votes: 49,398 | Gross: $21.72M

29. Basket Case (1982)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Horror

A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-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: 13,740

30. The Hunger (1983)

R | 97 min | Drama, Horror

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: 20,158 | Gross: $5.98M

31. Razorback (1984)

R | 95 min | Horror, Thriller

A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 4,869 | Gross: $0.15M

32. 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: 17,188

33. From Beyond (1986)

R | 85 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

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: 18,503 | Gross: $1.26M

34. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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: 29,147 | Gross: $3.37M

35. Brain Damage (1988)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

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: 7,618

36. Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)

Not Rated | 67 min | 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: 16,459

37. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

22 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

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

Votes: 101,603 | Gross: $39.75M

38. The Entity (1982)

R | 125 min | Biography, 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: 12,876 | 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: 875

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: 164,888 | 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: 7,830

42. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Horror, Thriller

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: 51,533 | Gross: $24.92M

43. Panic Beats (1983)

94 min | Horror

The spirit of a deceased knight returns every 100 years to clean a house by graphically murdering the women who are making the life of his descendants unbearable.

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

Votes: 398

44. The Company of Wolves (1984)

R | 95 min | Horror, Fantasy

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: 13,169 | Gross: $4.39M

45. Phenomena (1985)

R | 116 min | Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A young girl, with 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: 19,652

46. Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986)

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

The pupils at a high school next to a nuclear power plant start acting and looking strange after buying contaminated drugs from a plant worker.

Directors: Richard W. Haines, Lloyd Kaufman | Stars: Janelle Brady, Gil Brenton, Robert Prichard, Pat Ryan

Votes: 6,976

47. Angel Heart (1987)

R | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 71,137 | Gross: $17.19M

48. The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

R | 93 min | Horror

When an archeologist uncovers a strange skull in foreign land, the residents of a nearby town begin to disappear, leading to further unexplainable occurrences.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Capaldi

Votes: 8,559 | Gross: $1.19M

49. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

PG | 104 min | Action, Sci-Fi