Best Cult Movies From The 80s

by panos0000 | created - 31 Aug 2012 | updated - 1 week ago | Public
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1. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 109,656 | Gross: $25.24M

2. 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: 93,314 | Gross: $13.01M

3. Midnight Run (1988)

R | 126 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

78 Metascore

An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the F.B.I., and the Mafia after jumping bail.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton

Votes: 63,036 | Gross: $38.41M

4. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

53 Metascore

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong

Votes: 110,335 | Gross: $11.10M

5. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

60 Metascore

In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 212,106 | Gross: $61.50M

6. The 'Burbs (1989)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman

Votes: 60,531 | Gross: $36.60M

7. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

64 Metascore

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher

Votes: 146,082 | Gross: $234.76M

8. Night of the Creeps (1986)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

Director: Fred Dekker | Stars: Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow

Votes: 17,738 | Gross: $0.59M

9. 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: 166,363 | Gross: $2.40M

10. 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: 322,516 | Gross: $13.78M

11. The Lost Boys (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

63 Metascore

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes

Votes: 109,029 | Gross: $32.22M

12. Repo Man (1984)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

Young punk Otto becomes a repo man after helping to steal a car, and stumbles into a world of wackiness as a result.

Director: Alex Cox | Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash

Votes: 29,862 | Gross: $3.57M

13. Vacation (1983)

R | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy

55 Metascore

The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid

Votes: 84,971 | Gross: $61.40M

14. Highlander (1986)

R | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

24 Metascore

An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled "Prize".

Director: Russell Mulcahy | Stars: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart

Votes: 111,185 | Gross: $5.90M

15. Sea of Love (1989)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

66 Metascore

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman, Michael Rooker

Votes: 33,996 | Gross: $58.57M

16. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer

Votes: 25,384 | Gross: $17.31M

17. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.

Director: Amy Heckerling | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus

Votes: 83,342 | Gross: $27.09M

18. The Running Man (1987)

R | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

45 Metascore

A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown

Votes: 127,982 | Gross: $38.12M

19. Class of 1984 (1982)

R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

A new teacher at a troubled inner-city high school soon ends up clashing with the delinquent leader of a punk posse that runs the school.

Director: Mark L. Lester | Stars: Perry King, Merrie Lynn Ross, Timothy Van Patten, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 8,045

20. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 907,204 | Gross: $210.61M

21. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 283,237 | Gross: $70.14M

22. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

In 1978, a boy travels 8 years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Cliff De Young, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 39,328 | Gross: $18.56M

23. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 311,134 | Gross: $45.88M

24. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 72,114 | Gross: $27.55M

25. WarGames (1983)

PG | 114 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

77 Metascore

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman

Votes: 81,857 | Gross: $79.57M

26. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 350,159 | Gross: $30.86M

27. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

68 Metascore

After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 27,208 | Gross: $17.99M

28. Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

32 Metascore

Two losers try to pretend that their murdered employer is really alive, leading the hitman to attempt to track him down to finish him off.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart, Terry Kiser

Votes: 43,415 | Gross: $30.22M

29. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

R | 90 min | Comedy

44 Metascore

At Adams College, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self-respect.

Director: Jeff Kanew | Stars: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese

Votes: 44,834 | Gross: $40.90M

30. 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: 79,836 | Gross: $30.57M

31. Top Gun (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama

50 Metascore

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer

Votes: 256,210 | Gross: $179.80M

32. The Road Warrior (1981)

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

77 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 152,249 | Gross: $12.47M

33. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 648,040 | Gross: $45.60M

34. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 587,198 | Gross: $85.16M

35. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A seemingly indestructible android is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 712,590 | Gross: $38.40M

36. Lethal Weapon (1987)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan

Votes: 216,162 | Gross: $65.21M

37. Police Academy (1984)

R | 96 min | Comedy

41 Metascore

A group of good-hearted, but incompetent misfits enter the police academy, but the instructors there are not going to put up with their pranks.

Director: Hugh Wilson | Stars: Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith

Votes: 101,364 | Gross: $81.20M

38. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 326,807 | Gross: $52.29M

39. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

R | 93 min | Comedy

72 Metascore

A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean

Votes: 107,885 | Gross: $49.53M

40. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

63 Metascore

The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland

Votes: 126,508 | Gross: $130.72M

41. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure

57 Metascore

In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri

Votes: 394,557 | Gross: $179.87M

42. Rain Man (1988)

R | 133 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen

Votes: 433,918 | Gross: $172.83M

43. Big (1988)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

73 Metascore

After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard

Votes: 174,925 | Gross: $114.97M

44. First Blood (1982)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure

61 Metascore

Former Green Beret John Rambo is pursued into the mountains surrounding a small town by a tyrannical sheriff and his deputies, forcing him to survive using his combat skills.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney

Votes: 198,081 | Gross: $47.21M

45. The Outsiders (1983)

PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze

Votes: 66,523 | Gross: $25.60M

46. 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: 72,902 | Gross: $2.12M

47. 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: 52,077 | Gross: $24.92M

48. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporary composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 328,768 | Gross: $51.97M

49. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

8.1