1981

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1. Scanners (1981)

R | 103 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane

Votes: 43,578 | Gross: $14.23M

EA: 14.01.1981

DVD: Scanners 1 (german) (Scanners Edition / Black Hill) MediaBook: Scanners - Ihre Gedanken können töten (german) (Wicked Vision / Scanners Trilogy Ultimate Edition)

2. 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: 28,300 | Gross: $17.99M

EA: 21.01.1981

DVD: Howling, The (german) (Kinowelt)

3. Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

Unrated | 85 min | Horror

A professor opens a crypt and reanimates rotten zombies. The zombies attack a jet-set-group which is celebrating a party in a villa nearby...

Director: Andrea Bianchi | Stars: Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, Antonella Antinori

Votes: 4,606

EA: 23.01.1981

DVD: Burial Ground (engl.) (88 Films / The Italian Collection 14)

4. Horrorplanet (1981)

R | 93 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A crew of interplanetary archaeologists is threatened when an alien creature impregnates one of their members, causing her to turn homicidal and murder them one by one.

Director: Norman J. Warren | Stars: Robin Clarke, Jennifer Ashley, Stephanie Beacham, Steven Grives

Votes: 2,445

EA: 23.01.1981

DVD: Inseminoid (engl.) (The Norman J. Warren Collection / Anchor Bay)

5. Roar of the Lion (1981)

Not Rated | 104 min | Action, Drama

The traditional lion dance never looked so good as in Lion vs. Lion which captures the most impressive sequences of lion dancing on film. Lo Mang teams up with Wong Yu, as they ... See full summary »

Directors: Yuet Sang Chin, Hsia Hsu | Stars: Meng Lo, Yue Wong, Pan Pan Yeung, Yuet Sang Chin

Votes: 121

EA: 19.02.1981

DVD: Pranke des gelben Löwen, Die (german) (MIB / Shaw Brothers Classics)

6. Madhouse (1981)

Not Rated | 92 min | Horror

A woman is pursued by her murderous, psychopathic twin sister in the days leading up to their birthday.

Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis | Stars: Patricia Mickey, Michael MacRae, Dennis Robertson, Morgan Most

Votes: 1,254

EA: 04.03.1981

BluRay: Madhouse (engl.) (Arrow Video)

7. The Final Conflict (1981)

R | 108 min | Horror

34 Metascore

The now adult Antichrist plots to eliminate his future divine opponent while a cabal of monks plot to stop him.

Director: Graham Baker | Stars: Sam Neill, Rossano Brazzi, Don Gordon, Lisa Harrow

Votes: 16,983 | Gross: $20.47M

EA: 20.03.1981

DVD: Barbara's Baby - Omen III (engl.) (20th Century Fox / The Omen Pentology-Box)

8. The Monster Club (1981)

Unrated | 104 min | Comedy, Horror

A writer of horror stories is invited to a "monster club" by a mysterious old gentleman. There, three gruesome stories are told to him; between each story some musicians play their songs.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Vincent Price, John Carradine, Anthony Steel, Roger Sloman

Votes: 2,597

EA: 02.04.1981

DVD: Monster Club (german) (MiB)

9. Mystery on Monster Island (1981)

TV-PG | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Horror

A young European boy living in San Francisco is reluctant to marry his long-term girlfriend because he wants to travel around the world first. His wealthy uncle agrees to send him on a ... See full summary »

Director: Juan Piquer Simón | Stars: Terence Stamp, Peter Cushing, Ian Sera, David Hatton

Votes: 704

03.04.1981

DVD: Geheimnis der Monsterinsel, Das (german) (on Box "Jules Verne Box" / MIG / EuroVideo)

10. The Black Cat (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

A professor with the psychic ability to communicate with the dead uses his powers on his pet cat in order to take vengeance upon his enemies.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Patrick Magee, Mimsy Farmer, David Warbeck, Al Cliver

Votes: 2,989

EA: 04.04.1981

DVD: Black Cat (engl.) (Shameless 06)

11. Night of the Werewolf (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

An evil witch brings back to life the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, who was executed several hundred years previously for murdering young woman and bathing in their blood.

Director: Paul Naschy | Stars: Paul Naschy, Julia Saly, Silvia Aguilar, Azucena Hernández

Votes: 630

EA: 10.04.1981

Blu-Ray: Der Werwolf (german) (Subkultur / Paul Naschy - Legacy of a Wolfman # 2)

12. Nighthawks (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

Conservative street cop DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.

Directors: Bruce Malmuth, Gary Nelson | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Rutger Hauer, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner

Votes: 15,458 | Gross: $14.91M

EA: 10.04.1981

DVD: Nachtfalken (german) (on Box "Action Superstars Box" / MIG)

13. 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: 18,193 | Gross: $0.12M

EA: 22.04.1981

DVD: Beyond, The (german) (Digital World)

14. 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: 52,384 | Gross: $21.72M

EA: 01.05.1981

DVD: Friday the 13th Part 2 (engl.) (on Box "Friday the 13th 4-Movie Collection" / Paramount)

15. Graduation Day (1981)

R | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A masked killer begins murdering students on the school track team after a track runner dies upon completion of a 30 second 200-meter race.

Director: Herb Freed | Stars: Christopher George, Patch Mackenzie, E. Danny Murphy, E.J. Peaker

Votes: 2,923 | Gross: $23.89M

EA: 01.05.1981

BR: Graduation Day (engl.) (88 Films / Slasher Classics Collection 01)

16. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, 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: 113,527 | Gross: $25.24M

EA: 23.05.1981

Blu-ray: Die Klapperschlange (german) (Birnenblatt gr. Hartbox)

17. Firecracker (1981)

R | 77 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Femme fatale martial arts expert teaches the mafia a lesson.

Director: Cirio H. Santiago | Stars: Jillian Kesner, Darby Hinton, Rey Malonzo, Ken Metcalfe

Votes: 408

EA: 31.05.1981

DVD: Firecracker (engl.) (on Box "Roger Corman's Cult Classics Triple Feature - Lethal Ladies Collection" / Shout Factory)

18. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

59 Metascore

Perseus must battle Medusa and the Kraken to save the Princess Andromeda.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith

Votes: 37,955 | Gross: $41.09M

EA: 12.06.1981

DVD: Kampf der Titanen (german) (on Box "Ray Harryhausen Collection")

19. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

54 Metascore

Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson

Votes: 84,642 | Gross: $62.30M

EA: 24.06.1981

DVD: In tödlicher Mission (german) (MGM / on Box "Die James Bond Jubiläums-Collection")

20. Enter the Ninja (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also ... See full summary »

Director: Menahem Golan | Stars: Franco Nero, Susan George, Shô Kosugi, Christopher George

Votes: 3,779

EA: 17.07.1981

DVD: Ninja - Die Killer-Maschine (german) (Ascot Elite)

21. Shu jian en chou lu (1981)

101 min | Action

It's Ti Lung versus Lo Lieh in the period piece action movie The Emperor And His Brother that features some marvellous sets and rudimentary special effects that delightfully gives Ti Lung's... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lung Ti, Jung Wang, Feng Kuan, Wong Chun

Votes: 83

EA: 19.07.1981

DVD: Todesduell im Kaiserpalast (german) (MIB / Shaw Brothers Classics)

22. Rasputin (1981)

104 min | Biography, Drama, History

Details the life of the Russian monk Rasputin. The film shows his rise to power and how it corrupted him. His sexual perversions and madness ultimatly leads to his gruesome assasination.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Petrenko, Anatoliy Romashin, Velta Line, Alisa Freyndlikh

Votes: 1,115

EA: 21.07.1981

DVD: Agonie - Rasputin, Gott und Satan (german) (Ice Storm Entertainment)

23. Eye of the Needle (1981)

R | 112 min | Romance, Thriller, War

61 Metascore

A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, Philip Martin Brown

Votes: 8,679 | Gross: $17.58M

EA: 24.07.1981

DVD: Nadel, Die (german) (UA / MGM / 20th Century Fox)

24. Student Bodies (1981)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

41 Metascore

A murderer known as "The Breather" kills off high schoolers.

Directors: Mickey Rose, Michael Ritchie | Stars: Kristen Riter, Matthew Goldsby, Jerry Belson, Joe Flood

Votes: 4,061 | Gross: $5.17M

EA: 07.08.1981

Blu-Ray: Student Bodies (engl.) (88 Films / Slasher Classics Collection #40)

25. 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: 11,224

EA: 14.08.1981

DVD: Das Haus An Der Friedhofsmauer (german) (Laser Paradise)

26. An Eye for an Eye (1981)

R | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Sean Kane is forced to resign from the San Francisco Police Department's Narcotics Division when he goes berserk after his partner is murdered. He decides to fight alone and follows a trail... See full summary »

Director: Steve Carver | Stars: Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree, Matt Clark

Votes: 3,243 | Gross: $7.68M

14.08.1981

DVD: Der Gigant (german) (Kinowelt)

27. 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: 83,123 | Gross: $30.57M

EA: 21.08.1981

DVD: American Werewolf (german) (Universal 20th Anniversary Special Edition)

28. Pierino contro tutti (1981)

92 min | Comedy

Pierino is a precocious but mischievous boy who often plays pranks and makes jokes at school. His enemy is his old teacher. One day Pierino pulls a dirty trick on her, making her break an arm.

Director: Marino Girolami | Stars: Alvaro Vitali, Michele Gammino, Michela Miti, Sofia Lombardo

Votes: 369

EA: 19.09.1981

DVD: Flotte Teens und das ausgeflippte Klassenzimmer (german) (MIG / Flotte Teens Limited Edition 2-Box)

29. X-Ray (1981)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

While receiving a routine check-up, a woman finds herself stranded on the hospital's eighth floor, while someone dressed as a doctor is intent on her never leaving, even if it means killing any staff member who comes into contact with her.

Director: Boaz Davidson | Stars: Barbi Benton, Charles Lucia, Jon Van Ness, John Warner Williams

Votes: 1,684

EA: 16.10.1981

Blue-Ray: Hospital Massacre (engl.) (88 Films / Slasher Classics Collection #09)

30. Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

40 Metascore

While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.

Director: Rick Rosenthal | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer

Votes: 67,551 | Gross: $25.53M

EA: 30.10.1981

DVD: Halloween 2 - Das Grauen Kehrt Zurück (german) (Special Edition 2 DVD's / FilmConfect Home Entertainment)

31. Absurd (1981)

Not Rated | 90 min | Horror

A priest comes to a small town to help get rid of a monster whose blood coagulates very fast. This creates problems as the monster is very hard to kill and then decides to go on a killing spree of its own.

Director: Joe D'Amato | Stars: George Eastman, Annie Belle, Charles Borromel, Katya Berger

Votes: 2,104

EA: 31.10.1981

Blu-Ray: Absurd (engl.) (88 Films / The Italian Collection #20)

32. Smokey Bites the Dust (1981)

PG | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

This movie follows the rivalry between a small-town southern sheriff and a small-town teenaged thief who steals cars and destroys them with the sheriff's daughter by his side.

Director: Charles B. Griffith | Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Janet Julian, Walter Barnes, Patrick Campbell

Votes: 229

EA: 31.10.1981

DVD: Smokey Bites The Dust (engl.) (Shout! Factory Action Packed Collection / Roger Corman Classics) DVD: Die Total Verrückte Highway Polizei (german) (Bonusfilm at DVD "Gib Gas... und lasst euch nicht erwischen")

33. Venom (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

Terrorists in the process of kidnapping a child get trapped in a house with an extremely deadly snake.

Director: Piers Haggard | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Nicol Williamson, Sarah Miles

Votes: 2,224 | Gross: $5.23M

EA: 28.11.1981

DVD: Schwarze Mamba, Die (german) (on Box "Snakes in a Box" / Anolis)

34. The Prodigal Son (1981)

R | 100 min | Action, Comedy

A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a ... See full summary »

Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung | Stars: Biao Yuen, Ching-Ying Lam, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Frankie Chan

Votes: 2,719

EA: 22.12.1981

DVD: Todesfaust des kleinen Drachen, Die (german) (Savoy Film)

35. The Salamander (1981)

R | 103 min | Thriller

An Italian policeman investigates a series of murders involving people in prominent positions. Left behind at each murder scene is a drawing of a salamander. The policeman begins to suspect... See full summary »

Director: Peter Zinner | Stars: Franco Nero, Anthony Quinn, Martin Balsam, Sybil Danning

Votes: 718

EA: 31.12.1981

DVD: Kennwort Salamander (german) (Kinoklassiker / VCL)



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