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10.28.2016by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Underrated Horror Movies of the 1980s

Every year, I have shared some double features to get you through Halloween. This year, I am going with something a little different and sharing a list of the ten most underrated horror films of the 1980s. During that decade, scary films of all shapes and sizes made their way into the world thanks to the invention of home video. These ten movies are some of the best that you have likely never heard of and deserve a second look, especially on the scariest night of the year. If you think I missed a movie that should have made the cut, let me know in the talk backs below.

#10 - SHOCKER

Wes Craven tried to kickstart a new horror franchise with SHOCKER. Instead, the horror comedy was met with tepid reviews. In hindsight, it is pretty derivative of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but that is not such a bad thing. SHOCKER is a gory and goofy film that has almost as many laughs as it does murders. This is definitely on the lighter end of the horror spectrum but a worthy slasher.

#9 - APRIL FOOL'S DAY

There was a time when holiday themed movies were not romantic comedies but rather horror films. While APRIL FOOL'S DAY may be one of the least remembered of these flicks, it is one of the more restrained and scary horror films of the 1980s. Definitely not the best made film out there, but this movie has a pretty well structured plot and some well executed kill scenes.

#8 - CREEPSHOW 2

While the original CREEPSHOW may be the superior movie, CREEPSHOW 2 is a vastly underrated anthology film. From the creepy tale of a living cigar store Indian to a terrifying tale about a hitchhiker, this collection is pretty damn, well, creepy. But, if you only watch one segment, make it The Raft which is gory, brutal and will stick with you for days.

#7 - DEADLY FRIEND

Another Wes Craven flick, DEADLY FRIEND is a ridiculous tale of a boy who plays Dr. Frankenstein with his next door crush and a robot. It sounds idiotic, but this is a fun and scary movie that features one of the most brutally over the top death scenes put to film. This movie has not aged very well but is still a very fun watch.

#6 - CURTAINS

This Canadian slasher film has become a cult classic in recent years thanks in part to the brilliantly executed ice skating scene featuring the mask seen in the image above. The movie itself is fairly formulaic but relies on some cool kills and a lot of tits and ass. Can't go wrong with any of those, right?

#5 - SILVER BULLET

One of the most underrated Stephen King adaptations, SILVER BULLET is steeped in the 1980s and served as partial inspiration for Netflix series Stranger Things. Starring Corey Haim and Gary Busey, this is a werewolf tale that is without peer. The special effects still hold up pretty well but it is the cast of characters that really sells this story.

#4 - INFERNO

Horror aficionados know the name of director Dario Argento but most mainstream audiences are unfamiliar with the Italian filmmaker's body of work. Outside of SUSPIRIA and PHENOMENA, the other film audiences should see of Argento's is INFERNO. Probably his best movie, it is a creepy thriller and mystery tale with some hard to watch gore. This is a well made movie that is likely superior to the recent Tom Hanks film of the same name and with twice as many bulging, gouged eyeballs.

#3 - DEAD & BURIED

This is a great movie. Dan O'Bannon, screenwriter of ALIEN, was credited with writing this film which features early effects by the legendary Stan Winston. The film itself is a phantasmagoria that feels like part H.P. Lovecraft and part John Carpenter. It is haunting and surreal and will make you rub your eyes when you see the above scene in action. It may seem a little dated in the style and design of the film, but it is well worth seeking out.

#2 - THE KEEP

Featuring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, and Ian McKellen, THE KEEP is one of Michael Mann's most underrated movies. Set during World War II, this film features Nazis and supernatural monsters all set at an abandoned castle. It is truly a weird movie and showcases some innovate special effects along with a very affecting plot that deserves to be more widely recognized. This is a film connoisseur's horror movie.

#1 - NIGHT OF THE COMET

If this movie didn't exist, we likely would never have gotten Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The original comedy about ditzy girls fighting the supernatural, NIGHT OF THE COMET is part ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING, part DAWN OF THE DEAD, and part awesome action horror film. There are few words to describe how hilariously great this movie is but if you get a chance to check it out, you will not be disappointed.

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-2
8:19PM on 10/28/2016
I was a teenager in the 80's. And it's because of 80's horror flicks that I completely hated the genre for years. Well, there were a few good ones back then. John Carpenters The Thing being the stand out.
I was a teenager in the 80's. And it's because of 80's horror flicks that I completely hated the genre for years. Well, there were a few good ones back then. John Carpenters The Thing being the stand out.
Your Reply:



6:17PM on 10/28/2016

The Keep = awesome

I love the keep. The eerie cinematography, the sets, the lighting, the special effects, and most of all the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. It is truly a unique horror movie based on a book by F. Paul Wilson. I know the SFX don't hold up well for today, but if you haven't seen it you might be surprised how cool it is.
I love the keep. The eerie cinematography, the sets, the lighting, the special effects, and most of all the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. It is truly a unique horror movie based on a book by F. Paul Wilson. I know the SFX don't hold up well for today, but if you haven't seen it you might be surprised how cool it is.
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5:06PM on 10/28/2016
Watched all except for Deadly Friend. Am a big fan of 80s horror flicks as well. I would suggest a few more to those who may be interested. The Deadly Spawn, Society, The Stuff, The Changeling, Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer, Stagefright, Dead Heat, The Serpent & The Rainbow, Nightbreed, Waxwork 1&2, Bad Taste, Critters, House, Happy Birthday to Me, The Dead Next Door, The Mutilator, City of the Living Dead.
Watched all except for Deadly Friend. Am a big fan of 80s horror flicks as well. I would suggest a few more to those who may be interested. The Deadly Spawn, Society, The Stuff, The Changeling, Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer, Stagefright, Dead Heat, The Serpent & The Rainbow, Nightbreed, Waxwork 1&2, Bad Taste, Critters, House, Happy Birthday to Me, The Dead Next Door, The Mutilator, City of the Living Dead.
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-1
4:09PM on 10/28/2016
I only know CREEPSHOW 2 and INFERNO, but I haven't seen them. Since I've never heard of most of these movies, technically you made a great list of underrated movies. I personally would've added SANTA SANGRE (9/10).
I only know CREEPSHOW 2 and INFERNO, but I haven't seen them. Since I've never heard of most of these movies, technically you made a great list of underrated movies. I personally would've added SANTA SANGRE (9/10).
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3:27PM on 10/28/2016
I love shocker! Glad to see it get some recognition
I love shocker! Glad to see it get some recognition
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2:36PM on 10/28/2016
Great list and I'm a huge fan of horror from the 80s.
Great list and I'm a huge fan of horror from the 80s.
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11:50AM on 10/28/2016
Another underrated horror movie that I'd like to add is Waxwork. It's a great little horror movie that is very underrated.
Another underrated horror movie that I'd like to add is Waxwork. It's a great little horror movie that is very underrated.
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10:52AM on 10/28/2016

'Comet' is so OVERrated!

I'm sorry, I got 'Night Of The Comet' when the deluxe reissue came out thinking it was great as a Cinemax staple in the 80's but MAN, is it a slog. It may have been different enough back then that it stood out but it's been outdone by so many movies since. The following this movie has is baffling.

That said, I'm revisiting 'The Keep' tonight! THAT'S a classic.
I'm sorry, I got 'Night Of The Comet' when the deluxe reissue came out thinking it was great as a Cinemax staple in the 80's but MAN, is it a slog. It may have been different enough back then that it stood out but it's been outdone by so many movies since. The following this movie has is baffling.

That said, I'm revisiting 'The Keep' tonight! THAT'S a classic.
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6:20PM on 10/28/2016
I can think of many 80s horror movies that belong on the list above Comet. I have to agree with you. Personally, the only explanation I can give for its popularity and following is the little blonde in the cheerleader outfit. As a teenager in the 80s, I know I watched this movie several times just to watch her. The movie itself, not so good a little cheesy, but man she was hot to me back then.
I can think of many 80s horror movies that belong on the list above Comet. I have to agree with you. Personally, the only explanation I can give for its popularity and following is the little blonde in the cheerleader outfit. As a teenager in the 80s, I know I watched this movie several times just to watch her. The movie itself, not so good a little cheesy, but man she was hot to me back then.

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