Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Slasher Decade: 1980

Between the years of 1980 through 1989, there were nearly 290 slasher films released. Averaged out, that equals two releases a month for the entire decade - an extremely impressive figure. There's a reason why the 1980's will always be famous for having slasher films galore.

Looking back on the decade that now seems like a foreign time, these slasher films help capture a certain nostalgia that certain moviegoers (such as myself) crave. While slasher fans definitely love a good villain, some scary stalking sequences, and creative kills, they also undoubtedly yearn for the 1980's culture - from the big hair to the heavy metal music.

Here is a list of the complete 1980's slasher movie guide (and I might even be leaving some out! Please let me know if I have). Enjoy!

Let's begin with 1980...

This year brought 29 slashers, most of which were quickly made over the previous year to cash-in on the mega success of HALLOWEEN. 1980's most famous entry is undoubtedly Friday the 13th, a number of hit slashers made an impact at the box office - most notably hits like The Fog, Prom Night, Funeral Home, and The Silent Scream.

Most 1980 slasher movies stuck with a basic, realistic formula of a stalking killer - such as He Knows You're Alone, Terror Train, The Unseen, and Fade to Black. Other's tried to get more creative, like the creature-features Night of the Demon and Blood Beach, the supernatural The Children, The Ghost Dance, and The Boogeyman, the comedic Motel Hell, and the rock 'n roller Terror on Tour.

An increase in violent exploitation also grew, with movies like Maniac and Anthropophagus pushing the boundaries in terms of carnal violence and gore. This trend of viciousness was more common in low-budget slashers, with films like The Exterminator, To All a Good Night, Christmas Evil, Don't Answer the Phone!, Don't Go in the House, The House at the Edge of the Park, Vengeance, and Mother's Day driving a nastier, misogynistic tone that often included rape and torture.

The whodunit factor also became huge, as movies looked to the "giallo" films of the 70's for inspiration; Nightmare, Effects, Schizoid, and Phobia all have obvious influence from Italian thrillers. Some giallos themselves, such as the gruesome Macabre, continued to find an audience in the 80's.

While 1978 is credited as being the start of the Golden Age of Slasher Movies, 1980 certainly hit it's booming stride, and many fans will argue that it is the best year for the genre. See what you think - here are the 29 slasher of 1980.

Anthropophagus - Set in the Greek islands, an American student and her friends encounter a disfigured man who practices cannibalism. Available on DVD. View Trailer

Blood Beach - A man and his ex-fiancĂ© go searching for a creature that is killing people on the beach by mutilating them and sucking them into the sand. View Trailer

The Boogeyman - A young boy kills his mother’s abusive boyfriend while his sister Lacey watches in the mirror. Years later, Lacey finds that same mirror, now shattered. Everywhere a shard of glass appears a grisly murder takes place. Available on DVD. View Trailer.  

The Children - A school bus filled with young children drives through toxic nuclear waste, transforming its passengers into bloodthirsty, adult-killing zombies. Available on DVD. View TV Spot

Christmas Evil - Ever since he learned the 'truth' about Santa, Harry's met with naysayers who mock him for his yuletide beliefs. But he wants people to get the presents they deserve, even if that means giving the gift of murder! Available on DVD

Don’t Answer the Phone! - A Vietnam veteran/ Los Angeles photographer goes around strangling young women while taunting psychologist Lindsay Gale by calling her radio show to describe his misogynistic ways. Available on DVD. View Trailer

Don’t Go in the House - Donald's sadistic mother burned him as a child as a means of punishment. Now he seeks out women like her to bring home and burn alive with a flame thrower. Available on DVD. View Trailer

Effects - Cinematographer Dominic travels to a remote mountain location to work on a low-budget horror film and, along with beautiful crew member Celeste, begins to suspect that behind the scenes the director is making a snuff film. Available on DVD

The Exterminator - Vietnam vet John Eastland launches a bloody vendetta against the New York underworld when his best friend is brutally beaten by a vicious street gang. Available on Blu-ray & DVD. View Trailer

Fade to Black - A shy, lonely, film geek goes on a killing spree against those who bully him, while at the same time he stalks his favorite actress. Available on DVD. View Trailer

The Fog - On the night of Antonio Bay's 100th anniversary, a fogbank rolls in carrying dark figures and the masts of an ancient schooner, and soon the specters of long-murdered sailors descend upon the town. Available on Blu-ray and also on DVD. View Trailer

Friday the 13th  Many years after a rash of unsolved and unexplained deaths, scenic Camp Crystal Lake reopens, complete with young, naive, sex-hungry counselors... and a maniacal killer. Available on Blu-Ray and also on DVD. View Trailer

Funeral Home - An easily frightened 16-year old girl is called to stay with her grandmother in the hopes of helping her turn an old funeral home into a bed-and-breakfast. But unexplained murders around the home quickly make this vacation spot a nightmare. Available on DVD. View Trailer

The Ghost Dance - An Indian medicine man is possessed by the spirit of a long-deceased tribal warrior, turning him into a homicidal maniac. View Trailer

He Knows You’re Alone - A reluctant bride-to-be is stalked by a serial killer bent on killing her and her friends as a cop whose own bride had been killed years before tries to stop him. Available on DVD. View Trailer

House on the Edge of the Park - A psychotic rapist, along with his mentally challenged sidekick, works his way into a party of bored socialites and turns it into a night of torture. Available on DVD. View Trailer

Macabre - A middle-aged woman moves into a room at a New Orleans house where her blind landlord becomes suspicious that she is having an affair... with her dead adulterous lover! Available on DVD. View Trailer

Maniac - Haunted by the traumas of unspeakable childhood abuse, Frank Zito is driven to stalk the seedy streets of New York City and slaughter young women. As he begins a relationship with a beautiful photographer, his his vile compulsions remain. Available on Blu-Ray and also on DVD. View Trailer

Motel Hell - A deranged farmer and his equally twisted sister kidnap unsuspecting travelers and use them as part of their smoked meat recipe! Available on DVD. View Trailer

Mother’s Day - When three college roommates decide to rekindle their comraderie with a camping trip, they become the unwitting prey of a very dysfunctional family. Available on DVD. View Trailer

New Year’s Evil - A punk-rock singer hosting a New Year's Eve celebration gets a phone call from a madman claiming that when New Year's strikes in each time zone, someone will be murdered. View Trailer

Night of the Demon - A professor and his students investigate a series of disappearances that they believe may lead them to the legendary Bigfoot! Available on DVD

Nightmares - A frigid young actress traumatized by her mother s horrific death years earlier becomes a prime suspect when a series of brutal stabbings rocks her latest production. Available on DVD. View Trailer

Phobia - A psychiatrist involved in a radical new therapy comes under suspicion when his patients are murdered, each according to their individual phobias.

Prom Night - Four high school seniors hiding the truth of what happened to a ten-year-old girl for years are targeted by someone preparing revenge - a prom night killing spree! Available on DVD View Trailer

Schizoid - Julia, an advice columnist for the city newspaper is receiving anonymous notes threatening murder, while members of her group therapy session are being stabbed by an unknown assailant. View Trailer

The Silent Scream - A young co-ed finds a vacancy at a mansion suspects that something is not right at her new residence. When her fellow borders begin dying she must solve the mystery of the boarding house before she's next! Available on DVD. View Trailer

Terror on Tour - "The Clowns", a successful rock group, has an incredible stage performance that centers around mutilating theatrics and eventually real murder begins! View Trailer

Terror Train - A New Year's Eve fraternity masquerade party aboard a chartered train turns deadly when a psychotic classmate sets out for murderous revenge, taking on his victim's costumes as disguise. Available on DVD. View Trailer

To All a Good Night - After drugging their housemother and smuggled in their boyfriends, a christmas vacation frolic awaits five girl boarders at an exclusive finishing school... that is until people start to disappear... 

The Unseen - A reporter and her two friends accept the invitation of a friendly museum owner to board at his house. But unknown to the women, something unseen is living in the basement of the house. Available on DVD. View Trailer

Vengeance - After raping and murdering a family, four hoodlums kidnap and politician's daughter and her boyfriend, hoping to continue their horrifying rampage, but the victims have something in mind for the criminals as well.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for these lists, awesome to find this and look up slashers i wouldnt otherwise know about! thanks again