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40 Years Of Terror! Top 10 Horror Movies of 1982

Well, here we are once again; another 40 years from the time some of the most explosive and memorable horror movies hit the public’s eyeballs and I’m here to celebrate this all-important milestone for what might be, the greatest year of horror ever! Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve said that about 1981, but the following year is really giving 81′ a kick in the ass as far as tried and true horror classics.

1982 is a year for innovations in the genre of Sci-Fi and the Paranormal. Filmmakers really lit a fire under the ass of the ghostly corner of the genre, helping us understand just how truly terrifying the unseen world of the dead can be. The torment in some of these films is truly disturbing- and with it mostly involving women, films like Poltergeist, Amityville II, and The Entity adds the undertone smack-in-the-face reminder of the long-standing theme of the horrors of reality for women that we have long endured. Rape, manipulation, and assault from an unseen force is a metaphor for a horrible truth that occurs on the daily basis- which in turn just makes the film all the more terrifying.

In the arena of Sci-Fi and practical effects, 82′ is a gold standard. This year, the genre really stepped up the shock value bracket with a lot of in-your-face gore and unforgettable scenes of movie magic that modern makeup wizards fall back upon as a refresher. Perhaps with the exception of using real skeletal remains in the final edits. Of which, worth noting was rather common back in the day in terms of production cost. Nowadays, it’s become rather taboo but the art of using real skeletons and human parts in film dates back to as early as Universal’s Frankenstein.

Yep. That’s a real dead dude there.

Undeniable classic horror tops the list with a string of strong, original horror films we’ll revisit along the way- including a few slasher sequel classics. The most interesting aspect perhaps of all via this list is that when a lot of these films were released, they were universally panned and hated by the collective. Now they’ve grown on society like a titular parasite invading our senses showing us now what audiences and asshole critics couldn’t see back then. Kind of like “The Thing” hopping from body to body taking off the blinders wowing the shit out of modern cinemaniacs.

Honestly, isn’t this everyone’s face via a first viewing of The Thing?

Anyways, let’s get to it!

10. Swamp Thing

Some of you may scoff that I decided to put Wes Craven’s superhero horror film Swamp Thing over other selections that didn’t quite make the cut, but my opinions’ are not like most everyone else- which is perhaps why some of you even bother to read my weirdo blog in the first place. Gotta throw in a wrench to keep ya’ll on your toes! But, at the end of the day, fantastic performances by Adrienne Barbeau and Ray Wise solidify a quirky, campy, and downright guilty pleasure story that is SWAMP THING. It’s entertaining as hell that tells us the origins of the Bayou creature at a steady pace that never drags, allowing for us to enjoy this underrated gem for exactly what it is.

Also, Wes Craven guys. Grab it here at Amazon!

9. Pieces

Before Jigsaw played games, Timmy went for the throat and just fucked your whole world up.

This absolutely bonkers piece of slasher cinema might be one of the cheesiest horror flicks I’ve ever seen paired with the most gruesome kill scenes- you can’t help but laugh and love it. Pieces is a bit of a hot mess but in the best of ways; and if you’d argue there isn’t such a thing, watch the movie and you’ll 100% agree. It’s a straightforward slasher with both tense moments and ridiculous sub-plotting as far as trying to throw us on who the actual killer is. Which makes it kind of rather charming. What else can I say other than it’s a fun ride to take watching a girl get her legs chainsawed off in the corner of a locker room. Some mighty fine 80s’ horror right there.

Grab it here on Amazon!

8. The Entity

I saw The Entity at an entirely too young of an age and this movie scared the ever-loving shit out of me- and still kind of does as the loosely based true tale of a woman’s torture with a paranormal spirit will tend to do that to a gal.

Based on the notorious Doris Bither case of 1974, The Entity follows a single mother being raped, over and over again by a stalker spirit. Much like in the real-life case, the movie itself is an engaging tragedy and sexploitation of the female body walking a tightrope line between provocative terror and flat-out fetish. It can be a hard watch for victims of SA, in which case this ain’t for you at all. But if you can stomach it, The Entity can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of the supernatural thrillers out there and Barbara Hershey is just exceptional in her role as a distraught victim of this pervo spirit.

Pick up the collector’s edition on Amazon here!

7. Tenebre

The master of Giallo Dario Argento, and the film that was successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK up until 1999! Tenebre is literally a body of horror art, making a profound statement about the duplicity of society. Which is probably why it ruffled some feathers along with all the insane violence.

Tenebrae follows an American horror novelist Peter Neal who is promoting his book in Rome, where his arrival also coincides with some gruesome murders where the bodies are plastered with pages of his latest release, “Tenebre”. Argento’s greatest hit is jam-packed with fantastic cinematography and comes correct as an 80’s Italian horror film- complete with a European synthesizer soundtrack. Not to mention the movie is just pretty to look at. Even the kills are just as beautiful as they are brutal.

This movie will probably be higher up on more snooty cinephile lists; however, I am neither a movie snob nor a proclaimed “master cinephile”. I mean, I DID put Pieces on this list if you need a reminder. I’m just an asshole with a blog that has been a fan of horror movies since my diaper days. But anyway, it’s a great watch, so grab it here on Amazon!

6. Friday The 13th: Part 3

Friday The 13th Part 3 (in 3D as that’s the true title) is a monumental addition to not only the franchise but this list itself as this IS the first time Jason wears the now-iconic hockey mask. Also, it was filmed in Super 3D which just made it extra cool.

Even without the 3D gimmick, the second sequel to basically the king of the 80s’ slasher genre, stands on its own as a solid horror film. It’s also the only film in the series where the victims’ AREN’T camp counselors, but rather a gal Chris, and some friends visiting her childhood home at Higgins Haven, Chris’ father’s old farm which just so happens to be sitting right next to old Camp Crystal Lake. What a coincidence! Between the oh-so-extra kills that play off the 3D experience and Harry Manfredini’s score better than it’s even been, Part III is an important entry as it truly gives a visual birth to the now iconic Jason Voorhees that will all know and love.

Nab it here at Amazon for only $7!

5. Amityville II: The Possession

Amityville II takes everything we know about the first film, throws some steroids and fire on it, and serves it well done with a side of what-in-the-actual-fuck.

Penned by Halloween III‘s Tommy Lee Wallace, and Italian director Damiano Damiani, Amityville II was destined to be a wild ride. The sequel is actually a prequel with the Montellis loosely based on the real-life DeFeo family. The Ronnie Defeo character, Sonny Montelli, can’t live up to his asshole Dad’s (Burt Young) ridiculous expectations, and thanks to some demonic entities, the kid finally snaps back. While I feel bad for the family obviously, honestly, fuck the dad here. There’s a deleted scene where the father Anthony is anally raping Mrs. Montelli.

This entry is actually based on both Defeo’s ever-changing stories about the murders, and Hans Holtzer’s wildly controversial book, “Murder in Amityville”- where the author speculates as to exactly why Ronnie Defeo killed his entire family. The disturbing, incest relationship Sonny has with his sister Patricia, a volatile parallel between Ronnie and his father, and the speculation of the home being built on an Indian Burial ground all make it into this twisted true-crime retelling. Coupled with a demon possession plot, makes Amityville II one of the most unforgettable, and quite frankly, one of the most horrifying horror films I’ve ever seen. I personally think it’s way scarier than the first movie.

Grab it here at Amazon!

4. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

A month after writer Tommy Lee Wallace’s Amityville II: The Possession was released, his directorial effort of the highly-anticipated sequel of the Halloween franchise hit theaters in October of 1982- to well, a lot of pissed off fans.

The fact that Michael Myers was this time, not the killer and Season of the Witch took place in an entirely different universe where the prior films were just fantasy fiction, really rubbed fans the wrong way as they felt they had been swindled into a franchise they didn’t recognize- at least, this is according to my own family who are some of the biggest Halloween fans I know and put me on the path of horror movie righteousness. It makes sense; however, this sort of attitude virally panned this entry without giving it a proper chance. Over the years, Halloween III: Season of the Witch has developed a massive cult following, and the red-headed step-child is finally getting the recognition it deserves: as a fantastic piece of horror movie Halloween goodness and dare I say, the Halloweenist of all the Halloween movies. Yeah, I said it.

Grab the beautiful collector’s edition here!

3. Creepshow

What happens when George A. Romero, Tom Savani, and Stephen King have an orgy lovechild? Creepshow that’s what and the goddamn greatest anthology there ever was, and ever will be.

Also, now we’ve ventured into back to back Tom Atkins. Fantastic.

Taking the excitement and forbidden fruit of childhood horror comics and visually splattering it on screen into five, cinematically stunning tales of terror, Creepshow is the Horror God’s gift to fans. I don’t even know what to say that hasn’t already been said about it, but I can state this: It perfectly nails what it feels like to be a part of the horror community and how exactly it feels to be a horror junkie in general. Disapproval from those who will fail to ever understand while we quietly disappear into the background with our beloved fetish- and yes, also silently plotting our revenge on them. I’ll never go as far as Leslie Neilson, but I’m not opposed to dousing someone’s home in 1,000 cockroaches to those who scoff at the horror community.

Pick it up here kiddies!

2. The Thing

Much like with Halloween III, John Carpenter’s The Thing was universally shit on by critics. This right here, ladies and gentlemen, is why NEVER listen to a glorified voice on the matter because 95% of the time, they don’t know jack from shit on what fans like. Also, goes without saying never, EVER read a horror movie review that isn’t from a reputable horror site. You’re just going to get steered in the wrong direction from a bunch of jackoffs that don’t understand the genre anyway.

That being said, The Thing is quite possibly, the greatest Sci-Fi horror flick of all time- and a remake at that! For me, The Thing is constantly picking a fight with Ridley Scott’s Alien as the top contender spot; both with similar themes of claustrophobia in isolation. Also with members of the crew from both films serving as a possible threat to each other. However, in The Thing, the monster’s agenda is prominent and it’s survival is of the utmost importantace. Every part of the “Thing” is an individual life form with its own survival instinct, meaning it will sever itself in half if that means it can escape from danger faster. All it needs to turn into another creature it just a sample of their DNA, absorb it, which allows it to take on the copied subject’s appearance, memories, and mannerisms. I really wouldn’t want an entire world populated with these things. Would you?

I might even get some shit here for putting this as the runner-up, but I gotta go with my gut here on this one. Relive the terror here!

1. Poltergeist

Written by Stephen Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, albeit debate still stands on where all true credit for the film goes, Poltergeist is the horror champion of 1982 for all the right reasons.

Malevolent spirits stealing a child and tormenting the Freelings play heavy on the innocence factor. Things are a lot scarier when purity is involved- much like when little Regan turned into a green-slime puking demon in The Exorcist. The anguish and trauma the family, in particular, Mom Diane (JoBeth Williams) goes through, you feel deep in your bones. Not to mention all the real-world terror and loss felt offscreen that became legendary in the film world; you know, the whole “Poltergeist Curse” thing.

Poltergeist is hauntingly beautiful. Foregoing a traditional sinister musical score for the film, we’re embraced by a sweet, yet haunting lullaby while we all know a five-year-old girl is alone in some horrific purgatory with a bunch of ghosts clawing at her to “lead them into the light”. The movie starts as innocent and carefree as any film, and the intensity grows as we roll along. Brother and sister playing? Mom taking a bath? Dude eating a bag of Cheetos? All terrifying. We all know something bad is coming. We just don’t know when or how. Until an ugly mug of a beast ghost shows up to let them know they are not in control of a damn thing.

Plus, let’s not forget this magnificent horror treasure induced a giant fear of clowns among the masses. The power of cinema folks.

At the end of the day, what makes Poltergeist the end-all for horror in 82′ is that ultimately, it’s a tour-de-force of filmmaking. There’s so much going on beyond the terrifying surface that says a lot about America, suburbia, and society in general. Here we have a film set in the early ‘80s, opening with the national anthem, where a yuppie dad (Craig T. Neilson) who builds homes basically on top of each other (and on cemetery grounds for that matter) is reading a Ronald Reagan biography. Of course, this is unbeknownst to him, but not his boss, who knew damn well what they building this sweet neighborhood on. Economic gain and greed while they attempt to erase history in the process. Reaganomics everyone.

Travel back to horror suburbia here!

So there you have it, a fine year for horror movies indeed. Also, my birth year and have no shame in claiming any of these. So let’s hear it- what’s YOUR favorite horror from 1982?

The 15 Best Horror Films From 1988

Call me an old dried up fart-face, but it’s just so hard to accept that the legion of films we’re about to dive into, have surpassed the dirty 30. However, here we are in 2021 and our beloved movies first discovered by young horror fans at our local corner video store, have aged like fine wine along with us- and I’m a throwing a party for these glorious horror classics.

The wonderful years of ‘86 and ‘87 are pretty much unanimously considered from all of us, important years for the horror genre. Churning out such classics such as The Fly and Hellraiser throughout those time periods, paved the way for another banner year for horror fans in 1988; giving us a ridiculously awesome amount of films that still manage to give us cinematic boners over thirty years later.

Speaking from the gut here, the year of ‘88 may just be one of the greatest years for the genre unofficially dubbed the “Slasher Decade”. From the beautifully constructed sequel to the above- mentioned Hellraiser, to the introduction of one of horror’s greatest tiny terrors in the form of a plastic doll, these movies filled our little horror hearts with all the fuzzies. For some even, opened up the door to the wonderful world of horror cinema upon seeing the hypnotizing VHS artwork that lined the horror shelves. Because as we know, video rental stores were all the jazz in this era and served as our savior from the word of mouth for the next cool movie to check out. So without further adieu, let’s retro rewind back to 1988 and look at some of the year’s best and brightest of horror!

15. “Night of the Demons

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Night of the Demons is universally well-known among horror fans, especially from this tubular decade. Even if you haven’t seen this gem, you sure as hell remember that unforgettable VHS cover art from the video rental horror shelf. Hell, it’s what prompted me to rent the damn thing as a kid. Anyway, I feel like this delicious slice of cheesy horror isn’t mentioned nearly enough. So on the list this Linnea Quigley masterpiece goes!

Demons mixes up the perfect blend of dark humor and campy horror the ‘80s era is known to churn out. Night of the Demons pulls off this combo so well that it’s almost like the perfect example of a classic ‘80s genre film that we’ve see parodied over and over again. (Like the countless titles involving the fantastic word massacre). We have a basic set-up of a bunch of teens partying it up on Halloween night at, well, of course, a funeral parlor-duh. Because nothing bad can come of that in a horror movie, right? Even better, they perform a séance and a glorious chase between humans and demons ensues throughout the movie. Also worth mentioning is the movie’s kick-ass soundtrack which holds one of my favorite intro instrumentals of any ‘80s horror film. Give that one a listen sometime!

14. “Maniac Cop

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If you can’t appreciate this little 1988 treasure starring the man, the myth, the mustache, Tom Atkins and equally legendary Bruce Campbell, I don’t think I want to know you- period. The movie even has the cheesiest and greatest self-titled rap song that can only rival Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready for Freddy” tune. If that alone doesn’t sell you off the bat, nothing further will so just skip this entry entirely.

In a sort of twisted Toxic Avenger/ Robocop mash-up, a no funny business cop is sent to jail on, really a minor technicality, and is mercilessly beaten to death (or so we think anyway) by the housed inmates he had sent there. A little private justice inmate style if you will. After being moved from the cell to the morgue, enter the king of chins Bruce and a dead wife that has been pinned on him. Along with a fair amount of strange murders of both criminals and innocents alike. Well, the Bruce is an adamant one and sets out to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt. And finds an old, thought to be dead colleague now a vengeful disfigured nutbag, behind the murders. Beautiful, isn’t it?

13. “Phantasm 2

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Plainly speaking, I’m not a huge fan of the whole Phantasm franchise. (Cut me some slack, we all have different tastes.) However, if I were to choose only one from the series to watch, Phantasm 2 would most definitely be the winner.

Continuing with returning characters Mike and Reggie, Phantasm 2 picks up several years later with Mike institutionalized on the belief that the events in the first film were nothing short of his own wild imagination. Oh, if only it were that simple Mike. After being released from the asylum and reunited with Reggie, the pair embark on a journey that leads them straight to the forever now iconic, Tall Man. And if you know anything about the Phantasm movies, you know damn well it’s time to get weird- and it sure does. But in the greatest of ways.  

Almost ten years later and a larger budget the second time around, the effects gave away a greater nightmarish look to those epic, murderous spheres. Which I think we can all appreciate.  Aside from the elevated effects, Angus Scrimm is the glue that holds it all together with his snarlish expressions and the feeling of uneasiness in his presence as the Tall Man. What a legend and is still sorely missed by us all.

12. “Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear

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Infamous for his zombie films, George Romero gave us something different, and quite special in 1988- Ella the homicidal monkey. Also, goddamn if this one isn’t underrated and not talked about nearly enough. This adorable little monkey was absolutely terrifying and I frigging love it.

Ella is brought about when an athlete turned quadriplegic due to an accident, needs some help with daily duties and a little-added cheer in his now forever changed life. Enter Ella, an experimental monkey injected with human brain tissue turned service monkey. At first, the pair are actually adorable as hell. They really seem to take a shine to each other. However, Ella’s infatuation with her human friend takes a dark turn into some Marky Mark Fear type jealousy and she becomes a homicidal ball of fur and cuteness. She might be batshit insane, but she’s  pinch-the-cheeks delightful doing it. Which makes the idea that much more terrifying. She’s even adorable when she takes an angry piss on her once master and he calls her, “a slime” Actually, I laughed pretty damn hard at that.

11. “Waxwork

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Ok, seriously: Fuck Madame Tussaud’s. Let’s hit up a Waxwork!

Imagine stepping into your favorite monster’s world. What would you do, and are you even prepared for it? Waxwork answers these questions for a couple of college students, (Zach Galligan-Gremlins, and Deborah Foreman- April Fool’s Day) among the crew. The six friends visit a Waxwork exhibit run by none other than David Warner (The Omen) that displays some iconic horror wax figures in all its glory. However, this magical house of wax can also give you a run for your money and life if you step inside one of the displays. You’ll end up in your favorite monster’s world and possibly become a part of it forever in the form of wax.

1988’s Waxwork is campy fan service entertainment at its damn finest and should be treated as such. If you love the classics Night of the Living Dead, Dracula, and Frankenstein, it’s kind of hard not to crack a satisfied smile during a viewing of Waxwork. Sure, it’s no masterpiece, but I dare you not to have some fuzzy feelings towards it after a watch. It just makes you feel you damn good about being a horror fan.

10. “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

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1988 brought about the much-anticipated return of a horror icon from a seven-year hiatus, and after a foul outcry from fans who were pretty displeased with Season of the Witch. Welp, studios gave in and resurrected Mikey from the dead to unleash hell in Haddonfield once more. And although I have no issues with Halloween III personally, (in fact I frigging love it), I’m forever glad The Return happened as well.

The Return brings a once vegetable Myers awaken by the mere utter of the word “niece” and back to Haddonfield to finish off his one remaining family member. We get another dose of Donald Pleasance back as the ever-persistent hunter of Myers, and we’re introduced to one of today’s modern scream queens, Danielle Harris as Michael’s niece. It doesn’t hold that same type of magic as the original two sister films, but has its own spark of charm that has kept it a fan favorite with Halloween fans.

It may not be everyone’s favorite chapter of the life and times of Myers; but in between the Autumn essence of those beautiful opening credits that continues its feel throughout the film and Reverend Jackson P. Sayer, lies a pretty damn good sequel to the Halloween films.

9. “The Blob

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Not everyone loves a remake of a true classic. But, in the tradition of The Thing and The Fly, once again a cinematic remake proves that it can be better than the original. Chuck Russell’s The Blob not only is superior to the 1958 sci-fi film, but more grotesque and memorable as well. Russell deserves all the praise here guys. Think about it for a second; how the hell do you take a campy B-Movie monster that looks like a mound of Jell-O and make it scary as fuck? Throw in some horrific death scenes at the hands of the Blob, have it swallow a child, and fling some body parts around the screen. Also, instead of using the “it came from outer space” gimmick, the thing was a government biological experiment. Which sort of makes it that much more horrifying. As the saying goes, “No beast on land, sea, or in the air is more dangerous than the man who rules the land.”

With a pre-Saw Shawnee Smith and Kevin Dillon taking on the ever-growing eater of children and star quarterbacks, The Blob is a gruesome step-up from its predecessor. There are a few cheese moments that take away from the more serious tone of this version. Like for example, Meg (Smith) shouting one-liners at the blob with a machine gun in hand. But hey, it’s the ‘80s. A slice of cheese is to be expected and especially when dealing with a man-eating, two-ton wad of Bill Cosby endorsed dessert.

8. “Friday the 13th 7: The New Blood

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The seventh chapter of The Friday series brings about super zombie Jason and the man who breathed new life into the Crystal Lake slasher, Kane Hodder. Which makes The New Blood something really special when you look at the bigger picture. You can easily pick apart Hodder’s Jason from all others who have played the icon.His deep breaths, the menacing stance plus the way he moves around, make Hodder’s portrayal the most memorable, and a favorite among us fans. This being the first time Hodder slipped on the hockey mask, makes for a monumental moment in horror history indeed.  

The New Blood introduces us to Tina, a telekinetic teen brought to Crystal Lake for some therapy per her asshole doctor. During one of Tina’s episodes, she manages to raise Jason from the depths of the lake, and thus we can begin our official Friday the 13th film. The premise of a Carrie-like foe for Jason may seem a bit silly to some. But in the same breath, we’re talking about an undead being that has been resurrected FIVE times to maintain his excellent teenage kill record. So, come on. It’s not that bizarre really. Plus, I think it’s pretty funny to watch Jason struggle to kill this broad.

7. “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

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You’re probably noticing a pattern of slasher sequels here. The jig is up- I’m a big-time sucker for the continuations of our horror icons. And Dream Master is no exception.

Aside from Dream Warriors, Nightmare’s fourth movie in the franchise is definitely my favorite of the batch. The Westin Hills survivors return in Dream Master along with a new group of fine, fresh meat attempting to carry on with a normal life. But hey, nothing is normal about being an Elm Street kid. Freddy is awoken once again, by the mighty power of flaming dog whiz no less, and picks off the kids one by one.

Dream Master has everything going for it in a great sequel. A strong, likeable female lead (Lisa Wilcox), and a vengeful Freddy with just the right amount of sense of humor, (I’ll never NOT laugh at,“How’s this for a wet dream?!”). The soundtrack kicks all the ass, and we got some really unique and memorable teenage kills. Sheila’s death and sunken in dummy stand-in inside the classroom gave me nightmares for weeks. Also, a chick turns into a cockroach. What more can you ask for?

6. “Pumpkinhead

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Yet, another 1988 film with the balls to kill a kid, and the birth of one of horror’s coolest looking monsters. Add in the mix a vengeance-seeking Lance Henriksen and one crazy looking witch, and we got ourselves a national horror treasure.

Henrikson plays a grieving father, Ed Harley, who is hell-bent on making the reckless jerks who killed his son pay dearly. In doing so, he visits a supposed witch to seek help. The witch warns him that vengeance comes with a price, but Ed gives no fucks. On the witch’s orders, Harley digs up a disfigured corpse, brings it to the witch who revives it with blood from both Harley and his deceased son, and boom- Pumpkinhead on the loose!

What makes Pumpkinhead so damn special aside from Henrikson and a unique new monster movie, is the feeling that no one really gains a victory in this film. It’s all rather, sort of depressing when you think about. This isn’t your typical good vs evil horror flick. I see it more or less as a grotesque Aesop Fable that genuinely evokes emotions of the viewers. A monster story that makes you…feel things. Can’t really say a lot of horror movies on this list can pull that off. But Pumpkinhead is sure one of them.

5. “Killer Klowns From Outer Space

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Before I say anything else, I just want to express my great sadness that there’s never been a sequel to this glorious festival of cotton candy cocoons and toxic cream pies. Such a travesty.

The title says it all really. A flying circus tent of horrors lands in a small town full of extraterrestrial painted nightmares looking to feed. Only a select few are hip to the fact that a race of alien clowns have invaded and are harvesting civilians of Crescent Cove for supper, so it’s up to them to stop it.

For a little B-movie about alien clowns no less, becoming such a cult-smash over the past 30 years, is something that cannot and will not be ignored. Made from the minds of the Chiodos Bros, Killer Klowns is raunchy, silly, and damn enjoyable whether you’re on your first or 100th viewing. I’m pretty sure we’ll still be talking about this ridiculously amazing movie in the next thirty years. All hail the mighty Jojo Klownzilla.

4. “The Serpent and the Rainbow

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Of all of the wonderful index of film from Wes Craven, it seems odd to me that The Serpent and the Rainbow often gets the shaft. Not today friends, not today.

The black voodoo magic movie starring President Alien ass-kicker Bill Pullman as a professor in search for “zombie powder”, was inspired by the novel from Wade Davis. The Harvard scientist Davis dug deep into the culture of Haiti’s rich history of voodoo, with a specific focus on the undead. The movie inspired by the intriguing novel slowly burns with magnificent detail about the voodoo culture. So much so, there really hasn’t been anything since quite like it. Over the years, fans and critics have slammed the film for its inaccuracy in regards to the source material, but I feel like that’s just a bit unfair. The deal was made for a fictional horror movie loosely based on the book, not a documentary. And in my humble opinion, tops the pops as far as psychological thrillers go.

The imagery is entertainingly gruesome and my skin crawls every time I revisit this Craven joint. If you’ve yet to see this gem, be warned claustrophobes. There’s a coffin scene you won’t soon forget for years to come.

3. “ Hellbound: Hellraiser II

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In regards to horror sequels, there isn’t too many out there that rival the original. However, Hellraiser’s sequel Hellbound certainly lives up to its predecessor and dare I say, slightly improves on it as well.

Director Tony Randel takes us into Cenobite hell with the continuing saga of Kristy; this time around in a mental institution. (Recalling the events from the first film, that would drive anyone to the edge of pure insanity.) Of course, we don’t stay in that setting for long and Kristy is granted access to a grand tour of Hell and an incredible visual expansion into Clive Barker’s beautiful Hellraiser universe. Speaking of which, is so wonderfully crafted, it’s ridiculously hard not to view it as a true piece of art in motion. The makeup effects are the excellence of execution. A great example is the manufacturing of cenobites, particularly the scene where Julia pushes Channard into the labyrinth elevator. In addition, we get to see Doug Bradley in pure form, as we get to witness Pinhead’s origins. It’s just straight up incrediballs.

I’d also like to note, if you plan on revisiting this gorgeous piece of work this year for it’s dirty 30, I highly recommend the uncut version. There’s only three minutes more of the film, but trust me. Those 180 seconds make a huge difference.  

2. “They Live

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Simply stating John Carpenter’s cult classic They Live was ahead of its time, might just be the goddamn understatement of the cinematic century.

Starring the Rowdy one the late Roddy Piper, Carpenter’s film about the world’s elite and society’s blindness towards an underlying evil is absolute brilliance. Based on Ray Nelson’s short story “Eight O’Clock In The Morning”, They Live is one of those rare films that forces us as viewers to question our world and surroundings. A homeless drifter named Nada, (Piper), discovers that the upper class of society are in fact aliens incognito and manipulating society to spend money, breed, and blindly accept their status in the world with subliminal messages. Via the mass media and advertising, constant commands are hidden to obey and conform. In other words, the truth.

They Live is just as relevant today as it was then. In the film, the rulers are portrayed as a completely different race that perceives humans as inferior – something that can easily be correlated to our elected politicians. The presence of these strong messages is one of the reasons They Live became somewhat of a cult-classic, despite the fact that it was panned by movie critics upon its first release. 30 years later, the movie’s statement still holds plenty of ground; and quite frankly, freakishly realistic. Now that my friends, is some scary shit.

I really struggled here not putting this at numero uno. Alas, there’s only one little guy who could possibly obtain that kind of voodoo power over me and my love for the Hot Rod…

1. “Child’s Play

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Well actually, it’s no surprise really that Chucky is, the greatest attribute to horror to come out of ‘88. Spawning six sequels over the span of thirty years, Chucky and the Child’s Play series has managed to capture our hearts, (and souls), with his wise-cracking, murderous shenanigans. And we can’t seem to get enough of this Good Guy.

We’ve seen the whole killer doll plot before Chucky’s debut, but never anything quite like this. We have to give a lot of credit to the casting of Brad Dourif as the voice behind the two-foot Lakeshore Strangler. Dourif has a strong, menacing presence in his voice (remember the Gemini Killer), yet in the same breath can be quite comical as well. The moment Chucky lets Karen know he’s indeed alive paired with various obscene insults, made you jump out of your seat initially, then slump back in a goddamn giggle.

“I’ll teach you to fuck with me!”

Almost as good as that super random, “Fuck you” in the elevator.

Originally titled “Batteries not Included”, and then “Blood Buddy” before the decided name of Child’s Play, 1988 gave birth to a legendary icon in the genre we love and cherish so deeply. Apart from the iconic status, the film truly holds its place firmly as a horror classic. Directed by Tom Holland and written by Don Mancini, Child’s Play raised the stakes and opened the door for the deadly doll genre to come out and play once again.

Thanks for thirty years of horror you wonderful, ugly little shit.

I just couldn’t help myself.