Here are two 80s flicks I’d seriously never heard of until one showed up on the Chiller Network and another showed up in a 4-in-1 DVD horror boxed set I purchased. So I look at The Visitors and Monster High!
THE VISITORS (1988)
Swedish film The Visitors is a pretty typical haunted house movie. A family begins to experience weird things in their house…namely, the new wallpaper gets all messed up. Dark shadows and thunder and lighting set the tone, along with something mysterious going bump in the night. But for a change, it’s the father who thinks there are ghosts and the mother who thinks he’s crazy!
The Visitors is definitely loaded with atmosphere and is effectively chilling, but a whole lot of nothing happens. Dad pulls a Poltergeist and calls in a ghost hunter. Much of the movie involves the two of them hanging out together—and he seems to have a more intimate relationship with the ghost hunter guy than with his wife.
While they intensely explore all the strange stuff going on around them, the constant buildup and promise of terror really doesn’t go anywhere. Eventually, it’s up to the family to face off against the ghosts alone, in a combination of Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, and Burnt Offerings…complete with the wife crashing her car through the house. WTF? In the end, there’s something very “family movie” about this horror flick.
MONSTER HIGH (1989)
More of a sci-fi/horror spoof, Monster High came just a few years too late to be something I would have watched a million times on cable as a teenager. It is made for 80s teens, and comes complete with a horror rock theme song.
Two goofy aliens bring a doomsday device to earth—which, when detonated, is actually a guy named Mr. Armageddon. Mr Armageddon is unleashed on a high school and the chaos begins. He bangs and kills girls—then checks them off in a yearbook with blood. He uses an instant condom spray to make a student a zombie. He brings a mummy to life. He creates a huge marijuana monster that roams the halls of the school.
Monster High is stupid and idiotic, but it’s also 80s teen flick perfection with a likeable cast of kids put to the task of stopping the alien…by going head-to-head with them in a basketball game.
Shut up, haters! It was the 80s—when Teen Wolf was also a basketball player and not a little muscle hottie who snuggled up to all his equally hot male buddies.
Zombie dental dam?