Looking at 4 of the not so greats of the late 80s

But you gotta love them anyway—or at least, have them in your DVD collection if you’re an 80s fanatic like me. It’s time to look at obscurities Bates Motel, The Undertaker, Night Feeder, and Prime Evil.



3 decades before Bates Motel, there was…Bates Motel. There shouldn’t have been.

This made-for-TV flick pretends Psycho II & III didn’t happen and then sort of borrows from the plot of Psycho II.

Bud Cort (Invaders from Mars, Love at Stake, Out of the Dark, Brain Dead) plays a guy who was locked away with Norman Bates for all those years and became his good friend. Norman dies and leaves his motel to Bud, who decides to reopen the motel.

bates motel boarded up

Being as cheesy as late 80s made-for-TV horror can get, this one is all whimsy and bogus scares. Bud makes some friends—including Lori Petty, who he discovers squatting in the Bates house dressed as a chicken (that’s how bad this crap is)—and begins renovating the place.

bates motel chicken

He sees signs of Mrs. Bates in the window upstairs, and her actual body is dug up during the renovation.

bates motel mrs bates

However, that storyline is suddenly forgotten because…

The motel opens, and some woman comes to stay in a room to commit suicide. She is inexplicably transported back in time to a high school prom, where she dances with Jason Bateman and gets lectured by all these teen ghosts that committed suicide and urge her not to do it.

bates motel jason bateman

Their intervention works. What the frick is this movie?

bates motel cemetery

Back in the original storyline, we get an absurd Scooby Doo ending. I can’t with this film…yet now that it’s finally on DVD, I just had to have it to complete my Psycho collection.

bates motel masked figure 


undertaker cover

If you catch this one on Amazon Prime, it begins with a shot-on-video hair band/aerobics girls intro credits sequence. The Blu-ray release from Vinegar Syndrome leaves all that out while inserting a whole bunch of good horror stuff later on that had been lost from previous releases of the film.

undertaker gym girls

Tragic to not have that intro sequence, because it’s awful in a really awesome late 80s nostalgic way…just like the rest of this disaster. Joe Spinell gets a chance to be a bit more of a campy killer than he was in Maniac and The Last Horror Film at the beginning of the 1980s. In essence, this movie needed to be made so that Joe could complete a sort of Maniac trilogy for the 80s just before his death in 89.

undertaker bodies

Joe’s a mortician whose business is drying up due to low death rates. So he decides to do something about that…by targeting all the physically fit aerobics girls from the gym.

Man, this movie is bad.

undertaker grab

However, the synth suspense music is quite worthy of the 1980s during the occasional cheesy gory kill scenes. In between all that, we watch a bunch of gym bunnies exercising or chatting while showing their boobs in the gym locker.

Meanwhile, Joe’s 80s-hot nephew figures out what he’s up to and attempts to convince the aerobics instructor that he’s trying to warn her of what’s going on and not stalking her.

undertaker shirtless nephew

Man, this movie is bad.

undertaker stairs

Really, Joe and the genuine 80s vibe are all it has going for it. And that’s enough for me.


night feeder 88 cover

Night Feeder is like The Undertaker’s new wave partner in criminally bad late 80s direct-to-video garbage. This is pure sleaze, loaded with bad acting, neon colored lights, awesomely gross gore, a boring as fuck plot, lots of boobs, and finally, a moment of totally nonsensical horror payoff.

night feeder 88 roommate jeans

Oh, and let’s not forget the perfectly ripped jeans. I had those jeans. Only I didn’t wear black underwear under them. Okay, I didn’t wear anything under them.

night feeder 88 first body

People are having their brains removed in a bad part of town, and somehow, a pretty reporter finds herself in the middle of all of it.

night feeder 88 hanger

But that doesn’t stop her from throwing one awesomely debased punk rock party. Like it seriously seems as if the director just went to an underground club and filmed.

night feeder 88 party

There are some cheesy gory deaths, no scares, a disgusting autopsy, spooky dreams, and that super trippy reveal at the end of the film of who…or what…is doing all the killing.

night feeder 88 melty face



How about a nice little Christmas time flick about a cult of satanic priests hoping to stay alive forever by sacrificing a virgin when everyone in the vicinity seems to be a slut?

I don’t even know what the hell I was trying to follow here. There were like three different times when I thought I was being introduced to the “main girl,” so I eventually just gave up trying to care about these cum buckets.

prime evil bad guy stalk

There are crazy priests and nuns, a pretty boring looking dude barging in on women—sometimes alone, sometimes when they’re with men—and killing them, and another creep in a mask barging in and attacking women.

prime evil masked killer

And there are some detectives on the case.

prime evil cult

Prime Evil culminates in a satanic ritual and orgy in a church (doesn’t it always?).

prime evil devil

Someone turns instantaneously into a devil after being stabbed and everyone turns old. The look on this guy’s face is what 80s horror was all about.

prime evil old

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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