The hunt for 80s horror continues

If you’re itching for something from the 80s, but you feel like you’ve seen it all, here are four more you could check out. But should you?

BLIND DATE (1984)

If Eyes of Laura Mars, Dreamscape, and Looker melded reels, it would be something like this sci-fi slasher thriller, which hit me more with the VHS nostalgia than giving me the slasher feels.

An unseen psycho is attacking women—who always manage to have their tops off—and cutting them up with a scalpel. All we ever see is the scalpel. Sadly, there’s only one actual slit throat moment in this entire movie.

A dude whose girlfriend was raped by a group of men hasn’t seen her since the incident, so in between making love to coworker Kirstie Alley to the sounds of a cheesy 80s pop rock song, he sort of starts spying on his girlfriend (with binoculars while she stands naked in front of a window—something that was a regular occurrence in the 80s if movies have anything to say about it).

When the dude accidentally runs into a tree branch, he goes blind (yes, I just typed that) and is fit with a special device that lets him see images from reality in his head that often look and sound exactly like the video game Super Breakout…because he attaches it to his Atari 2600 (yes, I just typed that, too).

Basically, his special vision helps him track and chase the killer all over town. Not even good horror lighting and a melodramatic 80s horror score help this one serve as anything more than an awesome time capsule film.

DEMON OF PARADISE (1987)

This creature feature has nothing in terms of gore, but at least we see plenty of the rubber suit monster in the final act. Plus, it comes from the 80s.

A surprising explosion in the water of a resort town has locals believing a legendary creature has escaped from underwater. They’re right.

A female resort owner teams up with the sheriff to investigate as people are occasionally attacked by a creature. The creature first gives us a money shot 35 minutes in when it pops out of the water. And of course there’s another resort owner that uses the legend as a marketing tool and makes a game out of it for tourists.

Would you believe the monster comes on full force when it’s time for a big outdoor party?

There’s plenty of footage of the goofy creature running around the wild and being chased by a hunting team, but this is purely bottom of the barrel 80s VHS horror.

DEADLY DREAMS (1988)

I never saw Deadly Dreams back in the 80s, and I hesitated for a few years to pick up the Blu-ray, because the trailer just didn’t look like a horror movie to me. It’s easy to say it’s a slasher or that it’s like A Nightmare on Elm Street, but really, it’s a thriller in which a guy has repeated nightmares about being stalked by a hunter in a wolf mask who occasionally uses a hunting knife instead of a rifle. Mostly, he uses a rifle.

It starts with a family being blown away by a hunter at Christmas time. This lasts for less than five minutes, so I won’t be adding this to the holiday horror page because it really is not a Christmas movie.

One young child survives the massacre and we meet him as an adult. He has a dick friend and a dick brother. He meets a girl and begins a romance with her.

All the while, he keeps thinking he is being stalked by the hunter, and he has recurring nightmares that the hunter shoots someone in his life, and then just as the hunter is about to slit his throat with the hunting knife, he wakes up.

That’s it. That’s the whole movie. Over and over and over. And none of it is scary. Eventually, everyone ends up at the cabin in the woods where it all happened when he was a kid, and the film’s truth comes out…it’s a whodunit thriller, not a horror film.

DARKROOM (1989)

I wasn’t expecting a movie called Darkroom about a crazed photographer to take place at a farmhouse, but here we are with this bizarre little slasher.

A young woman returns home to spend time with her family. Her boyfriend, who has hair that could land him in the lineup of Night Ranger, comes to visit, and he’s a photographer.

Now that would be too obvious wouldn’t it?

Her sister has an ex-boyfriend who is kind of crazy and lives in a trailer home nearby.

Too obvious?

The film is a weak attempt at a whodunit as family members get killed off while the couple goes through typical growing pains of young love. The sister’s ex is running around being crazy, and then bodies start turning up.

Nothing in the way of scares or suspense here, and the kills are lame, but the killer does eventually infiltrate the house, leading to some good chase scenes.

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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