Some of the greatest horror films of all time were made in the ’70’s: “The Exorcist” and “Carrie” were mainstream blockbusters, while low-budget shockers like “Last House On The Left” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” showed audiences a raw, stark look at the real-life psychopaths around us.
Meet The “Scream Queen!”
Jamie Lee Curtis became America’s “Scream Queen” thanks to the classic horror film “Halloween”, which signaled a move form supernatural horror to bloody, horrific slasher film.
“Halloween” was a perfect blend of fantastical evil played out in an everyday world.
In the 80’s, this bloody genre exploded with massive hits like “Friday The 13th” and “Nightmare On Elm Street”, which mixed evil killers with a gloosy 80’s look. Here is one of my favorite examples, starring Jamie Lee Curtis:
It was a decade of ever-increasing carnage and blood, with the most popular films always targeting teens who made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, usually while having sex…
Here are a few of the more interesting examples of this era, beginning with a movie that ushered in the “splat-facular 80’s” with a plot that paid serious “homage” to “Halloween”:
Sorority House Massacre!
A brand new blu-ray has bought back this 80’s slasher fest with this great tagline:
“A Slash Course In Absolute Terror!”
Check out the trailer:
In the 70’s classic “Halloween”, a young boy murders his entire family, except for his sister. He escapes the mental asylum to kill her as well. In this 80’s film, a little girl’s brother kills the whole family except for his sister. He is committed, she grows up, and eventually goes to college, where she joins a sorority.
Yes, that’s a SERIOUS “homage” to “Halloween” alright!
Here is the classic plot twist: because of her traumatic past, she blocks out the fact that the sorority house was her childhood “death house!”
Of course, once her brother senses that she is back in the house, he escapes to kill her too!
So away we go: sexy negligee clad sorority sisters, crazy killers on the loose….it was a popular trend that latest a decade!
Another popular slasher film from the 80’s included a star from the scariest film ever made!
Welcome back Linda Blair, you’ve been missed since the days of “The Exorcist”! Check out the trailer:
It’s a classic 80’s horror plot: four college pledges spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier!
This one had the honor of starring Linda Blair, who hadn’t had much of a career since “The Exorcist” shocked America a decade earlier…
There were films that covered every holiday and special occasion, like these classic 80’s slashers:
Happy Birthday To Me!
This 1981 Canadian slasher classic was directed by J. Lee Thompson, best known for making 1962′s “Cape Fear”!
The film was advertised with the marketing campaign “six of the most bizarre murders you will ever see”. The series of deaths include, death by shish kebab, death by weight lifting and death via a scarf and motorcycle chain!
The film is worth recommending on the overwrought climactic birthday sequence along along with the many twists and turns.
Here’s a less-known cult classic from that era:
“Behind every curtain, someone is waiting…something is watching.”
This 1983 horror gem was long forgotten, but a new blu-ray release with tons of extras brings it out from behind the curtain…
An unbalanced Atress crashes a “casting” session that a big Director is holding at his secluded mansion. Yes, he’s got a bevy of hot young actresses camping out at his mansion – except someoine begins butchering them all.
That was the trend in the 80’s – lots of sex and nudity followed by bloody retribution…
“Curtains” had a troubled production history, which gets a good recounting in new commentaries and featurettes on the blu-ray release.
Check it out!
And here are two twin Sisters who are keeping the 80’s style of horror alive!
Hail The Soska Sisters!
If you don’t know Jen and Sylvia Soska, you are missing out on two twin sisters who are directing films that keep the “slashing 80’s” alive!
The recent “See No Evil 2” is just their latest example, but read all about there here:
And of course, never forget the one, the only:
Read all about the legendary scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis by clicking on my link here:
Let me know what your favorite 80’s horror film is – leave a comment!
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