A few weeks back, I explored ten obscure horror films from the 1980s that many fans may have over-looked or missed. Check out the first list here. Today, we are exploring another ten titles, all from the 1980s, and all much in need of a rediscovery, especially if you are a diehard 80s horror fan.
DEAD END DRIVE-IN (1986)
In a post-apocalyptic world, “social rejects” are trapped at a drive-in on the outskirts of town and supplied with fast food, music, and movies to keep them from ever wanting to leave. But as several new detainees become increasingly frustrated with their captivity, they begin masterminding ways to break out.
VAMP (1986)(Cover photo)
This is a fun little vampire comedy that should have received a lot more attention. While pledging a fraternity, two college students are tasked with hiring a stripper. They unknowingly end up at a strip club run by run by vampires. VAMP is stylistic, sexy, and hilarious!
A BLADE IN THE DARK (1983)
This is a stylish giallo by Lamberto Bava. A composer working on a soundtrack for an upcoming horror film decides to stay at a villa so he can concentrate, but soon discovers the neighbors are being taken out by a razor-blade-wielding killer.
DEMON LOVER DIARY (1980)
This movie was released just at the start of the decade, but it focuses on the 1970s. DEMON LOVER DIARY is a documentary about a small group of filmmakers as they make the low-budget horror film THE DEMON LOVER, and much of the film focuses on a road-trip as they travel from Cambridge to Michigan where they will be shooting the film. DEMON LOVER DIARY is not only a study in low-budget horror of the 70s, but it is also fascinating on a purely documentary level. This one is hard to find, but well worth the search.
THE LAST HORROR FILM (1982)
This one feels a bit like MANIAC and even stars Joe Spinell. A cab driver stalks an actress at the Cannes Film Festival, all while her friends start being attacked by a vicious slasher.
THE HIDDEN (1987)
I was always surprised that THE HIDEDN didn’t get more acclaim or become a larger franchise (there was a part 2, but it was underwhelming). THE HIDDEN feels like it really could have become a much larger action/horror vehicle. After a man with no real criminal background goes on a wild shooting spree, a cop sees a slug-like alien emerge from his body. Realizing he was under the control of an evil alien who can possess humans, the cop must track the alien as it changes form and try to kill it.
THE DEAD PIT (1989)
In my experience, many horror fans recall this movie’s VHS box cover with the cool light-up eyes, but not very many actually saw the film. It is worth checking out if you are a fan of 80s zombie zaniness. Decades after a sadistic doctor is killed in the basement of a mental institution, an earthquake frees his evil spirit allowing the dead doctor and a legion of zombie patients attack the hospital.
AMERICAN GOTHIC (1988)
This is a lesser-known slasher about a group of friends who travel to a deserted island for a vacation. There they find a demented family with some strict rules and twisted secrets.
Starring Zelda Rubenstein, this Spanish slasher is highly obscure but currently making a cult resurgence. ANGUISH functions as a “film within a film”. An audience watches a movie about a slasher in a movie theater, while a slasher is actually stalking victims in the theater. It sounds confusing, but it is quite clever with a nice twist.
THE WRAITH (1986)
THE WRAITH is bat-shit crazy, but also a lot of fun. A murdered teenager returns from the dead as an immortal street racer hell bent on revenge. It’s like FAST AND THE FURIOUS meets THE CROW. Plus, the cast is epic including Charlie Sheen, Randy Quaid, Sherilyn Fenn, Clint Howard, and Nick Cassavetes!