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If you love October and everything that comes with it, scary movies, haunted houses, costumes, candy, etc., then you know the worst things you can hear are, “I hate scary movies” or “I don’t like being scared.” Fear is a primal emotion. It’s exhilarating to be frightened beyond measure. Fear makes us do silly things. Look at how it affects decisions people make in scary movies. Look at how it affects us in the sense where we’re screaming at the screen, “You should have done …” or “Don’t go in there!”. That is what it’s about. Fear makes us feel alive. It should be fun to be scared. Enjoy this month because it’s the last one we get without mentions of the holiday season, considering that Christmas basically starts in November now, thus overshadowing Thanksgiving, which should be a crime.

The 1980s was a golden decade for horror. Some of the greatest, most original movies came out over that span. Introduce yourself to the art that is horror as we have put together 10 of our favorite 80s cult favorites that not only have a fair share of scares and gore but also a bit of comedy as well.

  1. Pumpkinhead (1988)

Premise: After a tragic accident in which a man loses his young son, he conjures a towering and vengeful demon called ‘Pumpkinhead’ to destroy the group of unsuspecting teenagers responsible. He soon comes to regret his actions, however, and attempts to stop it, but he may already be too late.

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Why we love it: This is a classically overlooked movie with great on-camera practical monster effects. The demon itself is brilliant and immensely striking and the film, overall, is dark and gothic, but still with a wide array of color and excitement. Great creature flick!

  1. Night of the Comet (1984)

Premise: A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two California Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists.

Why we love it: The movie follows 80s teens to their favorite hangout spot, the mall. Somehow, locking themselves inside a projection booth at the multiplex helps them live through a massive extinction level event. There’s a shopping spree, battle with zombies and psycho scientists. Lots to love here.

  1. Night of the Creeps (1986)

Premise: Nerdish college freshmen Jason and Steve pledge a fraternity, but instead find themselves taking on alien brain parasites, which turn their hosts into zombies.

Why we love it: The film follows the basic ‘trying-to-get-the-girl’ storyline that we have grown to love from 80s movies, but with a splash of both aliens and zombies, and that of a returned axe murderer. It is an all-around fun movie.

  1. Prince of Darkness (1987)

Premise: A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. Little do they know that, if opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Why we love it: This movie is not only brought to you by horror legend John Carpenter but also features another legend in Donald Pleasence, whom you might recall from the Halloween series. Overall, this movie is a little bit Evil Dead with some Exorcist all mashed together.

  1. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Premise: Angela Baker, a traumatized and shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. After arriving, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance.

Why we love it: This movie has a little bit of everything, but is definitely in close correlation to Friday the 13th. The film manages to hold a creepy atmosphere with truly original and immensely gruesome killings. Plus, this movie has one of the more shocking climaxes in slasher flick history.

  1. Society (1989)

Premise: An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the socially elite.

Why we love it: This movie attacks the heart of 1980s yuppie culture, which is a victory in itself, but should you have the stomach for it, this film has one of the most hilarious, vile and repulsive scenes in horror history. Check it out and see for yourself!

  1. Night of the Demons (1988)

Premise: Ten teenagers are invited to Angela’s party at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night. When an evil force awakens, demonic spirits keep them from leaving and turn their gathering into a living Hell.

Why we love it: This movie has it all. If you took The Amityville Horror, Evil Dead and sprinkled in a few demons, blended it up, you’d have Night of the Demons. One can appreciate the use of actual makeup and studio props, devoid of CGI.

  1. Gremlins (1984)

Premise: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Why we love it: This is a classic trap movie for parents of the 80s. Seeing the cute and fuzzy ‘Gizmo’ made them think it was a kid-friendly movie, but in fact, was not. It is an immensely original creature movie and, after seeing it a few times, one should learn all the rules in keeping a Mogwai as a pet!

  1. Evil Dead II (1987)

Premise: The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Why we love it: Evil Dead II is pretty much a remake of Evil Dead, but still manages to set itself apart because it is funnier and scarier. It has a refreshing amount of comedy to go along with some legit jump scares. Plus, Bruce Campbell stars in it. No brainer there. Watch it!

  1. Re-Animator (1985)

Premise: A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Why we love it: This movie has aged so well. It has a great blend of comedy and gore, while its main character is similar to that of Dr. Frankenstein. This is just a fun movie, but be warned – don’t eat while watching it.

Michael Stagno
Michael is a New England native and fluent in Italian. He graduated with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism (RTVF) from Auburn University. He is a BIG fan of the Boston sports scene, X-Men and X-Force. He loves his black lab (named Yaz), pop culture, science, space and gaming. He's also a crossfitter, paddleboarder and marathoner.