Slim Pickings; Best Horror From 1984 & 1985?

Welcome back kids; this is the third installment in a trip down memory lane. I am about to share with you, my personal favorite films from the years 1984 and 1985. As with previous insatllments, these are simply my personal faves; please share with me what movies you think I need to revisit and give another shot.


Gremlins (1984)

Much like Disney, Steven Spielberg enjoys luring children into his stories and then frightening them and/or making them cry.  Executive Producer, Steven Spielberg had cast Corey Feldman in E.T., only to have his character be written out; Mr. Spielberg promised Corey a role in his next film, thus, Corey Feldman makes his first appearance on this very short list from 1984. Feldman played Pete, the wise ass kid to Billy’s sweet and doe eyed Zack Galligan.

Who didn’t want their wacky dad to bring them home a Mogwai? Too bad they produce little bastards if you feed them after midnight and get them wet. So few rules, yet you managed to f*ck it up, Billy.  Directed by Joe Dante, Gremlins starts out so wonderfully cute and then turns so scary. I was truly terrified of Stripe when I saw this movie in the theatre. If you haven’t seen it lately, I highly recommend revisiting it; I think you will be surprised by how scary and gory it is. Blenders were being used as weapons long before You’re Next.


A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Written and directed by Wes Craven, this movie truly was the stuff of nightmares in the 80’s. I can still remember the girls at school jump roping to that awful nursery rhyme. Who did they think they were, pretending this movie didn’t scare them?

Some of the visuals are a wee bit cheesy after all of these years, but the film holds up. It is such a great story and concept and it is executed wonderfully.  As someone who suffers from the occasional night terror, this movie is still scary to me 30 years later. And who can forget Johnny Depp’s epic death scene? That still looks amazing!


Friday The 13th:The Final Chapter

Well, we all know that we will, probably, never see the final chapter of this franchise, but this was a solid effort. Let’s be real and all admit that the best part of this movie is when Crispin Glover starts dancing;best minute of 1984, hands down. Coming up a close second, is Corey Feldman and his crazy shaved head. Feldman was only eleven years old when he did this movie and Crispin was his favorite cast member. (Yes, I am currently reading Coreyography and, no, I am not ashamed.)


Outside of some epic nerd dancing, there is a pretty awesome scene where Jason throws a girl out of a window in slow motion. She falls so gracefully and then all of the windows explode out of the car that she falls on. It’s kind of epic. The kills are great and watching Tommy (Feldman) go cave man on Jason with a machete is a wicked good time.


The Bride (1985)

Sting as Dr. Frankenstein and Jennifer Beals as his bride; one of his own creation. This movie is really more of a horror/sci-fi/fantasy/romance and that is precisely why I loved it as a young girl. It doesn’t quite hold up as well as one would hope, but nostalgia got me through it. It is almost two different stories of two outsiders learning to find their place in the world. I don’t know what it is about Frankenstein’s monster that breaks my heart, but the big guy really pulls on my heart strings;I felt much sadness for him in this story. And what can you say about Sting? He really is a handsome man with a fine mane of hair.


Day of the Dead (1985)

Written and directed by George A. Romero, this is the third installment in his Dead Series and it just keeps bringing the pain and the awesomeness that is Tom Savini special f/x.You know, the usual stuff, people bunkering down and hiding from zombies. In truth, the scene where a man is, very literally, torn to pieces by a hungry horde of zombies is what makes the movie for me.



Fright Night (1985)

The story of a young man, Charlie Brewster, who’s nosiness gets him into trouble with the wrong sort; a vampire. I am not sure if it is possible to have seen this movie in 1985 and not have fallen head over heels in love with Chris Sarandon. Only Sarandon could make a vampire named, Jerry, so sexy and so dangerous. This is a fun horror romp with a bonus; Roddy McDowel as Peter Vincent, local horror television host. He doesn’t believe in vampires, but agrees to help Charlie. Though there is a lot of 80’s cheesiness shining through, this is still a really great movie.


Re-Animator (1985)

Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story, this is a classic piece of horror cinema. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) is a medical student experimenting with reanimating the dead this campy, gory good time. For the love of Hello Kitty, there is a decapitated head that talks and may very well orally rape you. Ladies, keep your legs crossed. Truly, this is a rare piece of horror, black comedy and gore. It is a must see.