So I am doing just that. I don’t know how long this is going to take, but it’s shall be fun none to less.
What happened in 1980?
Hottest Selling Christmas Item... Rubik’s Cube
Top Song of the Year... "Call Me" by Blondie
Highest Grossing Film of the Year... The Empire Strikes Back
Disclaimer: This list is my opinion and my opinion only. If you do not agree with it, then that is okay. Feel free to post your top 10 in the comments, but please, let's not start a war over this. It is just a list.
That being said, here is my list...
There were a few movies I felt could go at the number ten spot. I decided on The Children, mainly because out of all the movies that didn't make the top 10, it was the one I enjoyed watching most. The movie is pretty crazy. It’s about a group of kids riding on a school bus that are poisoned with some kind of gas or something, and then go around town killing people by hugging/touching them. The special effects might be dated, sure; but I feel it just adds to the campiness of the film.
Don’t Go In The House is one of the many "Don’t" titled horror movies, but DON’T let that deter you. Don’t Go In The House was actually really cool. The film is about a guy who is a pyromaniac (resulting from a not so great childhood) and decides to make a room inside his house fireproof. Afterwards, he lures women to his newly renovated room so he can then burn them alive for his own sick enjoyment.
Terror Train is similar to most other '80s slasher flicks: Something awful happened in the past and now people are dying - only this time, people are being picked off on a train. Although the killer was rather predictable, it was a decent entry into the slasher genre. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis of Halloween fame and also stars David Copperfield as The Magician. Yes, a real life magician plays a magician in the movie.
One of the more famous films by Italian director Lucio Fulci (R.I.P.), City of the Living Dead is a crazy, gory ride. After the Gates of Hell are opened as the result of a clergyman’s suicide, the dead are now rising from their graves. The film features some pretty awesome '80s makeup effects.
To sum it up, The Changeling is a ghost story set mostly inside a haunted mansion, but there is so much more to it than that. Unlike most other ghostly horror movies, this film actually has likable characters. There is also a mystery surrounding the haunting that is interesting to watch unfold as the main character pieces everything together. If you are looking for a great movie from 1980 to watch without all the gore, The Changeling is probably the least goriest film on this list.
I’ll admit that I saw the 2013 remake of Maniac starring Elijah Wood before seeing the 1980 original. However, I did not enjoy the remake in the slightest. After watching the original in my quest to watch every '80s horror movie, I must say it is hands down the superior film. If you have any fascination with serial killers, like I do, then you’re going to like Maniac. The movie lives up to the name, as killer Frank Zito (played by Joe Spinell, R.I.P.) truly is a Maniac.
I loved Alligator when I was a kid. I had it recorded on a VHS tape and I think I must have watched it a thousand times. (I’m surprised the tape didn’t break.) There are a lot of horror movies out there that revolve around a killer alligator or crocodile, but in my opinion, Alligator is the best of them all. You won’t see any CGI alligators in this film, just practical special effects and sometimes even the real thing.
Directed by the legendary John Carpenter, The Fog is probably one of the few films of his that I somehow never saw. Well now I have, and I loved it. The story centers around a glowing fog that rolls into a small town at midnight, bringing with it death and unraveling a mystery about the town that was believed to be just folktales. John Carpenter adds his signature music once again, adding to the atmosphere of the film.
That’s right, the original that started it all. The iconic machete wielding, hockey mask wearing killer, Jason Voorhees, is not in this film! As Ghostface said in Scream, "...you should know that Jason's mother, Mrs. Voorhees was the original killer. Jason didn't show up until the sequel." Although the film is low budget, like many horror movies are, this one still holds up pretty well compared to other films released later into the '80s. Betsy Palmer (R.I.P.) really steals the show as Pamela Voorhees.
This is hands down the best horror film of 1980. We can argue all day about which movies represent the top ten from the year, but there is no arguing The Shining is number one. Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, a writer that accepts a job as Winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. He settles in, along with his wife and son, hoping to finish a new novel. As the time goes by, it seems as though the isolation and the hotel’s dark past takes a toll on Jack. The only thing he manages to accomplish is going completely insane. Directed by Stanley Kubrick (R.I.P.) and loosely based off the novel by Stephen King, The Shining is a wild physiological ride.
Honorable Mention: Macabre
So there you have it, now on to 1981.
Check out more of My Top 10's.