80s Horror to Watch Now

In this first installment of Netflix Instant Queue Theater, I watched all or part of 18 movies. 

Horror movies are a dime a dozen and chock-full of clichés. They take place in cabins. At summer camps. In creepy old mansions. High schools. And tiny towns. They are rife with hot coeds getting naked. It’s no secret that these flicks can be pretty bad. Especially ones from the ‘80s. The trick is to find ones that are so bad they’re good. Here are the best and the worst. 


1. Basket Case (1982)

This one is absolutely classic. It follows Duane, a twentysomething newcomer to New York City. He takes up residence in a Times Square flophouse carrying a wicker basket, which is inhabited by his conjoined twin, who was separated from him when he was a child and thrown out with the trash. The twins go on a mad search to find the doctor who separated them and the twin terrorizes the hotel. Check out the awesome vintage scenes of Times Square in the ‘80s.

2. Ghoulies (1985) 

Satanic motifs are a staple of many horror movies – think “The Exorcist,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Omen.” Those flicks are actually good. “Ghoulies” is so horrible it’s great.  

Jonathan is a college dropout who inherits a huge mansion from his dead grandfather who was apparently involved in black magic. He conjures up six demons who go on a killing rampage at a totally ‘80s party. Check out the goofy talking elf midgets he also summons.

3. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Roger Corman directs this cult classic about a small fishing town jolted by mutant creatures that emerge from the ocean and attack young, hot women and mate with them. Lots of tit shots, if you’re into that sort of thing. Low-budget monster movie at its finest.

4. Dolls (1987)


Another mansion tale. This time a family of three gets their car stuck in the mud during a thunderstorm. They take shelter with an older couple who are doll-makers. The dolls come to life at night and there is tons of blood and gore. Bonus points for the punk rocker characters. Awesome.

5. TerrorVision (1986)

From the early age of cable TV comes this incredibly cheesy story of a family whose satellite dish transmits violent aliens from a distant planet. With notable metalhead and new waver characters. Totally ‘80s.


Return to Horror High (1987)

This one sucks but it features George Clooney. Luckily he gets killed off about 20 minutes into the film, so you can stop watching after that. Seriously bad acting from a future movie star.

The Burning (1981) – The cliché summer camp slasher flick stars a young Jason Alexander of “Seinfeld” fame. Otherwise forgettable.

The Video Dead (1987) – Zombies hobble out of an evil TV set in this trashy ‘80s straight-to-video B-movie. You can get away with watching half of this one. Gets old fast.

Bloody Birthday (1981) – Forgettable story of evil kids gone wild that is pretty awful with the exception of the skateboard kill-scene halfway through.



I Spit on Your Grave (1978) – The rape scene is horrible.

Slumber Party Massacre (1982) – the only good thing about this one is the tits.

C.H.U.D. (1984) – dreadfully boring.


Sleepaway Camp 2 (1988) – also boring.

Creepshow 2 (1987) – a pale shadow of the original.


And finally, here is a list of classic horror films and available for streaming:  Evil Dead (1981), Friday the 13th (1980), Hellraiser (1987) Children of the Corn (1984) Pet Sematary (1989) Creepshow (1982), Child’s Play (1988),  Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil (2010 – not from the ‘80s and really a spoof, but genius).

What are your favorite so-bad-they’re-good horror movies? What genre would you like to see next for Instant Queue Theater? Leave a comment below.

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5 Responses

  1. M. Foley says:

    Evil Dead is the Ultimate “so bad it’s good” movie

  2. Ricky Cavazos says:

    As much as I am a fan of horror, there are quite a few on this list I have not seen yet. Bloody Birthday was disturbing, watching it as a kid. A movie that has young children killing their family members is just quite disturbing, but watching it as an adult, it’s quite lame.

    Did you ever see Happy Birthday To Me? Quite a nice 1980’s horror film.

  3. Shar says:

    The whole point of “I Spit on Your Grave” is the rape scene. Yeah, it’s horrible, but it’s the first time a scene like that had been done.

    That’s why it’s a classic.

  4. Hal says:

    I love this list, and I would like to add 1986 b-movie “Roller Blade” to the conversation. I experienced it last night at Lucky 13, where a jukebox full of Obituary and Overkill drowned out the film’s sound, so I need to view it in the comfort of my home. A post-apocalyptic southern CA provides the backdrop to roller-skating sisterhood who use their switchblades to heal and kill. I’m embarrassed to have slept on this one. Check it out:


  5. Valium says:

    bookmarked!!, I love your websіte!



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