11 Forgotten So Bad, It’s Good Horror Movies From the ’80s!

    Consider a long day at work or a Saturday night get-together with friends. Would you prefer to see a serious film like Shawshank Redemption on such a night? Schindler’s List or Redemption? Alternatively, why not watch a cheesy film with a senseless plot, meaningless action, and laughable acting?

    We don’t know about you, but we’d want to see a movie that is so horrible that it’s good. In this movie, we’ll show you the 80s’ ONE STAR WONDERS. And, to kick things up a level, we thought we’d compile a list of some of the best horror films in this fictitious genre!

    There are some lovely aspects to these films: overripe performances, undercooked direction, and plushilarious titles that foreshadow the great nonsense to come. However, just because they aren’t conventional doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable, and that is what adds to the fun factor.

    Nightmare Weekend (1986)

    Nightmare Weekend (1986)

    An intelligent professor creates a computer programme that is supposed to help humanity by changing test participants’ evil behavioural tendencies. However, the computer software does not always perform as intended, and the test subjects’ personal items are miraculously transformed into silver metal pinballs.

    Julie Clingstone, the professor’s assistant, dispatches two burglars to steal the programme, but they are thwarted by a talking puppet that can also transform things into pinballs.

    His daughter plays with the machine as if it were a video game, controlling actual cars and objects in the real world. Eventually, the machine transforms three college girls into murdering machines, zombies, or whatever. We are not entirely sure what they are, but they kill on command for Julie.

    Also, the college girls like to take off their clothes, and they like it a lot. Meanwhile, the professor’s daughter realizes she is in love, after a heart-to-heart conversation with the talking puppet named George.

    It’s a big bag of laughter and face-palm moments! The stark difference between the intent of the film and the result is just criminally huge. The sex scenes are scattered throughout, but they’ve been filmed in a manner that’s far from erotic by what feels like an amateur adult-film director.

    Then there’s the computer which talks through the absurd hand-puppet called George in a ridiculous robotic voice. There is absolutely no sign of a storyline or script but 20 minutes into the film, you won’t even need one. We wonder if the filmmakers watched it in post-production.

    Even if they did watch it, they weren’t likely to go any further than they had previously. This film has a slew of defects, yet it earns a spot on this list, and in our hearts, since those shortcomings make it memorable and delightful.

    Demon Wind (1990)

    Demon Wind (1990)

    The film begins in 1931 with a body is being burnt on a cross. A woman called Regina is at her farm, trying to barricade a door – the door is a gateway to the underworld and demons try to enter the world through it.

    Her husband George, who has now converted into a monster, kills her after numerous failed attempts. The movie jumps forward about 60 years. Regina and George’s son has committed suicide, and their grandson has come to live with them at their farm. With him are a few of his friends, and his girlfriend Elaine.

    Demon Wind writer and director Charles Philip Moore wanted to make a horror film, but ended up making a comedy. There’s a scene where a man’s girlfriend transforms into a ball of fire and explodes, and his reaction to it is that of a little kid dropping his ice-cream cone. This level of indifference to grave situations is generously shared amongst all the actors.

    As for the plot, it has more loopholes than a piece of sponge. As soon as you build the courage to make some sense of what is happening, the film will throw you in a strange direction. Demon Wind pushes you away because you begin to feel lost and in the underworld.

    Nonetheless, gore fans will like the picture, which features zombie-like demons roaming the streets and slaughtering whatever in their path. There are also ancient baby-ghosts and a weird fog to contend with. Things just happen in this movie, inexplicably and unexpectedly, and it appears that the screenplay was not given any attention.

    The film begins to feel like a witty farce or a parody of 1980s horror films. These minor flaws are what elevate this film to a must-see. Demon Wind successfully blew our heads. We watched it once for the sake of reviewing it and we are still in the zone. Just maybe not in a way it intended.

    Killer Workout (1987)

    Killer Workout (1987)

    Rhonda Johnson manages an aerobics studio where some gruesome killings are taking place with the ever-feared and lethal safety pin as the murder weapon of choice. The gym features great-looking aerobic exercisers, males who are highly bulked up, and women who are as hot as the sun.

    Despite the fact that a serial murderer is killing the gym’s members, they continue to work out there. Detective Morgan has been put in charge of solving these murder cases, but looking at his attitude and style, it is doubtful if he can even throw out a parking ticket. As the film proceeds, more bodies start piling up and everyone’s a suspect.

    For an international release, the film was renamed as Aerobicide. The craziest thing is that despite occupied body bags being frequently drawn out of the gym, the aerobic-exercisers are indifferent; it seems that their exercise must go on. Ten points to the writer for the innovative kill-weapon, though.

    Who’d have thought that a giant safety pin would one day become a weapon of mass destruction at a gym! But let’s not forget that this is a David A. Prior film, which means suspense, brutality, and nuance. The goddess-shaped women with near-perfect assets enjoy filthy sex with muscular men, and yes, some of them are slain in the process.

    With its sleazy acting and lousy storyline, Killer Workout a.k.a. Aerobicide has the potential to be a queen of One Star Wonders. A man offers a woman a blank piece of paper that is intended to be a letter from her Senior Partner in one of the scenes! We’re not joking when we say this.

    The Dead Pit (1989)

    The Dead Pit (1989)

    The film starts in an asylum called STATE INSTITUTION FOR THE MENTALLY ILL, where Dr.Ramzi and Dr.Swan are arguing about the method of treating their patients. Dr. Ramzi is a brilliant but deranged physician who performs heinous experiments on his patients.

    He tries to assassinate Dr. Swan, who in turn kills Ramzi in self-defense. Dr. Swan burys his colleague’s body alongside other deceased patients and closes the pit. Jane Doe, a lovely amnesia sufferer, arrives at the mental health centre twenty years later.

    Her arrival is timed to coincide with an earthquake that causes The Dead Pit to crack open. Dr. Ramzi and his legion of undead patients have been set free, and the evil scientist can now continue his experiments.

    This film was released at the tail-end of the 80s horror-dystopia trend, and contains many of the genre’s typical characteristics, such as revealing and skimpy outfits, terrible hairstyles and unnecessary backstories.

    The script seems half-baked and there is a bit of an editing problem. Maybe if they cut down the film by some 15 minutes, it wouldn’t have featured on this list. But fortunately, they didn’t do that, and gave us this masterpiece of nonsense. Cheryl Lawson, who plays Jane Doe, is seen in her underwear for the majority of the movie.

    Was it a part of her treatment? Do scanty dresses aid sleep? We guess the answer lies with director Brett Leonard. However, Miss Lawson was the only saving grace for the film. She describes how her memories were stolen, not lost, in one of the sequences. Someone apparently operated on her, cracking open her head and removing her memories.

    They had to use a special pair of memory-cutting scissors. Nonetheless, the bad dialogue is enough to generate a barrage of laughs, and if that isn’t enough, there’s plenty of gore and nudity as well.

    Death Spa (1989)

    Death Spa (1989)

    Michael is the owner of a high-tech health club that has been decimated by a series of murders. Saunas, dumbbells, exercise machines, and other lethal instruments are utilised to commit the murders. The gym’s technology has been taken over by an evil power.

    These killings began shortly after Michael’s wife, Catherine, committed suicide. Michael will have to establish his innocence and put a halt to the murders, or he would lose all of his clients, as Catherine’s brother holds Michael responsible for the death.

    This is one of those films whose very title is enough to prepare you for what is to come – the  impending doom which you have subjected yourself to. However, this doom is like a thrill ride: you know the pain, but you like the pain.

    No human or animal is possessed in the film, because writers James Bartruffand Mitch Paradise thought it better to let the ghost possess a bunch of exercise machines! And, why not? It’s an 80s horror B-movie; back then, almost anything gave a good bang for your buck. But this is exactly the kind of film that you need to  help escape the vicious cycle of boring work-weeks.

    Death Spa and Killer Workout are both part of the WORKOUT WILL KILL YOU sub-genre, which a few horror filmmakers have been far too obsessed with. It provided them a legitimate reason to show scantily clad ladies being murdered or making love. We’re still perplexed as to why these films aren’t classified as comedy!

    Death Spa may lack a creative or compelling tale and may have serious camera flaws, but there’s much to enjoy. What it lacks is gore and visceral action, as well as some terrible music, gorgeous people who are stupid, atrocious hair styles, and ladies in shorts, shorter shorts, and no shorts.

    The Horror Show (1989)

    The Horror Show (1989)

    Detective Lucas McCarthy finally apprehends “Meat Cleaver Max,” a notorious serial killer. Max is put on trial and sentenced to death by electric chair. Max, much to everyone’s amazement, is subjected to far more electricity than usual during the execution, and he eventually dies as his body burns from the constant shocks. Just before passing away, Max promises revenge on the detective.

    A parapsychologist tells Detective McCarthy that Max’s soul is still trapped on Earth, and he will only survive if the soul is destroyed. Later, Max’s spirit comes back from the realms of darkness to haunt the detective and his family, who have just moved to a new house.

    The Horror Show is another unintentional masterpiece in terms of genre and theme. It tries to be a supernatural horror but ends up being a slasher film. It is undoubtedly fun to watch a detective increasingly paranoid due to hallucinations, but he is relentlessly fighting the ghost of a crazy serial killer.

    The horror and scares become fewer and further between as the film proceeds, and the plot becomes predictable. Lance Henriksen played by Lance Henriksen, saves the movie, but it’s not enough. The practical effects become more rib-tickling than spine-chilling with time.

    One great thing about the film is that director James Isaac decided to show the real face and voice of Meat Cleaver Max, played byBrion James. The film begins on a very intense note and tries to maintain the same energy through the run time. This pursuit of engrossment feels ridiculous, but is somehow engaging at the same time. Even if the spectator begins to question why they are viewing this film in the first place, they will be unable to ignore its compelling appeal factor.

    Mystics in Bali (1981)

    Mystics in Bali (1981)

    Catherine Kean travels from America to Bali so that she can research and write a book about voodoo and black magic. Catherine’s boyfriend, Mahendra, presents her to the Queen of the Leák, or Leyak, a witch.

    Leyak is an Indonesian legendary creature that resembles a flying head with internal parts such as the heart, liver, and lungs circling it. Catherine is promised that the witch will teach her about Leyak magic, but instead she is transformed into a Leyak.

    Catherine transforms into a flying vampire and sets out to find pregnant ladies in order to drain their infants from their wombs. It is now up to the local religious men to get together and put an end to this oriental scourge.

    Mystics in Bali is an Indonesian film. Are you wondering what it is doing in this list of the terminally badbut great films? There’s no other way to describe it. The film is a whole different kind of different; it is a mythological horror with added gore – gore that’s gruesome and will gross you out, but will also leave you laughing because the special effects are so ridiculous.

    There’s a flying head with a necklace made up of a heart, lungs and a liver that floats around in the air committing foeticide in a horrid manner. The film is ridiculously terrible, but intriguing. We believe it is fun to compare these Asian vampires with our very own Hollywood ones: Do they kill the same? Do they die the same? It’s so intriguing.

    Vamp (1986)

    Vamp (1986)

    Keith and AJ are college mates who want to find a stripper in order to join a fraternity on campus. They borrow the car of Duncan, a wealthy but lonely young man who insists on accompanying them. The three scour nightclubs until they come across an elegant dancer named Katrina, a stripper in the more seedy area of town.

    When AJ goes into the dressing room to meet her, she seduces him and bites him in the neck, killing him. Keith and Duncan become concerned about AJ and enlist the assistance of a waitress named Amaretto in their search for him. AJ has converted into a vampire at this time, but he keeps his humanity and vows to save Keith. AJ will now have to battle his new vampire friends to do so.

    Vamp is a good movie but doesn’t know what to do with itself. There are unwarranted twists and some surplus suspense. Writer-director Richard Wenk has an instinctive aptitude for quirky humor and one-liners, which is quite visible in Vamp.But Wenk invests too heavily in strange side characters that keep popping up throughout the movie.

    Vamp fluctuates between light hearted fun and gruesome chaos,sitting beautifully somewhere in the middle of comedy and horror. A special mention must be given to the jolly relationship between a human kid and his newly-transformed vampire friend.

    As bizarre and unorthodox as it may seem, we assure you that it is one of the best things about the film. Grace Jones plays the seductive Queen Vampire of Egypt, for which she bagged the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

    Superstition (1982)

    Superstition (1982)

    With his wife Melinda and children Ann, Sheryl, and Justin, the alcoholic priest George Leahy moves to a run-down house in New England. Before the family moved in, the mansion had been the scene of multiple unexplained murders. Evil and dreadful things begin to happen after the Leahy family moves in.

    The house is home to a vengeful witch who will go to any length to murder the Leahy family. Reverend David Thompson and Inspector Sturgess join forces to put an end to the terrible witch’s reign of terror, but she’s a ruthless witch who won’t back down!

    The late 70s and early 80s saw a significant rise in the number of slasher films that were masked as horror movies, and put in front of the audience. Superstition is one such film by director James W. Roberson, starring James Houghton, Albert Salmi and Lynn Carlin.

    However, we are not saying this in a negative way; with great finesse and an original style, Roberson has combined gore and slashing with elements of supernatural horror. Yes, the script is floppy and the screenplay is full of goofs which make the runtime bloated.

    Maybe if they cut a few overexplanatory sequences from the movie like they did with the evil old witch’s victims, the movie might have gotten a few more positive reviews. But this wasn’t a film designed for reviewers; it was made to entertain and delight the audience, and Superstition succeeds admirably in doing so.

    Pale Blood (1990)

    Pale Blood (1990)

    Micheal Fury is a British detective who arrives in Los Angeles to look into a series of dark and enigmatic deaths. The unsettling reality that the victims were drained of their blood – every drop of it – makes these murders one-of-a-kind.

    Fury engages Lori, a private investigator, to assist him in his search. Fury eventually discovers that he is a vampire, but that isn’t the only secret he has. Lori, too, is concealing something.

    The film was released in 1990 but we have chosen to include it on this list of wonderful one star horrors because it screams 80s HORROR louder than the victims of blood-thirsty vampires.

    Pale Blood tried to do something artistically original with its story. Vampires have been used in horror flicks probably since the very first vampire walked the face of Earth, but writer and director V.V. Dachin Hsu took this idea to a whole new level. The plot may be summarised as vampire vs. serial killer, but the film’s twists make it worth seeing.

    Despite the modest gore and nudity, the audience is kept captivated by the multiple dream sequences and hallucinations, as well as Cinematographer Gerry Lively’s superb camerawork, which portrays the nightlife of Los Angeles in an extremely realistic manner.

    But what if we told you that a hefty chunk of the film was shot in Honk Kong and not Los Angeles? That is how great the camerawork is. There’s nothing extraordinarily bad about the film, except that it is essentially a low-budget B-Movie.

    We think it would have done much better if the producers had a few more dollars to spare. If you enjoy horror films, you will enjoy the dark humour and atmosphere of this little-known gem.

    Sorority House Massacre (1986)

    Sorority House Massacre (1986)

    Bobby is a little kid who murders his entire family, with the exception of his younger sister Beth, who hides in the basement and lives. Bobby is apprehended and committed to a mental institution.

    Beth begins living in a sorority house many years later, but due to a memory lapse, she is unaware that the sorority house is in fact her former house where the slaughter occurred. Her memories gradually return, bringing with them the anguish she experienced as a youngster.

    Bobby, on the other hand, senses her presence in the house and flees the asylum to do the job. He begins by murdering an elderly man in order to obtain his hunting knife.

    This movie is a Halloween rip-off in more ways than one, but it still stands out as a better slasher flick than it should have been! The best aspects for us were the elements ofthe psychic thriller sub-genre embedded in the conventional slasher framework.

    The detailing of the character of Beth is rather intriguing and the back-story is well-crafted. The twisted killer is unlike any other psycho you’ve seen in a slasher film. Yes, he escapes from a psychiatric facility after miraculously sensing his sister’s presence from afar. Please don’t ask us how we did it! Simply said, we’re stating the facts.

    The gore is toned down more than the title suggests, and the acting are respectable for an 80s low-budget horror film.There are parts that are mildly amusing, but we have to say that this movie will still manage to scare you enough that you’ll want to keep the lights on when you go to sleep.

    Angella O’Neill, the actress who playes Beth was reluctant to shed her clothes for the role and even threatened to walk off the set. The makers complied and eventually she played her part to perfection, sans the nudity.

    Latest articles