The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (2022)

The 80s produced some of the most brilliant and terrifying horrors of all time: who could forget critically acclaimed masterpieces like The Shining or The Thing? It was, however, also responsible for some of the most offbeat horror films ever made.

In a time when it seemed nothing was off-limits and everyone was obsessed with cannibalism, 80s horror movies, (particularly B-movies), absolutely went for the jugular. They crammed in every kind of sadistic death, touched on every phobia, and terrorized small kids who secretly watched these movies without parental supervision. Though they are beyond creepy, totally bizarre, and are borderline in bad taste, for the most part, they are very entertaining.

'Slugs: The Movie' (1988)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (1)

Garden variety slugs become mutants after being exposed to toxic waste and wreak havoc on a small town in Slugs: The Movie. When the vicious, slimy critters can not be contained, it is up to Health Inspector, Mike Brady (Michael Garfield) to stop them.

The film, which is based on the novel, Slugs by Shaun Hutson, is as bonkers as you would imagine a film about killer slugs to be. In one scene a slug the size of a spoon crawls into a man's gardening glove which he is then unable to pull off: does the slug have super sticking powers? Still trying to remove the glove, the man stumbles, knocking some deadly chemicals onto the ground which begin to smoke and smolder. He then attempts to cut the gloves off with pruning shears, which have obviously not been sharpened in a while because they don't work either. In the struggle, he manages to trap himself under a shelf where the only thing he can reach is an axe. It is at this point that he decides that he may as well just amputate his hand: why go to the hospital or phone an ambulance? From there, things escalate very quickly and his entire house blows up. Killer slugs: 1. Man with the glove: 0.

'Motel Hell' (1980)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (2)

Motel Hell tells the story of sibling farmers and hoteliers who lure victims to their motel and literally plant them in a garden until they are ready to be harvested and cooked in a smoker. When more people start to go missing, the sinister pairs, estranged brother Sheriff Bruce (Paul Linke) becomes suspicious and decides to investigate his siblings.

(Video) Top 10 Horror Movies: 1980s

The whole filmis a wild ride, from brother Vincent (Rory Calhoun) using cardboard cut-outs of cows and fake ads to capture victims to him later transforming into a fully-fledged chainsaw-wielding pig-man. The film contains pretty much every trope of 1980s horror films, the slightly incestuous brother and sister duo, sexual debauchery, Stockholm syndrome, cannibalism, and even a woman tied to a conveyor belt headed for cutting blades.

'Troll' (1986)

Things start to go horribly wrong for Harry Potter Jr. (Noah Hathaway) (not to be confused with that other Harry Potter) and his family when they move into a new apartment block and his little sister Wendy (Jenny Beck) is immediately possessed by an evil troll. Things go from bad to worse when Harry meets a witch who informs him of an ancient battle between fairies and humans that still rages within the very building he calls home. Now it is up to Harry to save his family and the rest of the building's residents before it is too late.

Other than people being turned into mythical creatures and talking tree stumps, the most bizarre part about Troll is the premise that the world was once divided between humans and fairies who eventually went to war. The humans won, and in retaliation punished the fairy's power-hungry leader by turning him into a troll.

'Evilspeak' (1981)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (4)

Evilspeak is a cult classic that was banned in the UK for its graphic violence and satanic themes. The film centers around Stanley Coopersmith (Clint Howard) a military school student who is the victim of horrifically bullying. One day when being wrongfully punished for something he didn't do, Stanley stumbles across a book about how to perform the black mass. Stanley becomes obsessed with the ritual and steals a computer from the school lab to research it further. When the bullies commit their most heinous act yet, Stanley is pushed to breaking point and enlists the computer's help to perform the black mass.

(Video) Top 10 Horror Movies Of The 1980s | That's Classic

Evilspeak isn't for the faint-hearted, even though the effects are dated now, there are quite a few scenes that are hard to watch, especially if you are an animal lover. The film contains many of the common 80s horror themes, namely satanic panic and the outcast-turned-villain trope. However, it is the use of technophobia that leads to the most bizarre scenes, where the computer takes over the ritual.

'Dolls' (1986)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (5)

If you are scared of old toys then steer well clear of Dolls. Shot in Italy in 1985, the film is about a group of people who seek shelter in a mansion during a violent storm. Because 80s B-horror movies had to jam as much misery in as possible, the film's central character, a little girl named Judy (Carrie Lorrain) has an awful family and is probably better off in the terrifying haunted mansion, with the weird old couple and a hoard of killer dolls, than she is with her neglectful father and volatile stepmother.

Every character in Dolls is creepier than the next, there's Judy's father (Ian Patrick Williams) who refers to himself as "daddy" when trying to seduce his wife, the stranded businessman Ralph (Stephen Lee) with the heart of a child and a love of toys who befriends little Judy, and of course the old couple and their dolls. As if that wasn't all strange enough, the guests are attacked by the dolls and start to turn into dolls themselves.

'Possession' (1981)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (6)

Perhaps one of the most bonkers horror films to come out of the 80s, Possession tells the story of Mike (Sam Neill) a spy who returns from Berlin to find his estranged wife acting rather peculiarly. Anna, (Isabelle Adjani) Mike's wife, is, as he suspected, having an affair, but this turns out to be the least of the couple's worries when Mike discovers the sinister secret that Anna is hiding in her second apartment.

(Video) Top 5 Weirdest Horror Movies From The 80s

The body count is high in Possession, and it is easy to see why the controversial film was banned in the UK for many years. Though it features a number of completely bizarre scenes, Possession has received widespread critical acclaim, winning several film festival awards including Best Actress and Palme d'Or at the 34th Cannes Film Festival.

'Hobgoblins' (1988)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (7)

Hobgoblins is the 1988 sci-fi horror about a group of horny teenagers who must defeat a bunch of furry goblins who use people's deepest fantasies against them in a vicious killing spree. Kevin (Tom Bartlett), a new security guard at a film studio has no idea of the terror he is unleashing on the world when he opens a deserted film vault and unknowingly frees the trapped extraterrestrial creatures.

Hobgoblins is about as bizarre as an 80s B-horror movie gets, however, the weirdest scene has to be when Amy (Paige Sullivan), Kevin's crush, has her fantasy bought to life by the hobgoblins, which as it turns out is becoming a striper and dancing on stage in a sleazy club.

'Parents' (1989)

Surprise, surprise, another 80s horror about cannibalism, this time it's the black comedy horror, Parents staring National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation's, Randy Quaid and The Exorcism of Emily Rose's Mary Beth Hurt, as parents of poor little Michael (Bryan Madorsky) a child who suspects his parents are cannibals when he finds body parts hanging in their basement.

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Parents has become a cult classic over time and has received praise for its social commentary on American life in the 1950s, but that doesn't negate the fact that it is disturbing as all hell. As if being forced to eat human flesh wasn't bad enough, things get even worse for Michael and even more uncomfortable for the audience when the young boy catches his parent doing the dirty amongst a pool of blood and human flesh.

'Night Of The Creeps' (1986)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (9)

The 80s filmmaker obsession with slug-like creatures continues in Night Of The Creeps, the horror sci-fi comedy where murderous alien slugs, eager to find hosts, are sent to Earth by aliens who look like giant naked babies. Though the first host is captured shortly, he is released years later by two naive college students allowing the slugs to go free and terrorize the town.

Night Of The Creeps was written and directed by The Predator writer, Fred Dekker and although it has its totally bonkers moments, (did we mention giant naked alien babies?) at the end of the day it is a fun, cult classic, alien slash zombie teen horror flick. It even scores highly on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average of 75%.

'Killer Klowns From Outer Space' (1988)

The 10 Most Bizarre Horror Films From The 1980s (10)

Killer Klowns From Outer Space is without question one of the wackiest horror films ever made. As the title implies, the film is about clown-looking aliens who arrive from outer space, determined to capture and harvest every human they can get their chunky hands on.

(Video) 10 Best B-Movie Horrors From The 80s

The clowns are the stuff of nightmares: they're giant, superhuman, four-fingered, make-up clad creatures sent from an unknown planet to harvest humans in cotton candy-like cocoons or turn them into popcorn. The entire film is completely bonkers: the only way to kill the clowns is through the giant red noses. However, they eventually respawn as popcorn kernels so good luck to anyone trying to enjoy a buttery snack while watching.

KEEP READING: The 50 Best Horror Movies of the 1980s, Ranked


What is the most traumatizing movie? ›

*And, along with these descriptions, some of these do also contain SPOILERS for their respective films!
  • The Human Centipede (2010) IFC Films. ...
  • Man Bites Dog (1992) View this video on YouTube. ...
  • Jojo Rabbit (2019) ...
  • The Hills Have Eyes (2006) ...
  • Hostel (2005) ...
  • Irréversible (2002) ...
  • Society (1989) ...
  • American History X (1998)
4 Mar 2022

What was the highest grossing horror movie in the 80s? ›

Highest Grossing 80s Horror Films
  • The Shining (1980) R | 146 min | Drama, Horror. ...
  • Friday the 13th (1980) R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller. ...
  • The Fog (1980) R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller. ...
  • Prom Night (1980) ...
  • Motel Hell (1980) ...
  • He Knows You're Alone (1980) ...
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981) ...
  • Halloween II (1981)

What was the number one horror movie in 1985? ›

At the top of the heap is George Romero's Day of the Dead, the third entry in the director's original “of the dead” series, and the most likely entry of the series to be badly underrated by the average viewer.

What scary movie is based on a true story? ›

"The Exorcist" (1973)

Often referred to as the scariest horror movie in history, “The Exorcist” is based on a true story.

What is the darkest movie ever made? ›

Our Top 15 Darkest Movies Of All Time [Updated 2022]
  • Requiem for A Dream (2000)
  • The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)
  • Oldboy (2003)
  • Precious (2009)
  • Antichrist (2009)
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
  • Martyrs (2008)
  • A Serbian Film (2010)
26 Jan 2022

Why is Salo so disturbing? ›

Salò has been banned in several countries, because of its graphic portrayals of rape, torture and murder—mainly of people thought to be younger than eighteen years of age.

Why do I like disturbing movies? ›

The easiest explanation would be that humans crave the rush of adrenaline that comes from being shocked or scared, but films in this genre often go beyond the conventions of horror. The intent of these films, it seems, is not to simply frighten you — although many do — but rather to fundamentally disturb you.

What was the highest grossing horror movie of all time corrected for inflation? ›

The only horror movie to make our list of highest-grossing movies adjusted for inflation, The Exorcist was released in 1973 and was horrifying enough to cause people to faint in theaters.

Which slasher movie made the most money? ›

Genre Keyword: Slasher
RankTitleLifetime Gross
3Scream 2$101,363,301
4Scream 3$89,143,175
56 more rows

What horror movie came out in 1986? ›

List of horror films of 1986
TerrorVisionTed NicolaouUnited States
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2Tobe HooperUnited States
The TombFred Olen RayUnited States
Trick or TreatCharles Martin SmithUnited States
54 more rows

When did Nightmare on Elm Street? ›

November 9, 1984

Is Veronica the most scariest movie? ›

Not everyone thinks the film is scary

Despite plenty of Twitter users expressing their fear of the film, others have disagreed. One writes: “[Veronica] was good, quite scary, a few jump scares, creepy demons and Ouija boards… Yet definitely not THE scariest film I have ever seen”.

Where can I watch old horror movies? ›

Which Streaming Service is Best for Horror? A Ranking
  • HBO Max.
  • Tubi. ...
  • Amazon Prime Video. ...
  • Hulu. ...
  • Peacock. ...
  • Netflix. Pros: Some solid original films, big selection of Indian horror. ...
  • Paramount+ Pros: Strange, eclectic horror selection. ...
  • Disney+ Pros: Small collection of family friendly Halloween classics. ...
5 Oct 2021

How scary is insidious? ›

Insidious is full of some of the best jump scares in horror history, none of which are predictable. Part of what makes Insidious' jump scares so horrifying is that they are not just visual jump scares, but they are supported by loud sound effects, creating the perfect combination to create an ideal jump scare.

Who is Michael Myers based on? ›

'Michael Myers' was the real-life name of the head of the now dissolved British company Miracle Films. Myers, after meeting producer Irwin Yablans, distributed John Carpenter's previous film Assault on Precinct 13 in England in 1977. His name was chosen as a tribute to this success.

Is Chucky based off a true story? ›

Unlike the alleged real-life events that inspired "Annabelle," the events depicted in the 1988 slasher flick "Child's Play" are regarded as a work of fiction; however, the tale of Robert the Doll, a real-life case of paranormal activity involving a haunted doll, has some pretty striking similarities to that of Chucky ...

Is the nun based on a true story? ›

No. Unlike The Conjuring films and certain aspects of the Annabelle movies, The Nun was not inspired by a true story. As stated above, even the demon's name Valak is derived from mythology, not fact.

Is Sinister the scariest movie ever? ›

As part of something called the Science of Scare Project, it was determined that Sinister, Scott Derrickson's creepy 2012 chiller starring Ethan Hawke, is the scariest movie ever made.

Is Veronica the most scariest movie? ›

Not everyone thinks the film is scary

Despite plenty of Twitter users expressing their fear of the film, others have disagreed. One writes: “[Veronica] was good, quite scary, a few jump scares, creepy demons and Ouija boards… Yet definitely not THE scariest film I have ever seen”.

What makes The Exorcist scary? ›

Infamous scenes include Regan urinating on the carpet in front of dinner guests, stabbing at her genitals with a crucifix, desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary, and, of course, the head-spinning scene. There is also the possessed Regan's use of obscene and graphic language.

How scary is The Conjuring? ›

Parents need to know that The Conjuring is a truly scary horror movie that's based on a true story about a haunted house, a demon possession, and an exorcism. It's more frightening than gory; no characters die (except a dog), and not much blood is shown, except during an intense demon-possession scene at the climax.

Which was scarier conjuring or Sinister? ›

No other movie topped this individual jump scare. Overall, Insidious came in second place behind Sinister. Rounding out the rest of the top 10, The Conjuring came in third, Hereditary in fourth, Paranormal Activity in fifth, and It Follows in sixth.

How scary is Insidious? ›

Insidious is full of some of the best jump scares in horror history, none of which are predictable. Part of what makes Insidious' jump scares so horrifying is that they are not just visual jump scares, but they are supported by loud sound effects, creating the perfect combination to create an ideal jump scare.

Is Sinister OK for kids? ›

It's actually a modern horror that is actually scary. This film is very disturbing though and if is definitely not for young children. There is hanging, drowning, etc. But it's ok for mature 13 year olds.

Which horror movie no one can finish on Netflix? ›

The ten horror films Netflix say are too scary for viewers to finish: Cabin Fever (Travis Zariwny, 2016) Carnage Park (Mickey Keating, 2016) México Bárbaro (Isaac Ezban, Laurette Flores Bornn, Jorge Michel Grau, 2014)

Can a 14 year old watch Veronica? ›

Definitely not for kids.

Are Scary movies good for anxiety? ›

It helps us feel in control.

In one recent study, Clasen found that anxious people might get better at handling their own anxiety by watching scary movies. “There may be a relief in seeking out situations that give you a blast of well-defined fear with a clear source and a crucial element of control,” he explains.

Where was The Exorcist banned? ›

The Exorcist – UK

The Exorcist – UK: Home video copies of William Friedkin's controversial horror classic were removed from UK shelves in 1988 and remained prohibited for 11 years, though the film played occasionally in cinemas during this period.

Is The Exorcist ok for a 12 year old? ›

Parents need to know that The Exorcist is a mature horror film, not aimed at (or paced for) kids. No rock-music soundtracks or look-out-the-killer-is-behind-you scares, but rather an awful sense of corruption as demonic possession takes over an adolescent girl like a loathsome progressive disease.

Why is The Exorcist considered the scariest movie ever? ›

The reason “The Exorcist” is known as one of the most frightening films to this day is because it doesn't rely on jump scares or typical horror film clichés. Instead, the film provokes a feeling of outright terror that lasts for two hours and twelve minutes.

Is The Conjuring 18+? ›

How old do you have to be to watch The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It? You have to be 17 to watch any R-rated movie alone in theaters. If you're underage and want to watch The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It at your local AMC, you'll have to get an adult to take you.

What is the scariest Annabelle? ›

1. Annabelle: Creation (2017)
  • Horror.
  • Annabelle (2014)
  • Anabelle: Creation (2017)
  • Annabelle 3 (2019)
29 Apr 2020

How scary is the nun? ›

The Nun is rated R for its violence and bloody images, and this is present from the opening sequence. There's a fair amount of blood shown, with one decaying corpse returned to in various states throughout. While that will definitely upset the very squeamish, there's nothing overly extreme in The Nun.


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