FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Apr 29, 2009

1985 wasn't so bad

So today I was thinking about, you know, like, stuff and stuff, and I was all...hmm. Yeah. "Horror kinda nosedived as the 1980s went on and on." Then I thought about 1985 and I was all, "Well, that wasn't such a bad year." Then I thought about the fact that I used to wear nylon pants in the mid-80s, and how that was a terrible, terrible decision on my part...especially when one considers that I would generally couple said nylon pants with Chuck Taylors and Hawaiian shirts. What the fuck was I thinking?

Anyway, yeah, horror in '85. Some good movies, and a turn toward black comedy. Notable, perhaps. Perhaps not. I guess that's a decision you'll have to make for yourself, consequences be damned. Not unlike opting to pull up some nylon pants.

Return of the Living Dead

This film completely cordoned off a piece of my heart reserved forever and always for Linnea Quigley.


Gordon + Lovecraft + Combs + Crampton are mid-80s Fab Four as far as I'm concerned.


SAKES ALIVE. Why oh why can't I zip around the universe all nude-like, shooting lasers out of my eyes? It's all I want in the world!

Fright Night

Three things always spring to mind when I think of Fright Night: 1) Amanda Bearse's magically-lengthening vampire hair; 2) "Oh, you're so cool, Brewster!"; 3) Chris Sarandon's off-white cable-knit sweater.

The Stuff

I've never seen The Stuff. There, I said it.


This movie makes no sense and it's wicked gross. I fucking love it.

Day of the Dead

Oft-maligned, but I've always dug Day of the Dead. Maybe because it was the first Romero zombie pic I was allowed to see...saw it at the drive-in. Brain chaos ensued. "Yes, sir...fuck you, sir!"

The Company of Wolves

Saw this once upon a time- and when I say "a time", I mean "a horror movie sleepover pizza party time"...meaning, I thought it stunk. Undoubtedly, I need to revisit it.

So...1985. Whatchoo tink?


Cuntry Trash said...

As much as I wanted to say ROTLD, I have to vote other and "Friday The 13th: A New Beginning"

Cunningham said...

Dear Lovely Miss Stacie,

I was in college in 1985. Video wasn't yet king, but it had its eyes on the throne.

Coke was cheap.

Hair was tall.

Sleeves were up ala' Miami Vice.

We were all mad scientists in a laboratory called life.

Yeah - it was pretty good.

Bill Walsh said...

Well, from the Translations You Didn't Ask For file…nothin'. No hablo 日本語.

But lovely to see Final Girl back! From the DEAD!

(At this point, we realize our heroine is actually undead and will be starring in the sequel.)

Frank White said...

Tough choice, but I'm going to have to go with The Stuff. Michael Moriarty needs to be in every movie, ever.

Brad Nelson said...

I am inclined to pick "Butthole Surfers" when they are mentioned in any poll ever. The poll could be about kitchen appliances and I would be all "the Butthole Surfers are a perfectly efficient kitchen appliance."

slasherfan said...

Demons and The Return of the Living Dead are both all-time favorites. I even like Demons 2 from '86. But 80's horror rules in general to me.

andrew said...

In college?! That's cool. I was 7 in 1985. Nevertheless, I love just about every movie in the poll...which, of course, is why I had to vote for your mom.

And the Butthole Surfers were effing rad. Untouchable and mildly unlistenable pretty much up until their departure from Alternative Tentacles. Geniuses. Gibby Haynes for President!

math said...

You need to watch The Stuff, and you need to watch it toNIGHT. Pleezbaleevit.

Anonymous said...

Re-Animator... oh what sweet memories of the eighties that flick brings back.

Dark Side said...

Definitely Re-Animator. Has anyone heard about this "Re-Animator: The Series" that's in production? Supposedly it's got a young 90210 cast and they're making Herbert West a hunky, seducer of a mad scientist. Sounds like a bad idea, but I must know more.

Anonymous said...

"Freddy's Revenge", dude! It's kind of the "Season of the Witch" of the franchise, but hey, such a distinction ain't all bad. "Freddy's Revenge" is to the rest of the movies as carob is to chocolate: similar, but not to be thought of as an imitation, and instead savored for its own subtle's subtle, ohmyfuckinggodthisisthegayestmoviesince"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" merits. Yes. Those ones.

Matt-suzaka said...

It is a dope list for sure, and all of those movies are favorites of mine growing up and still now at this present time.

I think the title prize should go to Re-Animator or Return of the Living Dead. Those two films are "classic" horror films and probably the most loved overall.

With that said, I voted for "my" fav. of 85' based on it being...well, my favorite. The movie is of course Fright Night!

Fright Night is one of the best "pure" vampire movies put to screen, and it is a film you can show to anyone as it's very accessible to the regular Joe, and it delivers full on for the horror fan.

So yeah, that’s my pick. Word.

Martin said...

You run a blog about horror movies and you haven't seen The Stuff?

As a child of the 80's, I am almost comically offended.

Please rectify this non-tenable situation as soon as possible!

I love all of the movies you mentioned, with Lifeforce holding a special place in my heart.

Smogo said...

I agree with Ruth the Sleuth re Freddy's Revenge, and that is my "other" vote.

Craig Blamer said...

Y'know... Cat's Eye wasn't half bad, either.

Damn. Never thought how rad 1985 was for horror. Probably the last gasp before it all went to hell by the 90s.

But tough choice between Day of the Dead, Re-Animator and Return of the Living Dead.

Have to go with Return, though... there's so damned few horror films that nail that exquisite balance between scary as hell and funny as hell that I may just call it the best horror film of the 80s.

Fantastic OST, too.

BloodPepsi said...

Don't listen to em Stacie... The Stuff is better in theory than in practice. Plus it's barely horror. It's all over the place. Tongue-in-cheek, adventure, sci-fi, social commentar-comedy, FX-driven spoof.

I kind of wish I voted for Day Of The Dead, but my heart, and one of the fondest movie viewing memories of my life, belongs to Return Of The Living Dead. (<--- at a 4th grade sleep-over party: eating tons of pizza, looking at comic books, getting high off of sugar and caffeine, listening to bad top 40 radio, cursing a lot, and seeing ROTLD, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and TCM2 for the first time ever... and NOT The Company Of Wolves.... because the adolescent-you was right. That movie is boring.)


Verdant Earl said...

Ah, the little teen aged boy inside of me (figuratively) loved that full frontal vampire from Lifeforce. She was just so...naked.

And I recently re-watched The Company of Wolves. Lot of big names in it. Lot of bad special effects. Lot of yawns.

Uranium Willy said...

Whilst I cast my humble vote for day of the Dead there is not doubt that return of the Living Dead is very thrilling entry into the zombie genre. Lots of fun and sppoky as well. The cover for Frightnight became one that was imitated quite frequently for a time. I just saw a couple last night will searching for images that simply had to have been inspired by that great cover.

Mike McFarland said... Teen Wolf?

Actually, my biggest horror of 1985 was watching James Bond get busy with Grace Jones in A View to a Kill. Seriously, what was he thinking?

I voted for Re-Animator. I actually rented a VCR to copy that tape before I returned it.

Miggity Mike said...

Great list. It was close but I've gotta vote for Re-Animator.

With all due respect to '85, '87 produced a few horror classics, too:

Evil Dead 2
Nightmare on Elm st 3
and Robocop (not quite horror but pretty damn close. Either way its one of the best movies ever made).

Anonymous said...

I chose "Other". And by other I mean 1985's The Mutilator. I'll never look at a fishing gaffe the same way again.

gord said...

Demons is one of my favourite 'bad' movies ever, and Day of the Dead (my vote) is my absolute fave of the Romero films, and probably one of my fave films ever. Reanimator is also bitchin. '85 was a good year.

Though I've never been blown away by Return of the Living Dead. I've seen it three times, but just haven't gotten what the big deal is yet. Someone care to explain?

Richard of DM said...

1985 was freakin' great!! My vote is for Re-Animator

SikeChick said...

Wow! I'm going to join the voices of people advising you to watch The Stuff because that movie is insanely awesome, but I didn't actually see it until a few years ago myself. ROTLD, Lifeforce and Fright Night on the other hand seemed to be on every other weekend back in the day and of those three I have to go with ROTLD.

BTW, I too seem to have blanked out all memory of The Company of Wolves. I seem to recall something about never trusting a man whose eyebrows meet and that's it.

Anonymous said...

Wow...I own all but one of those movies...

Stacie Ponder said...

Nice to see the love for RotLD! Craig, you said is perfectly:

"...there's so damned few horror films that nail that exquisite balance between scary as hell and funny as hell that I may just call it the best horror film of the 80s.

Fantastic OST, too."

I hereby promise to see The know, at some point. Prepare yourself for a shocking newsflash, however: not only have I not seen The Stuff, but there are OTHER horror movies I haven't yet seen! *GASP SHOCK AWE*

Anonymous said...

ROTLD, hands down. The copious amounts of gore and T&A, coupled with the amazing soundtrack = no contest.

Don't revisit the Company of Wolves. It's atrocious.

CashBailey said...

FRIGHT NIGHT was the shiz.

Menno said...

Wow, 1985 is indeed a good year!

MrB said...

That Lifeforce poster was also used for the cover of a cheestastic album by Crimson Glory: Transcendence

Drew Beard said...

Definitely revisit "The Company of Wolves." I saw it at 19 and considered it one of my worst rental choices of all time. Saw it again a few years ago and thought it rocked. Angela Lansbury is pretty creepy and the movie does some interesting stuff.

Ryan Clark said...

Demons does it for me. I love Day of the Dead and ROTLD, but Demons is just so crazy and nonsensical that I am compelled to vote for it. :D

John K. said...

Picking between ROTLD and Re-Animator is like picking between siblings - both great films, barely a wasted second of film. Day of the Dead is a close third.

In the end, I had to go with Re-Animator as a matter of personal taste.

Ace said...

I so badly want to vote for "Lifeforce," but I have to go with "Re-Animator."

I don't actually remember any laser beams from the eyes in "Lifeforce." I do remember Capt. Picard talking like a girl and getting his lights punched out.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

i`m actually obsessed with 1987, probably because it was the last year of heather`s life, and because there were some great movies that year: robocop, predator, evil dead 2, killer klowns from outer space, brain damage, the hidden, running man, and masters of the universe, heather would have got to see all of those and the first season of star trek: the next generation, for me the world ended on february 1st 1988 i find it very difficult to look past that date.