’80s Horror

’80s Horror

29 Episodes

The 1980s were defined by style and excess, and the era’s horror movies were no exception. Innovations in practical effects made the nightmares more vivid than ever, and thanks to the rise of home video, the call was now coming from inside the house. While established talents such as John Carpenter (PRINCE OF DARKNESS), David Cronenberg (SCANNERS), Michael Mann (THE KEEP), and Paul Schrader (CAT PEOPLE) brought terrifying spectacles to the screen, often with the help of Hollywood studios, home video opened up a new market that allowed the independents to take the genre to unexpected and—in the case of the UK’s censorship of infamous “Video Nasties”—controversial new heights. Curated by Clyde Folley, this ghastly tour through the decade of greed features ambitious art-pulp hybrids (WHITE OF THE EYE), a Hitchcock-inspired trucker movie (ROAD GAMES), old-fashioned creature features (Q: THE WINGED SERPENT), and absolutely unclassifiable cult oddities (SOCIETY), bringing together some of the eighties’ most stylish, haunting, and outrageous visions.

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’80s Horror
  • ’80s Horror Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Inferno

    Episode 2

    Directed by Dario Argento • 1980 • Italy
    Starring Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi

    A young woman (Irene Miracle) stumbles upon a mysterious diary that reveals the secrets of the “Three Mothers” and unleashes a nightmare world of demonic evil. As the unstoppable horror spreads from...

  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne

    Episode 3

    Directed by Walerian Borowczyk • 1981 • France, West Germany
    Starring Udo Kier, Marina Pierro, Gérard Zalcberg

    It’s the engagement party for brilliant young Dr. Henry Jekyll (Udo Kier) and his fiancée, the beautiful Fanny Osbourne (Marina Pierro), attended by various pillars of Victorian society...

  • Dead & Buried

    Episode 4

    Directed by Gary Sherman • 1981 • United States
    Starring James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson

    Something very strange is happening in the quiet coastal village of Potters Bluff, where tourists and transients are warmly welcomed—then brutally murdered. But even more shocking is when th...

  • The House by the Cemetery

    Episode 5

    Directed by Lucio Fulci • 1981 • Italy
    Starring Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni

    In this outrageous Italian shocker from “Godfather of Gore” Lucio Fulci, a young family moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious new home in New England. But this is no ordinary hous...

  • Strange Behavior

    Episode 6

    Directed by Michael Laughlin • 1981 • United States, New Zealand
    Starring Michael Murphy, Louise Fletcher, Dan Shor

    In the peaceful town of Galesburg, Illinois, a series of brutal killings target the local teenagers. As the bodies pile up, Sheriff John Brady (Michael Murphy) suspects the killer ...

  • Wolfen

    Episode 7

    Directed by Michael Wadleigh • 1981 • United States
    Starring Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos

    A real-estate tycoon, his coke-binging wife, and a slum wino have something grisly in common: they’re the latest victims in a series of seemingly random murders. A veteran NYPD detective ...

  • Scanners

    Episode 8

    Directed by David Cronenberg • 1981 • Canada
    Starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O’Neill, Michael Ironside

    With SCANNERS, David Cronenberg plunges us into one of his most terrifying and thrilling sci-fi worlds. After a man with extraordinary—and frighteningly destructive—telepathic abilities is nabb...

  • Road Games

    Episode 9

    Directed by Richard Franklin • 1981 • Australia, United States
    Starring Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward

    Stacy Keach is Pat Quid, a trucker who plays solitary games to keep his sanity on long hauls through the desolate Australian outback. Jamie Lee Curtis is a free-spirited hitchhike...

  • The Fan

    Episode 10

    Directed by Ed Bianchi • 1981 • United States
    Starring Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Maureen Stapleton

    Screen legend Lauren Bacall stars in this stylish thriller about fame, obsession, and delusion. Sally Ross (Bacall) is a glamorous, successful Broadway star—and an object of all-consuming adorat...

  • Basket Case

    Episode 11

    Directed by Frank Henenlotter • 1982 • United States
    Starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner

    Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a pretty ordinary guy. His formerly conjoined twin Belial, on the other hand, is a deformed, fleshy lump whom he carries around in a wicke...

  • Next of Kin

    Episode 12

    Directed by Tony Williams • 1982 • Austrlia, New Zealand
    Starring Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott

    When a young woman (Jacki Kerin) inherits a creaky retirement home, she finds herself plunged into a waking nightmare of murder, madness, and a legacy of evil that may be inescapable. Awash in...

  • Cat People

    Episode 13

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1982 • United States
    Starring Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard

    Paul Schrader’s kinky-stylish reworking of the 1942 Val Lewton classic transfers the action to a voodoo-spooky New Orleans, adds an incestuous undercurrent, and ups the sex and gore. Nastassj...

  • Q: The Winged Serpent

    Episode 14

    Directed by Larry Cohen • 1982 • United States
    Starring Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine

    Its name is Quetzalcoatl, a dragon-like Aztec god that is summoned to modern-day Manhattan by a mysterious cult. But just call it Q—because that is all you’ll be able to say before it tears you...

  • The Slumber Party Massacre

    Episode 15

    Directed by Amy Holden Jones • 1982 • United States
    Starring Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella

    Scripted by lesbian feminist author Rita Mae Brown, THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE puts a smart, subversive, and lightly satirical spin on the 1980s slasher formula. When Trish (Michelle Mi...

  • The Keep

    Episode 16

    Directed by Michael Mann • 1983 • United Kingdom
    Starring Scott Glenn, Alberta Watson, Jürgen Prochnow

    ​​Michael Mann’s infamous film maudit—met with incomprehension on its release but now an object of growing critical and cult reputation—unfolds in 1943 in German-occupied Romania, where Nazi in...

  • Christine

    Episode 17

    Directed by John Carpenter • 1983 • United States
    Starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul

    A high-school nerd’s (Keith Gordon) possessive and possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury unleashes its jealousy in a diabolical killing rampage in this sleek horror joyride from genre master John Carpe...

  • The Hunger

    Episode 18

    Directed by Tony Scott • 1983 • United Kingdom
    Starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon

    Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon make for the cinema’s most stylish vampiric trio in Tony Scott’s hip, sensual slice of modern-gothic horror. A macabre-chic Deneuve is Miriam,...

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

    Episode 19

    Directed by John McNaughton • 1986 • United States
    Starring Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles

    One of the most harrowing American films ever made, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER is a shocking, thought-provoking plunge into the darkest recesses of the human soul that continues to distur...

  • The Hidden

    Episode 20

    Directed by Jack Sholder • 1987 • United States
    Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian

    Something strange is going down in Los Angeles: ordinary, seemingly harmless citizens are suddenly being transformed into crazed, Ferrari-driving killers. As Detective Thomas Beck (Michael ...

  • White of the Eye

    Episode 21

    Directed by Donald Cammell • 1987 • United Kingdom
    Starring David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg

    In this singularly berserk western-giallo hybrid from Donald Cammell (a Scottish painter turned filmmaker who most famously codirected the cult classic PERFORMANCE with Nicolas Roeg), sound ex...

  • Near Dark

    Episode 22

    Directed by Kathryn Bigelow • 1987 • United States
    Starring Adrian Pasdar, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

    Kathryn Bigelow’s breakthrough second feature is a seductively stylish horror western in which a midwestern farm boy (Adrian Pasdar) gets taken on the ride of his life when he is abducted by a...

  • The Vanishing

    Episode 23

    Directed by George Sluizer • 1988 • Netherlands
    Starring Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege

    A young man embarks on an obsessive search for the girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared while the couple were taking a sunny vacation trip, and his three-year investigation dra...

  • Brain Damage

    Episode 24

    Directed by Frank Henenlotter • 1988 • United States
    Starring Rick Hearst, Jennifer Lowry, Gordon MacDonald

    From Frank Henenlotter, the man behind such cult favorites as BASKET CASE and FRANKENHOOKER, comes BRAIN DAMAGE—the ultimate horror-comedy head trip. Meet Aylmer. He’s your friendly neighb...