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.
’80s Horror Teaser
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Directed by Harley Cokeliss • 1988 • United Kingdom
Starring Jemma Redgrave, Kathleen Wilhoite, Timothy Spall
A young bride-to-be’s anxieties over her upcoming wedding take on a horrifying, demonic form in this underseen shocker from director Harley Cokeliss. As her marriage to a decorated war h...
Directed by Brian Yuzna • 1989 • United States
Starring Billy Warlock, Connie Danese, Ben Slack
Teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) has always felt like the odd one out in his wealthy, upper-class Beverly Hills family. But his sense of alienation takes a sinister turn when he hears an audio re...
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto • 1989 • Japan
Starring Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka
An ordinary Japanese salaryman undergoes a shocking metamorphosis in Shinya Tsukamoto’s legendary fusion of body horror and cyberpunk expressionism. A strange man known only as the “metal fetishist”...