Hey kids, this time we are going to travel back to 1982 and 1983 and look at what may be the best horror movies to come out of those two years. Again, these are not, definitively, the best movies of 82 & 83; they’re just my personal favorites. I present to you in, no particular order, a look back at some truly awesome horror gems.
Basket Case 1982
What can you say about Basket Case? I still vividly remember how grossed out I was the first time I laid my eyes on this little beauty. The story of Siamese twins who were surgically separated against their will, spawned two sequels and numerous mental images that cannot be erased. If you have not yet had the pleasure of seeing this film, I highly suggest rectifying that.
Directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King, this is a delightful horror anthology that isn’t great, so much as it’s great fun. Master of makeup, Tom Savini, put his magical touch on this movie as well. I always found “Something To Tide You Over” to be a uniquely creepy story.
Halloween 3:Season of the Witch 1982
Do we all remember the first time we saw this entry into the Halloween franchise? I know I do; I was livid. Where is Michael Myers?! What kind of practical joke nonsense is this? And the Silver Shamrock song; good luck ever getting that one out of your head. With a little maturity, I was able to look at this film for what it is; a fantastic horror/sci-fi mashup with a legitimately creepy premise. If like me, you fell in love with this movie, well, I have a couple of treats in store for you this week; watch this space for more Season of the Witch love.
Directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written by Steven Spielberg, this cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t respect the dead, earned three Academy Award nominations and is on numerous lists ranking scary movies. This movie still scares me. I may even be able to pinpoint this movie as the source of my coulrophobia (fear of clowns). If you haven’t seen this in a while, I think you may be surprised how well it holds up.
The Thing 1982
This is the first in John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, followed by Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness. The really interesting thing about this being the first in his trilogy, is that The Thing is a remake. That’s right remake naysayers, this is a remake. A fine example that horror remakes can, in fact, be good and, even dare I say, great.
The Slumber Party Massacre 1982
Here, we have the classic 80’s horror film; lots of naked boobie shots, a slumber party, a gaggle of silly girls and a killer who uses a power drill on his lovely victims; nothing Freudian going on here. Everyone loves an exploitation flick, yes? For me, the most interesting thing about this movie is that it was written by a feminist activist. Rita Mae Brown had written this as a parody, but it was not filmed that way; somehow, this just lends more humor to it.
The Hunger 1983
Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Bauhaus. What more could you possibly want from a vampire film? The Hunger has it all; a love triangle, beautiful people who don’t age, a song from the kings of goth at the beginning of the film and an overall dreamy quality. Love this movie.
Sleepaway Camp 1983
Just in case there are a few sad souls who are not familiar with this story, I will refrain from speaking too freely about the awesomeness that is the shocking ending of all shocking endings. This is a great, classic slasher film set at a summer camp that has so very much more going on that just a slice ’em and dice ’em agenda. The subtext in this movie was way ahead of it’s time and still just as relevant today.
Something Wicked This Way Comes 1983
Ray Bradbury wrote the screenplay based off of his novel of the same name. Not sure why we always watched this during the holidays at my house because this is a truly creepy film. So, of course, it is courtesy of Walt Disney studios. See, they have been trying to ruin our childhoods from the word “go”. Carnivals are always creepy; especially when they pop up over night, are headed up by a very mysterious looking man and have an ultra scary mirror maze.