Sleepaway Camp (1983)

There have been many unexpected twists in the slasher canon; in fact, a shock finale is pretty much a prerequisite for a sub-genre that relies so heavily on jump scares and gross-out shock factor.

Also known as Nightmare Vacation, Sleepaway Camp is a very different animal—different in the sense that it not only relies on its twist, it lives and dies by it. It is because of that twist—one of the most shocking and unexpected in all of cinema—that the movie would go on to spawn several increasingly shitty sequels, achieving the kind of cult status that most low-budget schlock can only dream of. So monumental was the movie’s shock reveal that […]

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Blood Rage (1987)

Blood Rage is a goofy little number which peddles horror the way Head and Shoulders peddles shampoo. 

Originally titled Shadow at Nightmare Woods, the movie’s 1983 theatrical release coincided with the censorship crusade of the early 1980s, and was therefore stripped of its gruesome embellishments until Prism Entertainment rescued it from the MPAA’s pitiless expurgation. By 1987—the year of its largely uncut home video release—the slasher genre had undergone the kind of metamorphosis that turned a cynical vacuum of vivisection into a sparkling wink of self-knowing […]

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Rawhead Rex (1986)

When you see the name Clive Barker, you’re pretty much guaranteed a stamp of quality.

A prolific author and scribe of unique and terrifying short fiction, he would also write and direct the original Hellraiser movie, with a screenplay that was adapted from his story The Hellbound Heart. Dark, unique and seeped in the fantastical, Hellraiser would give us one of the most iconic horror villains of the decade, a pin-headed sadist with proclamations of making pleasure and pain indivisible […]

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Vamp (1986)

Back in the mid-1980s the whole world turned neon.

Music videos, nightclubs, catwalks: they all glowed with it, and for a short period it not only screamed high-tech, it was also the adopted look of the avant-garde, with new wave pop bands bathing on sun-kissed islands over neon cocktails. Let’s just hope they didn’t get stomach poisoning.

In the movies, those garish swathes of pink and green were perhaps more prevalent than anywhere else. For most of the decade those stylish James Bond opening sequences would turn to neon as […]

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House (1986)

For many kids of the 1980s House was a very memorable movie indeed.

To begin with it had one of the most eye-catching VHS covers of the entire decade, and for those who remember the original theatrical trailer, the movie screamed ‘rent me!’ to any practical effects junkie scouring the horror section for their next visual fix. I remember the cover and the trailer, but I didn’t see House until just recently, and as an adult I was somewhat underwhelmed.

Still, the movie went on to spawn three sequels, and for all you appreciators baying for my blood, please hear me out […]

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The Borrower (1991)

In many ways The Borrower is a low-budget derivative of Jack Sholder’s 1987 sci-fi horror The Hidden, one that proves infinitely less successful in its comical aspirations, but that’s not to say it is completely without its charm.

By 1991, production company the Cannon Group was way past its peak following a misguided plunge into the realms of blockbuster extravaganza, but this particular movie is evidence that those at Golan-Globus could still attract their fair share of household names, even if the stars in question were a half decade past their commercial prime […]

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