'80s Slashers

by thegrimmreaper | created - 02 Oct 2011 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

(with the exception of the first)

This is a work in progress which I plan to update/refine over time. I'm more interested in grouping similar ones (holiday, backwoods, camp, high school, college, etc.), so I wouldn't put much weight on the movies' numerical rank.

It should be noted I'm only including the first in any given series (I may decide to indicate sequels in the description), unless the original came from an earlier decade (e.g. Psycho II).

If you notice something I've missed let me know and I'll add it. Thanks and hope you enjoy!

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1. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 216,280 | Gross: $47.00M

holiday slasher

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

76 Metascore

The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 194,087 | Gross: $25.50M

high school slasher

3. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

22 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp where, years before, it was the site of a child's drowning and a grisly double murder.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 111,408 | Gross: $39.75M

camp slasher

4. Child's Play (1988)

R | 87 min | Horror, Thriller

58 Metascore

A single mother gives her son a much sought-after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif

Votes: 82,458 | Gross: $33.24M

5. The New York Ripper (1982)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A burned-out New York police detective teams up with a college psychoanalyst to track down a vicious serial killer randomly stalking and killing various young women around the city.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross, Andrea Occhipinti

Votes: 8,705

6. Pieces (1982)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The co-eds of a Boston college campus are targeted by a mysterious killer who is creating a human jigsaw puzzle from their body parts.

Director: Juan Piquer Simón | Stars: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom

Votes: 7,803 | Gross: $2.03M

college slasher

7. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

46 Metascore

A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka | Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight

Votes: 16,490 | Gross: $5.67M

holiday slasher

8. The Prowler (1981)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

45 Metascore

An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito | Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger

Votes: 8,747

college/dance slasher

9. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

R | 84 min | Horror

58 Metascore

Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance.

Director: Robert Hiltzik | Stars: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields, Christopher Collet

Votes: 23,968 | Gross: $11.00M

camp slasher

10. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

24 Metascore

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker

Votes: 7,717

high school/birthday slasher

11. Maniac (1980)

R | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

22 Metascore

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton, Kelly Piper

Votes: 13,123

12. The Stepfather (1987)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

72 Metascore

After murdering his entire family, a man marries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.

Director: Joseph Ruben | Stars: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack, Charles Lanyer

Votes: 12,158 | Gross: $2.49M

13. Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981)

R | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An orphaned teenager finds himself being dominated by his aunt who's hell-bent on keeping him with her...at all costs.

Director: William Asher | Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson, Marcia Lewis

Votes: 1,965

aka Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker. Highly recommended original slasher with uncomfortable homophobic overtones.

14. Prom Night (1980)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

45 Metascore

At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.

Director: Paul Lynch | Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin

Votes: 14,211 | Gross: $14.80M

high school/dance slasher

15. The Burning (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

42 Metascore

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam | Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua

Votes: 14,391

camp slasher

16. The House on Sorority Row (1982)

R | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

50 Metascore

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman | Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward, Robin Meloy

Votes: 6,630 | Gross: $1.29M

sorority slasher

17. Antropophagus (1980)

R | 92 min | Horror

A group of friends and a hitchhiker become stranded on a tourist island where they are stalked by a disfigured cannibalistic killer who is prowling the island after killing its residents.

Director: Joe D'Amato | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini

Votes: 5,056

18. Madman (1981)

R | 88 min | Horror, Thriller

A legendary psychopathic murderer stalks a summer camp.

Director: Joe Giannone | Stars: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass, Seth Jones

Votes: 4,589

camp slasher

19. The Mutilator (1984)

R | 86 min | Horror, Thriller

A teenager who accidentally committed matricide finds himself being hunted together with his girlfriend and mates by his now crazed father.

Directors: Buddy Cooper, John Douglass | Stars: Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers

Votes: 3,484

20. Basket Case (1982)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Horror

77 Metascore

A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

Director: Frank Henenlotter | Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel

Votes: 15,148

21. Nightmare (1981)

R | 97 min | Horror

A mental patient embarks on a murder spree upon escaping from an institution.

Director: Romano Scavolini | Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke, Mik Cribben

Votes: 3,124

22. Curtains (1983)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.

Director: Richard Ciupka | Stars: John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson, Anne Ditchburn

Votes: 3,763

actor slasher

23. StageFright (1987)

Unrated | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of stage actors lock themselves in the theater for a rehearsal of their upcoming musical production, unaware that an escaped psychopath has sneaked into the theater with them.

Director: Michele Soavi | Stars: David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Domenico Fiore, Robert Gligorov

Votes: 6,277

actor slasher

24. April Fool's Day (1986)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery

49 Metascore

Nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's Day weekend.

Director: Fred Walton | Stars: Deborah Foreman, Griffin O'Neal, Clayton Rohner, Jay Baker

Votes: 13,139 | Gross: $12.95M

holiday slasher (also opens on a birthday)

25. Just Before Dawn (1981)

R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by Forest Ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the area.... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Lieberman | Stars: George Kennedy, Mike Kellin, Chris Lemmon, Gregg Henry

Votes: 4,764

backwoods slasher

26. Phenomena (1985)

R | 116 min | Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi, Fiore Argento

Votes: 21,655

27. Psycho II (1983)

R | 113 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

54 Metascore

After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude, but the specters of his crimes - and his mother - continue to haunt him.

Director: Richard Franklin | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia

Votes: 22,275 | Gross: $34.73M

28. Evil Dead Trap (1988)

102 min | Horror

A TV station employee takes a camera crew out to an abandoned factory to investigate a purported snuff film that was made there, only to end up running for her life when a small, fetus-like creature murders her crew.

Director: Toshiharu Ikeda | Stars: Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi, Hitomi Kobayashi, Eriko Nakagawa

Votes: 2,076

Japanese slasher

29. Don't Go in the House (1979)

R | 82 min | Horror

A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower.

Director: Joseph Ellison | Stars: Dan Grimaldi, Charles Bonet, Bill Ricci, Robert Carnegie

Votes: 3,496

30. Mother's Day (1980)

Unrated | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Two brothers kidnap and brutalize three women for the pleasure of their demented mother.

Director: Charles Kaufman | Stars: Tiana Pierce, Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Frederick Coffin

Votes: 4,090

holiday/backwoods slasher

31. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

R | 79 min | Horror, Thriller

31 Metascore

Little Billy witness his parents getting killed by Santa after being warned by his senile grandpa that Santa punishes those who are naughty. Now Billy is 18, and out of the orphanage, and he has just become Santa, himself.

Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr. | Stars: Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson

Votes: 12,783 | Gross: $2.49M

holiday slasher

32. Christmas Evil (1980)

R | 100 min | Horror, Thriller

A toy factory worker, mentally scarred as a child upon learning Santa Claus is not real, suffers a nervous breakdown after being belittled at work, and embarks on a Yuletide killing spree.

Director: Lewis Jackson | Stars: Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, Andy Fenwick

Votes: 5,410

holiday slasher

33. Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery

Somebody with very little Christmas spirit is killing anyone in a Santa suit one London holiday season, and Scotland Yard has to stop him before he makes his exploits an annual tradition.

Director: Edmund Purdom | Stars: Edmund Purdom, Alan Lake, Belinda Mayne, Mark Jones

Votes: 1,520

holiday slasher

34. New Year's Evil (1980)

R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller

33 Metascore

During a New Year's Eve celebration, a Los Angeles disc jockey receives a phone call saying that when New Year's strikes in each time zone, someone will be murdered - and she will be the last one.

Director: Emmett Alston | Stars: Roz Kelly, Kip Niven, Chris Wallace, Grant Cramer

Votes: 2,360

holiday slasher

35. Terror Train (1980)

R | 97 min | Horror, Thriller

Three years after a prank that went terribly awry, the six college students responsible are targeted by a masked killer at a New Year's Eve party aboard a moving train.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield

Votes: 8,964

holiday slasher (new year's) (on a train)

36. Blood Rage (1987)

R | 82 min | Horror

As kids, Todd is institutionalized for a murder whilst his twin goes free. 10 years later, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighborhood.

Director: John Grissmer | Stars: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Julie Gordon, Jayne Bentzen

Votes: 2,993

holiday slasher (thanksgiving)

37. The Funhouse (1981)

R | 96 min | Horror

56 Metascore

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott

Votes: 11,455 | Gross: $7.89M

38. Intruder (1989)

R | 83 min | Horror, Thriller

The overnight stock crew of a local supermarket find themselves being stalked and slashed by a mysterious maniac.

Director: Scott Spiegel | Stars: Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks, David Byrnes

Votes: 6,804

grocery store slasher

39. Hide and Go Shriek (1988)

R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of teenagers spend the night in a furniture store for a graduation party. A psycho killer starts hunting them down one by one.

Director: Skip Schoolnik | Stars: Bunky Jones, Brittain Frye, Annette Sinclair, George Thomas

Votes: 1,201

furniture store slasher

40. The Initiation (1984)

R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

While trying to understand a frightening reoccurring nightmare, a pledge is coaxed into breaking into her father's department store by her sorority sisters, where a deranged killer targets the girls and their boyfriends.

Directors: Larry Stewart, Peter Crane | Stars: Vera Miles, Clu Gulager, Daphne Zuniga, James Read

Votes: 2,628

sorority slasher (in a mall)

41. Hell Night (1981)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion, where they are stalked by the monstrous survivor of a family massacre years earlier.

Director: Tom DeSimone | Stars: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton, Kevin Brophy

Votes: 5,630

sorority slasher (in an old mansion)

42. Sorority House Massacre (1986)

R | 74 min | Horror

College student Beth and her sorority sisters are stalked by an escaped psychopathic killer who shares a strange telepathic link with her.

Director: Carol Frank | Stars: Angela O'Neill, Wendy Martel, Pamela Ross, Nicole Rio

Votes: 2,466

sorority slasher

43. He Knows You're Alone (1980)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

A young bride-to-be is being stalked upon by a serial killer in Staten Island. She gets help from a former lover, but will they manage to escape?

Director: Armand Mastroianni | Stars: Don Scardino, Caitlin O'Heaney, Elizabeth Kemp, Tom Rolfing

Votes: 2,938

44. Cheerleader Camp (1988)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

A group of cheerleaders become the targets of an unknown killer at a remote summer camp.

Director: John Quinn | Stars: Betsy Russell, Leif Garrett, Lucinda Dickey, Lorie Griffin

Votes: 2,922

camp slasher

45. Opera (1987)

R | 107 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini, Daria Nicolodi

Votes: 13,615

46. Alone in the Dark (1982)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

6.1