Yes, you read that correctly, 1980 as in the year not the decade. For those following along on this journey I’ve been doing my Top 10 favorites per decade. I took a look at my list from the 1980s and well…There are 20 in 1980 alone. So, you’re getting ten lists, one for each year of the 1980s. I think the the greatest decade of horror deserves that. Plus you may find some hidden gems in these lists.
When I am finished with the lists I will do a top 50 of the 1980s, just because I want to. Our THS team list is from 2016 and extremely outdated. Most the staff that helped rank those movies have moved on to other things.
1980 isn’t the greatest year of the decade, but the are some really good movies in there. I will be mixing in Italian horror as well, I wanted to make that clear. There will not be a top 10 80s Italian horror list, unless requested.
This may be excessive, but so we’re the 1980s. So check out the latest of Rayzor’s Top 10 Horror Lists with the year I was born, 1980.
10. Contamination (1980)
There are a bunch of Italian horror films on the 1980 list. Contamination is a genuine rip off of the success of 1979’s Alien. It is very different, these pulsating eggs throb until humans within the area, well their chests explode. Ian McCullouch from Fulci’s Zombie is in this one and it’s worth a watch. It has the gore and it is ridiculous. Last I saw it was on Shudder.
9. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
If we talk about Joe Bob Briggs 3 Bs, this movie has plenty, Blood, beasts and breaststroke. Humanoids from the Deep is a fun movie with an absolute madness of an ending. I had so much fun with it, I bought it immediately after viewing on the Last Drive In with Joe Bob.
8. Burial Ground (1980)
How strange this movie is…Let’s just talk about the dubbed dialog for a moment, it’s fairly odd, lines like, “You’re getting a raise alright, but it has nothing to do with money.” Solid gold. Otherwise you’re looking at a zombie movie like many others…until the end when 23 year old Peter Bark is playing a 12 year old, when turned into a zombie his mother offers her tit for him to suck on and…
7. Anthropophagus (1980)
This movie really plays as a giallo in some ways. It is a mystery for about half of the movie. Why is the island deserted? Where are all of the people? Well you find out when George Eastman begins eating people. But the climax is kind of ruined by the poster art. I will say it is still worth watching, 100%.
6. Friday the 13th (1980)
Some may wonder why Friday the 13th is so low on this ranking. Honestly, I love it, but it has lost its value and when you’re not even the best, second best or even third best in your own franchise, well you won’t be the best of a single year.
5. Doctor Butcher MD (1980)
This is a great crossover movie for those who loved the Italian Cannibal craze and those who love the Italian Zombie movie craze. It stars Ian McCullouch and has an actual good story. The effects aren’t the greatest, but it still has a bunch to offer. There are two different cuts, watch Doctor Butcher, it’s preferred.
4. Inferno (1980)
Yes, I prefer Inferno over Suspiria. Inferno is an unofficial sequel as it follows the Three Mothers which began in Suspiria. This one follows multiple characters and has one of the best openings and endings in Argento’s career. The score us really damn good even if it isn’t Goblin.
3. City of the Living Dead (1980)
I go back and forth on this and the Beyond as my favorite from Lucio Fulci. This was my first experience and it has some of the greatest effects in Italian horror. There are guts from the mouth, bleeding eyes, drill through the head, brain squishing and Father Thomas. There is a little bit of everything in Gates of Hell or City of the Living Dead. Surely it is on Shudder, or buy a copy.
2. The Fog (1980)
I go back and forth on this and Prince of Darkness as my favorite from John Carpenter. The Fog is his ghost story movie and it is well done. The atmosphere, the building of tension, feeling of dread throughout the film. There is a fantastic cast in place and the score is wonderful. One of the best Carpenter has to offer and that says a lot.
1. The Shining (1980)
How could it not be the Shining at #1. It is a staple in horror history and likely a top 10 of all-time. The Overlook hotel is such a feast for the eyes and Jack Nicholson’s performance is one for the record books. Visually, the Shining is stunning, but it runs deeper the further you get into the film. I absolutely love the Shining.
There it is and all of its 1980 goodness. This is the year I was born and there are some special films in here. Come back next time for 1981. Yes…We’re doing each year in the decade.
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