So far this has been the easiest list to make. 1982 didn’t have as many films as the last two years, but there are a few important films released in 1982, and a few Italian horror for good measure.
I seem to think that 1982 and 1983 were lean years for 80s horror, but I’d be wrong in saying that. There are some really good movies in 1982 that didn’t make the list. Some may be a little silly, some may be Italian. But overall, 1982 is a strong year. If anything, 1983 may be the weakest year of the 1980s when it comes to horror, Return of the Jedi was released in 1983 which makes up for the lack of horror.
Some of the movies that won’t make the list are Q the Winged Serpent, which I like. Alone in the Dark, another movie I enjoyed and if it were released on year later or earlier, likely could make the list. Slumber Party Massacre, easily the best of the bunch and a couple of Italian films, Fulci to be exact, Manhattan Baby and New York Ripper. Both fine Italian horror films, New York Ripper being the better of the two, but they just don’t make the cut.
So, let’s see what films make the cut, shall we?
10. Friday the 13th part III (1982)
I am a big fan of the Friday the 13th movies. Jason Lives is my favorite and one of the best. But part III falls flat for me. I like it enough. The lead is awful and the focus on 3D over kills and story are bothersome. Jason gets the iconic hockey mask, but is that reason enough to rank this any higher? No.
9. Tenebre (1982)
On of Dario Argento’s last great pieces of work, really one of the last great giallo films ever made. Everything you’d expect from and Argento giallo is present, including an excellent twist, sleeze and so much Blood. If you’ve missed Tenebre give it a shot.
8. Pieces (1982)
You don’t need to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre. Yeah that is the tag line. But Pieces is a very different movie and a bunch of fun. It takes place at a college and it works more like a giallo than slasher, kind of a combo. Not to mention it is Italian.
7. Basket Case (1982)
What can I saw about Basket Case that hasn’t already been said? Such an odd movie about conjoined twins Duane and Belial who were separated and have a psychic connection. Duane tries to get on with his life, Belial trashes a hotel room and it is amazing. There are 2 sequels and they’re just as much fun.
6. Amityville 2: The Possession (1982)
Without a doubt this is the best sequel of the 10,000 Amityville sequels. It really tells the story of the Defeo family, kind of. It follows the Montelli family as the move in to the Amityville house and the eldest son gets possessed, also gets a little…well alot gross with his sister. But that aside, I think this is a good one, I’ve always enjoyed the movie and still do. There are scenes that just make me feel super uncomfortable.
5. The Entity (1982)
Speaking of scenes that make me feel uncomfortable. The Entity is one I just watched for the first time in 2022. It is a ghost story, but the ghost is very sexual and it keeps going after Barbara Hershey’s character and keeps getting more and more physical. No one believes her until she meets a couple of guys in a books store. This is a good one and Hershey is a powerhouse in the film. Uncomfortable at times, but worth the watch.
4. Creepshow (1982)
The question I ask, is Creepshow the greatest horror anthology ever made? We have some heavy hitters involved, beginning with George A. Romero in the Director’s chair. But each segment is wonderful and pulled right out of the comic it shows in the film. Tom Atkins plays the abusive father who gets what’s coming. I couldn’t tell you my favorite segment, but they’re all pretty awesome.
3 Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Halloween III has been treated unfairly over the years. But, within the last 6 it seems to finally get the respect it deserves. Sure it doesnt have Michael Myers and is called “Halloween”. But is that a good reason to hate this movie? No, to those who hate, take Halloween and Myers out of your mind for a moment and enjoy Tom Aktins and a really good Halloween horror film.
2. The Thing (1982)
I personally think John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the absolute greatest horror films ever made. It is 100% the best of 1982, just not my favorite. Between the location, the tension and paranoia, how can you not love this movie. Mixed in we get a great and gloomy score from Enio Marricone and John Carpenter, it’s chef’s Kiss!
1. Poltergeist (1982)
With this being a list of my favorites from 1982, I had to put Poltergeist at #1. I absolutely love this film. It has a bit of everything, with a family that feels real and great haunts and very good FX. Whomever directed this movie, Spielberg or Hooper, I don’t care, it is wonderful. When Carol Anne is rescued and says “Hi Daddy”, being a father, it brings a tear to my eye. Now I’ve passed this on to my kids and Poltergeist is one of my daughter’s two favorite horror films, Phantasm being the other…oh and she is only 8 years old.
Thanks to all who read this list, you know I wanna hear from you. Head over to our Facebook and tell us your favorites from 1982.