Moving on to 1985 and we are now more than half way through the 1980s. So those who have stuck with me, thank you. I know most people don’t give two shits about my opinion or this website for that matter. But, well, I pay for it, so I’m not just going to fuck off and die, I’m gonna continue to spread my opinions and if you’re reading this, well…You’re gonna read them.
So, 1985 was a big year for horror and I know I say that a bunch, but in all likelihood, the 1980s were the biggest decade in horror history. Ask the average horror fan which decade is their favorite…it’d be the 1980s. That seems pretty fair considering most of us are the adults of the world and we grew up in the 80s with these movies. The 1990s did kind of slow down and nearly kill horror. But the last three decades, 2000s, 2010s and now the 2020s have been great for horror. Likely, well the kids from the 1980s grew up watching horror and decided to become filmmakers, like our very own Nathan Thomas Milliner.
I always drone on about the year or what it did for horror, but if I can use one word to describe 1985 in horror, “FUN”! 1985 was fun. So many fun films, horror comedies, dark zombie films, a great vampire film, a great Werewolf film, more sequels and of course…1985 gave us Herbert West.
So, as we do, let’s get to the fucking list already.
10. The Stuff (1985)
What a weird ass movie…Seriously, what was even going on in the 1980s. Alien whipped cream that eats people and they market it to the brain dead masses, “Enough is never enough”. I do love the Stuff. Such an odd and fun film.
9. Lifeforce (1985)
I’m gonna say this right away. Vampires from outerspace that suck out your…life force. Interesting idea directed by a legend in horror. Also, the female Mathilda May is gorgeous and walks around naked for a good portion of the movie.
8. Friday the 13th V A New Beginning (1985)
So many years this was a film I’d skip when binging the series. But in 2013, I got the blu ray box set and I took another look with open eyes and realized, wow A New Beginning may be quirky, campy and sleezy, but it is a pretty good entry. We get a “who dun it” like the original. The series tried to go in a different direction and there were some fun characters. Roy Burns was going to be a stop gap to Tommy being Jason. I love the Michael Myers look to the costume and the Mask with the blue sheverons. A New Beginning is odd, but fun and overlooked and underrated.
7. Silver Bullet (1985)
I’ve gone on record calling Silver Bullet my favorite Werewolf movie. I really enjoy the Howling and have an odd soft spot for the Howling II in my heart. Of course I have tons of respect for An American Werewolf In London. Silver Bullet reminds me of middle America and has the vibes of a movie like The Goonies or Monster Squad. It’s fun with some really dark moments.
6. Fright Night (1985)
For some reason, growing up, I always associated Silver Bullet and Fright Night. I think we had them recorded on the same tape from HBO or Showtime. Fright Night is one of the top Vampire movies of the 1980s, if not the top. Sure there are films like Near Dark and the Lost Boys. Fright Night is so much different. Light hearted, good characters and Chris Sarandon. I’m still confused as to what kind of creature Billy Cole was…any ideas?
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
I usually mention Freddy’s Revenge as the first horror movie I’ve ever seen. I do give it credit for making me the fan I am today. Like Friday the 13th A New Beginning, Freddy’s Revenge is underrated and gets hate it doesn’t deserve. It is a darker chapter and sure it pulls away from the lore, but the lore really came into play more with Dream Warriors. Jesse being possessed and Freddy ripping out of him was so cool. I loved seeing the blades come from Freddy’s finger tips rather than the glove. I love this movie and Kim Myers is awesome in this movie along with Mark Patton who is an amazing person.
4. Re-Animator (1985)
Now we get to a tough point. Everything from here down deserves the #1 spot. Re-Animator scared the shit out of me. I swear it may have done something to me mentally. I stayed as far away from this movie until I was 24 and when I revisited it after nearly 20 years. I fucking adored it. I saw it at the age of 6 and didn’t fully understand what was happening, I did know Dead people were coming back to life and that shook me to my core and kept me away from Zombies movies until I saw Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead in 1990. Re-Animator is a classic and Jeffery Combs is so amazing as Herbert West, I love his character and most of his one liners. God Re-Animator is amazing.
3. Demons (1985)
Oh man, where to begin. This is the movie to show someone who has never seen an Italian horror film. It’s more of the gore filled gross out movies of the two different sub genres in Italian horror. There is no real giallo element. But Demons is fun, effects on full display, great soundtrack and an amazing ending. I absolutely love this movie. But I am being more objective here? Demons is better than Demons 2, but I prefer Demons 2.
2. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
The last two are a toss up for me. Without a doubt, the two best Zombie movies of the 1980s. Both released in 1985 and both very different, but products of the same movie, Night of the Living Dead. Return of the Living Dead is fun, outrageous and a party movie. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love Return of the Living Dead. From the punks, Frank and Freddy and Burt. One of my favorite things is when Spider and Burt have to work together. But the standout and number one favorite thing, Tar man!!! Day and Return both have iconic Zombies. So much fun.
1. Day of the Dead (1985)
Day of the Dead is Savini’s effects masterpiece. The gore is so great, Savini officially became a legend. Of course he’d worked on films like Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th and the Burning. Day is his finest hour. The movie is dark and depressing, without hope and a complete opposite of Return of the Living Dead. But the story is great. While Dawn of the Dead is my favorite Romero zombie movie, I honestly think this is his finest.
So, that was 1985. What are your favorites? We really want to know. We did ask on Facebook and there were so many comments it was hard to keep up with. Hopefully your favorite made the cut.
Next up is 1986, another good year for horror films.