To think, I nearly skipped over 1987. I was just ready for 1988 I guess. But we cannot forget 1987, it is one if only two years in the 1980s without a Friday the 13th film. After Jason Lives, the took a year off and The New Blood came in 1988. Not to fear, a big horror franchise had its best or at least fan favorite released.
Overall 1987 was a year of the rare 1980s one-off film. Of course there were a few sequels and of course the biggest thing to come out of 1987, for me anyway is the release of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. Over the years, Hellraiser has become one of my favorite horror films and deservedly so.
I do think some of these are strong contenders as some of the best if the 1980s for sure. We will see and we want to know what you think of the list. What is missing?
10. Near Dark (1987)
This one never really got to me. There are some really great scenes and Bill Paxton is out of his mind in Near Dark. It is a good and kind of different vampire movie that I don’t visit often. I absolutely need to check it out again. I think on of the issues it isn’t one that you see streaming and there hasn’t been a proper blu ray release, seems like an Arrow Video or Scream Factory type of release.
9. The Gate (1987)
When I saw this for the first time I was young. I think I was eight and for some reason The Gate scared the living shit out of me. I think it was the little creepy troll things, the eye in the palm of the hand and the corpse in the wall. This was an age where I was watching whatever I saw at the video store. But as an adult and showing it to my kids(who loved it), it is kind of a blast to watch. I really enjoy this more than I ever did before.
8. Hello Mary Lou, Prom Night 2 (1987)
It is extremely rare for a sequel to be better than the original film. Hello Mary Lou takes a completely different turn for this series from a revenge slashers in the original 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis film. But for the better, it has a supernatural element and a way better story. You think, well Prom Night II could just be another in a long line of 80s slasher sequels, it isn’t, but it is. The left turn Mary Lou takes is welcome and is the best in a lackluster and kind of a forgettable series. This, like Halloween, Friday the 13th and others named after an event or holiday should have gone the route of the anthology. Telling tales of horrific prom nights, hell mine was pretty bad.
7. The Monster Squad (1987)
Who doesn’t love the Monster Squad? I dare you to say you don’t love this…this love letter to the golden age of horror with all of our favorite Universal Monsters accounted for. Not to mention, The Monster Squad is a rare movie that is a great film for kids who want to get in to horror that the parents can enjoy. The Monster Squad is more than likely Horror’s answer the “the family movie”, other than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, of course.
6. The Lost Boys (1987)
I think if you asked any woman between the ages of 35 and 50, The Lost Boys is their favorite horror movie. It was released when they were growing up and it had the sexy, leather wearing bad boys on the Boardwalk. It truly is a bad ass vampire movie and one of the best of the 1980s. That is up to you.
5. House 2: The Second Story(1987)
I really do love a fun horror film. House 2 is 100% fun. House 2 has great characters, a Western vibe and an awesome villain in Slim Reeser. He is hunting for the crystal skull his old partner hid from him before Slim shot him. This one has dimension jumping and an amazing scene with Cliff from Cheers. Plus we get a couple of familiar faces from horror like Lar Park Lincoln(Friday the 13th) and Jonathon Stark(Fright Night) oh an Kane Hodder has a small scene as a Halloween party guess dressed as a gorilla. House 2 is better than the original film and just a joy to watch.
4. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
Holy shit what a fun movie! Evil Dead 2 has got to be a top 10 party movie. Get some friends together pop this in and let the fun begin. For the most part this is Bruce Campbell at his best. He play a good portion of the film on his own and it drives him insane. My favorite scene has got to be the laughing scene, Bruce really hams it up, but there is so much good in Evil Dead 2 it is hard to pick a moment from the movie that really stands out. Oh and I adore Henrietta.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors (1987)
I’ll be most of you thought this would be the number one horror film of 1987. Well, you’re not wrong, for you list. I do love Dream Warriors and it is likely the best of the Elm Street sequels. I just like two movies more. Dream Warriors is the perfect extension of the original film. It does a great job of adding to Freddy’s mythology, without taking anything away. Dream Warriors is awesome.
2. Prince of Darkness (1987)
This is a horror essential. Possibly the most underrated film directed by the master of horror, John Carpenter. It mixes theology and science with a great cast and an absolute amazing ending. The tone of this film is set from the beginning with an ominous score. I go back and forth on picking this or The Fog as my favorite Carpenter films. I do believe John Carpenter was the horror director of the 1980s.
“I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker.” – Stephen King
He was not wrong. Clive Barker wrote many stories before Hellraiser was made and of course Rawhead Rex preceded Hellraiser. But Hellraiser put Clive Barker on the map for a wider audience. We know the story, based on the Hellbound Heart and Barker got to direct the film and cast his friend Doug Bradley. But, there is too much to talk about in this post. Stand out moments, Frank’s resurrection, Julia’s arc as a cheating wife to villain, the introduction of the Cenobites and Kirsty Cotton as one of the best “final girls” in horror history. I love Hellraiser.
So, that is 1987. Two more years in the 1980s before I can escape. Next up, 1988! 1988 is the year of the sequel and should be fun to see what comes out on top. When the 1980s are finished, I will do a Top 50 of the 1980s based on these 10 lists. Then we can move on to the last four lists, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s so far.
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