Horror movies of the 1980s were a mixed bag, with the decade providing fans with some of the finest horror masterpieces ever to hit theaters (like David Lynch blue velvet and Stanley Kubrick the brilliant) and some of the worst (Maximum overdrive, Jaws: Revenge, Piranha II: Spawning).
After the success of John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 indie hit Halloween inspired a wave of slashers, the ’80s brought in some of horror cinema’s most iconic villains, from Chucky to Jason Voorhees to Freddy Krueger. And the most memorable horror villains of the ’80s weren’t just fantasy killers; there was also an evil car, a shapeshifting alien, and an angry father with writer’s block.
ten Christina (Christina)
Adapted by John Carpenter from Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Christina revolves around a rather unique horror villain: an evil car. Keith Gordon stars as a shy high school student who grows more confident after fixing an old 1958 Plymouth Fury that turns out to be possessed.
His personality takes a toxic turn as the influence of the car takes over, and when targeted by bullies, Christine comes out and kills the bullies one by one.
9 Warren Stacy (10 to midnight)
Charles Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson collaborated on a few blockbuster hits throughout the 80s. They mostly belong to the action genre, but 10 to Midnight veers into horror territory with a psycho-killer antagonist who embodies the very real terror of misogyny.
Played to sinister effect by Eugene M. Davis, Warren Stacy kills women who reject his chilling advances. Bronson plays a badass detective determined to bring the killer to justice as loopholes keep him on the streets.
8 The predator (predator)
Legend has it that Predator originated from a Hollywood joke that Rocky Balboa had no one left to fight on Earth, so he would have to fight an alien in the next sequel. decades later Predator was critically acclaimed and a hit at the box office, the bloodthirsty alien battled by Rocky, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscular military replacement “Dutch” remains one of the most iconic movie monsters. all time.
Whether it’s ripping off Carl Weathers’ arm or effortlessly lifting Schwarzenegger off the ground, the Predator consistently shows its immense strength. Stan Winston’s signature jaw-dropping creations are seared into the memory of audiences, both when he wears his mysterious mask and the “ugly motherf*****” underneath.
seven Chucky (child’s play)
One of the many inventive subversions of the slasher formula that appeared in movie theaters in the 1980s was a doll possessed by the spirit of a serial killer in Child’s play.
Horror works best when it takes something the audience finds safe and comforting – like a toy – and makes it terrifying. Chucky is a “Good Guy” doll who wants to murder a child. The character is bolstered by voice actor Brad Dourif’s hilarious line deliveries.
6 David Powers (The Lost Boys)
Between the unnerving vampires of Hammer Horror and the romantic vampires of The Twilight Saga, the lost boys gave ’80s moviegoers an ice-cool cast of vampires, led by a decidedly badass Kiefer Sutherland as the dark and charming David Powers.
David is so charismatic that he lures new recruits into a life of vampirism. The truly haunting thing about David is that he’s introduced as the film’s big bad, but turns out to be a mere underling to Max, the film’s true antagonist.
5 Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th)
The recurring villain of Friday 13 franchise, Jason Voorhees, is undoubtedly iconic with his hockey mask and machete and laid-back approach to mass murder. But her mother Pamela made for a much more effective villain in the 1980 original. Formerly known as a game show panelist, Betsy Palmer delivers an unforgettable and haunting turn as Mrs. Voorhees.
Victor Miller’s Script Returns Brilliantly psychology‘s twist on his head. In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller masterpiece (widely considered the first slasher), audiences are tricked into believing that the mother is the killer when it really is the son. In Friday 13, It’s the opposite.
4 Frank Booth (Blue Velvet)
Arguably David Lynch’s best film, blue velvet contrasts Dennis Hopper’s sadistic pimp character Frank Booth with Kyle MacLachlan’s protagonist Jeffrey Beaumont in interesting ways.
Jeffrey immediately despises Frank after seeing him terrorize Dorothy through the slats of a closet door. But throughout the film, he’s shocked to notice some of Frank’s darker tendencies in his own behavior. Like any great hero-villain dynamic, blue velvet compares the similarities shared by its protagonist and antagonist.
3 The thing (the thing)
The titular shapeshifting alien in The thing presents the perfect horror setup. He is able to transparently disguise himself as anything, including one of the protagonists locked together, so no one can trust anyone.
The Thing is beautifully brought to life with groundbreaking special effects by Rob Bottin – who, according to IndieWire, was only 22 when he worked on the film.
2 Jack Torrance (The Shining)
Jack Nicholson’s take on Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s Wildly Faithless Adaptation of the brilliant is very different from the depiction of the character in the book. In Stephen King’s novel, Jack is a truly good man who is corrupted by the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel. But in the film, Nicholson’s Jack is angry and mean from the start.
Kubrick suggests that the Overlook may not be haunted at all and that what drives Jack into a murderous rage is the isolation and his underlying hatred of his only family, which is far more terrifying.
1 Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
six years later Halloween presented the blueprint for slasher, the subgenre was getting pretty stale and overdone. And then Wes Craven breathed new life into slashers by introducing overtly supernatural elements into his 1984 classic. freddie. Freddy is the ultimate boogeyman, stalking unsuspecting teenagers in their dreams.
Robert Englund strikes the balance between wacky madness and disturbing supernatural menace. He’s authentically terrifying as a paranormal child killer, but also uncannily charming, thanks to his stunt doubles and goofy demeanor.
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