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June 19, 2011

The Mike's 31 Favorite 1980s Horror Films: No. 15 - 11

After a week away - and some jaw-droppingly cool stuff from five fantastic souls - The Mike is here and excited to be back with you all!  Let's kick it!
A wise prophet of the '80s once said something to the extent of "Whoooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, we're half way there" - and that currently applies to our countdown of my 31 Favorite '80s Horrors.  So, with fifteen films left, we're getting to the point where the decisions become more difficult and the omissions become more glaring.  Are you ready, or do I need to post another DMC jam?

Previously on The Mike's 31 Favorite 1980s Horror Films....
#31-#26     #25-#21     #20-#16

15. The Changeling
(1980, Dir. by Peter Medak.)
We throw "they just don't make 'em like this any more" around a lot these days - it's a statement that's true of most films on this list - but The Changeling is one of the first films that comes to mind when I think about the changes in horror over the last three decades.  It's one of the last slow-burn haunted house films, complete with creepy seance and legitimate actors in the lead, and I simply don't see any thing these days that matches it. (How sad is it that the likes of George C. Scott could fill their late career with stuff like this while the likes of Robert De Niro wallow in crap like Hide and Seek?)  Oh, and there's a scene in the middle of this film that is among the creepiest things I've ever seen, and that's worth a ton of points.

14. Creepshow
(1982, Dir. by George A. Romero.)
We're officially at the point in the list where I start hitting myself in the head and shouting "How the eff do you rank THAT so low on the list!"  I mean, Creepshow is kind of brilliant.  It's got everything from The Crate and Hal Holbrook (my personal favorite segment) to killer bugs to Jordy Verrill to Ed Harris dancing - and I haven't even mentioned Tom Atkins or the Leslie Nielsen/Ted Danson segment yet.   Man, Creepshow is anthology perfection at its best.  And yet it's only 14th, and that makes me crazy.

13. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn
(1987, Dir. by Sam Raimi.)
When I wrote about ED2 a while back, I lamented the changing perception of the movie I've had over the last decade.  I mean, I do love it...but for some reason it keeps slipping down my list of favorites.  13 seems ridiculously low here, but I find that the movies I'm ranking above it just speak to me a little more often.  It's not you, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, it's me.  I promise I'll make it up to ya!

12. Something Wicked This Way Comes
(1983, Dir. by Jack Clayton.)
And now I'm at the point where I think I may be over-rating this one, but I just can't help loving it.  A fine example of how PG horror can work, as The Innocents director Jack Clayton takes Ray Bradbury's story and turns it into a wicked chiller that's appropriate for young-uns but can still send shivers up my spine.  And that cast! Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Pam Grier, good child actors!  It makes my heart skip a beat.  If there's one film on this list that I'd recommend to anyone and everyone, this might just be it.

11. The Lost Boys
(1987, Dir. by Joel Schumacher.)
I KNOW.  This is ridiculous.  I can't believe The Lost Boys isn't even in my Top 10.  I tried so hard, but numbers 9-11 were completely the most difficult decisions I had when finishing this list, and just slipped.  I still totally love it, and could watch it every day. just missed the Top 10.  I'm so mad at me right now. :(

In fact, I don't even have factoids to add at this point.  Putting these films so low is too sad.  Here's something to cheer me up....
Much better.  The Top 10 is coming soon!


Enbrethiliel said...


If I were doing an all-Horror "My Life in Movies" list, Creepshow would be my 1982 pick, hands down. The Jordy Verrill short is a thing of genius, and totally answers the question, "What if The Blob, instead of dissolving you, consuming you and growing bigger and bigger, turned you into a living plant?"

It's really those movies that almost made the Top 10, but didn't, that make us angriest, aye? Well, don't be so upset at yourself. I'm sure your Top 10 will be awesome! =D

therealphoenixanew said...

Despite being a Stephen King fan since I was 12, I only saw Creepshow very recently. I'm glad I had waited until after seeing The Blob though, because it made me appreciate the Jordy Verrill short so much more. "They're Creeping Up On You" is pretty much my ultimate nightmare.

I'm looking forward to seeing your top ten!

Marvin the Macabre said...

While The Lost Boys is obviously in my Top One of all time, there's no hate for your rating it lower. In fact, I've recently read of some young whippersnappers (I'm looking at you, Paul Tassi) who don't get it at all. No big deal. All it means is that my life is meaningless. Nevertheless, you're still keeping the spirit of Run-DMC and Creepshow alive, so you're doing God's work, my friend

The Mike said...

Glad to see all the Creepshow love. Each of these movies were ones I thought would make the Top 10, but 10 is always a few less than I think it is now, isn't it?

E & Syrin - that scene is certainly a great Blob scene, and it just missed my list of favorite Blobs I did a while back in favor of the raft segment from Creepshow 2 (which is far less interesting than King's original short story, sadly).

Marvin - Like I said, I HATED dropping Lost Boys this low. A certain filmmaker I love took over more spots in the Top 10 than I expected, and it became very difficult for me to distinguish between pretty much numbers 4-11. But rest assured, I shall pay the film back in much DMC. :)

Pretorios said...

Fantastic list, Mike. I'm especially impressed that you included The Changeling, my of my favorites--and you're right, it's a type of film, unfortunately, that's gone extinct in modern times. Fantastic cast, and a really great story behind the strange events.