Horror Movies

Forgotten B-Movie HORROR film gems from 80s

The 1980s is a specific period that gave the world a dozen or so cult films, as well as a ton of strange creations that are closer to B-class cinema.

Gracja Grzegorczyk-Tokarska

4 August 2023

B-Movie HORROR films from 80s you don't know but you should

However, as you can guess, some horror movies from the “so bad it’s good” category have gained cult status over the years. That’s why this list focuses on B-movie horror that you probably don’t know but that are worth seeing. Anyone who wants to dive into the gems of the horror genre should put these iconic movies at the top of their list. Would you add any titles?

Alligator (dir. Lewis Teague, 1980)


As far a B-Movie horror goes, Alligator is just perfect. The production from the early 1980s focuses on an urban legend according to which a small alligator accidentally flushed down the toilet grows up in the New York sewers to become a nearly four-meter killer. However, to add flavor, the title alligator, in order to survive, devours the bodies of animals that are thrown into the sewers by a company producing drugs. And since animal carcasses are soaked in steroids, alligators are affected by this. Local dogs start to die quickly, as well as several sewage workers (of course). So a tough cop teams up with a reptile specialist to stop an alligator from entering a city street and killing its inhabitants. The production not only refers to B movies from the 1950s, but at the same time tries to sail on the wave of success of Spielberg’s Jaws. It is worth noting that the script was created by John Sayles, who is known to B-movie fans from such productions as Piranha or The Howling. The film has its great moments, both the suspenseful ones and humorous touches in the form of actor Henry Silva, who plays the role of a pompous hunter hunting an alligator. The appearance of the reptile is also a plus, because you have to remember that the 80s were not very kind to killer animals in terms of appearance.

Evilspeak (dir. Eric Weston, 1981)


When talking about the production of Evilspeak, it is quite often said that it is a combination of Revenge of the Nerds with Carrie – and unfortunately, there is a lot of truth in this. The main character Stanley Coopersmith is in a military school, but his real passion is computers, which is why he is constantly tormented by his colleagues. One day, in an old school chapel, he discovers a secret occult book that gives him access to the arcana of black magic. Thanks to it, he manages to summon demonic spirits to take revenge on his tormentors. Although the production premiered in 1981, three years later its emission was banned in Great Britain. This is quite incomprehensible, considering that many other films from the era were more cruel and disgusting. If you’re into weird and surreal moments, this movie won’t disappoint you. The scene with the haunted pigs deserves a special mention, but it’s something you have to see for yourself. The production also has an additional subtext – in the 80s a collective paranoia began that computers in the wrong hands could contribute to the end of the world. As you can see, nothing like that has happened so far. So if you love macabre revenge movies, this is the production for you.

The Lift (dir. Dick Maas, 1983)

the lift

If you are going to watch a movie about a murderous elevator, then instead of choosing the work of M. Night Shyamalan, be sure to check out this great Danish horror. The production tells the story of Felix, a technician, who tries to find out what secret lies behind the unusual deaths in the office building. To that end, he teams up with a journalist to uncover the crux of the matter before the office elevator takes more lives. The trail leads them to a company that manufactures microchips for the military. As I mentioned, this is a rather forgotten Danish horror film that stands out for its macabre, black humor and some really gripping scenes. If you think that a movie about a murderous elevator can’t be scary, you’re wrong. In addition to the effective cutting off of human heads, the creators fuel people’s fear through situations such as being trapped in an elevator, which sometimes leads to panic attacks, and people with claustrophobia to a state of terror. But as if that were not enough, the victims of the murderous elevator are not only strong members of society, but also – surprisingly – the most vulnerable: children, seniors and blind people. You must see this film, and avoid the American remake like the plague.

Chopping Mall (dir. Jim Wynorski, 1986)

Chopping Mall

When thinking about protecting a shopping center, hardly anyone imagines steel bars and technologically advanced robots. We’re thinking more of an old lady with a walkie-talkie and a second disability group. The creators of Chopping Mall went a step further and gave us marvels of technology that shoot laser beams at would-be thieves. Things get complicated when a powerful storm traps a group of unwitting teens with robots that are in kill mode. The story itself and the execution point to a classic B-movie masterpiece, but don’t let that fool you. You can see that the creators were focused on the goal of entertainment and excitement of the viewer. Although we are dealing with a comedy shot, the production is filled to the brim with horror elements. Don’t get too attached to the cast, because there is a high probability that more actors will die in a spectacular way. But no wonder, because the producer was the legend of very bad cinema, i.e. Roger Corman.

Street Trash (dir. Jim Muro, 1987)

Street Trash

This production is a real feast for fans of bad movies and pitch black humor. A New York liquor store owner finds an old crate of liquor covered in cobwebs in his basement. He decides to sell it for a dollar a bottle to the local homeless. After drinking the liquor, people begin to literally turn into a puddle of human goo. As for a B-movie, we have an accumulation of taboo topics here, starting with murder, through rape, racism, necrophilia, and ending with police brutality. So it’s not a production for everyone. The director himself got rid of all kinds of inhibitions in favor of unfettered imagination. So we have a work that is dark, twisted, inventive and worthy of attention. Although I would like the production to explore many important social topics much more, in the end it is a grotesque and dark film that balances on the border of good taste. This is a must-see, although people with weak stomachs should be careful during the screening.

Scarecrows (dir. William Wesley, 1988)


The production focuses on a group of former soldiers who steal three million dollars. Unfortunately, due to complications, their plane lands in the middle of a cornfield, where there is an abandoned house, closely guarded by scarecrows. Despite the bizarre description, it is one of the forgotten horror gems of the 80s, which is really worth seeing. If you dreamed of a low-budget Predator, this is a perfect position. So we have tough soldiers, an isolated place, deadly scarecrows and a thick atmosphere. What more could a horror fan want? The creators used an interesting trick that works every time – show less. That’s why the scenes with the main antagonists are really scary. However, if you think of looking for any logic in this production, don’t even try, because it’s a wasted effort and the opportunity to deprive yourself of great fun in front of the TV.

Gracja Grzegorczyk-Tokarska

Gracja Grzegorczyk-Tokarska

Although she appreciates the classic canon of cinema, she is more interested in seeking out films that are already unpopular and forgotten. She is a big fan of Z-grade cinema and Sherlock Holmes. By day, she participates in a doctoral seminar (Cultural Studies) and dreams of becoming David Lynch's wife.

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