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The 10 Best Horror Movies of 1982

There is no doubt about this: 1982 ranks among the very best years in horror history (it's a pretty awesome year for sci-fi too with The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, Blade Runner, and the here ranked The Thing). Many legit classics were released, as well as some of the finest work from the genre's true masters. Slasher movies continued to dominate the genre, though you will notice that only one actually made the top ten (though they are more in the honorable mentions).

Honorable Mentions:
The New York Ripper
Alone in the Dark
Amityville II: The Possession 

10. The Slumber Party Massacre- A deliberate pace and better than usual acting, for this kind of flick, help to raise the bar on this slasher movie. Also helping the flick to stand out is the feminist undertones which play in sharp contrast to the more exploitative qualities of it. The girls are all gorgeous and there is frequent skin on display. Finally assuring its cult status is the the well done climax which is quite intense and suspenseful. In all, this is easily one of the best slashers of the 80s.
9. The Beast Within- This has to be one of the most bat-shit crazy monster movies ever made. A newly married woman (Bibi Besch) is raped by a swamp monster and gets pregnant. Fifteen years later the son, which resulted from said rape, slowly begins to turn into a hideous cicada-like monster. There is a lot more, but that is kind of the cliff-notes version of the story. It has strong acting, incredible FX work by Tom Burman, and some spectacular gore. For more on my love of this wacky flick check out my write-up here.

8. Q: The Winged Serpent- This is, in my humble opinion, Larry Cohen's best movie (at least from the ones that I have seen). The flick is one of the most wild and bloody American made giant monster flicks, ever. Sure the FX work ranges in quality, but you won't care, as it is a genuinely good time. Plus, it has superlative performances from itcast, especially Michael Moriarty.
7. The Living Dead Girl- Jean Rollin's beautiful, haunting, and enthralling tale of a gorgeous, living dead girl (Francoise Blanchard) is his masterpiece. The acting is excellent and the gore is gruesome. It also has an ending that is one one of the most nerve shattering finales that you are likely to ever see, and one that will haunt you long after it is all over.
6. Cat People- While, the original is the better film, this remake is still excellent in its own right. It also happens to be one of the sexiest horror movies ever made. Natassja Kinksi drips sex from every pore in her body and is excellent in her role. Here she plays a beautiful, young lady who turns into a panther if she has sex with a normal human man. The rest of the cast is great as well, in this erotic, stylish, and gory movie. Throw in a wonderful soundtrack and the result is one best remakes ever, as well as a movie that gets better with each and every viewing.
5. Creepshow- An incredibly fun anthology from director George A. Romero and writer Stephen King that is one of the very best movies of its kind. The stories vary in quality but all are at least good. It really picks up steam with the third tale, "Something to Tide You Over". This leads to the two last ones, the monster fun of "The Crate" and the skin-crawling final tale that is "They're Creeping Up on You" (my personal favorite even if it never fails to gross me out!). Tom Savini's excellent work is quite possibly the finest of his career. And, the wonderful cast is excellent. Romero's directing keeps the movie a blast to watch throughout, plus it looks like an actual comic-book (further showcase its love for EC horror comics of the '50's).

4. Basket Case- This is a wonderful example of ultra-low budget horror at its very best. This highly unique flick is often hilarious, sometimes scary, and always original. It is also a gory and fun time, that could only come from the 70s/ early 80s. And, that I mean in the best way possible. Truly one of Frank Henenlotter's best movies, which of itself, is a tall compliment from me, as he is one of my favorite directors.
3. Tenebrae- Dario Argento's third best movie (after Suspiria and Deep Red, respectively), Tenebrae might also be his goriest. His barque style is on full display with dizzying and extraordinary camera work. His vibrant kills are blood rushingly good, including a spectacular, wall painting amputation via a crashing ax. It also manages to be a very suspenseful flick, especially in its spectacular climax. with a killer soundtrack. Complimenting the look of the film are the gorgeous women that inhabit the excellent cast. This movie also has what is definitely one of, if not my actual favorite role of the late and great John Saxon. And, finally the unnerving ending is one of the best in horror from any country.

2. Poltergeist- First off, let's fucking drop the whole Tobe Hooper didn't direct, but instead Steven Spielberg directed this classic. As Joe Bob Briggs, himself, has said, it is disrespectful to Hooper. And, honestly watching the movie you fucking know what parts were definitely made by the guy who made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre! Honestly, its second only to that classic as far as his amazing career goes. The movie is exhilarating, thrilling, and scary, with amazing special FX. Yet, it never lets this get in the way of the fright and heart (which greatly helps to elevate it) it has. These are things that barely any ghost movie can accomplish, especially in the last couple of years. The acting is excellent specially from the gorgeous Jo Beth Williams, one of the greatest moms in horror history.

1. The Thing- When I was younger, Halloween was my favorite John Carpenter movie, but in recent years, something changed. I began to see that it is this superior (to an already great classic in the form of The Thing from Another World) remake that is without a shadow of a doubt, his true and finest masterpiece. Rob Bottin's amazing and jaw dropping FX should serve as true examples that you don't need fucking CGI in a movie. Drenched in graphic gore, cool monstrous forms, and a feeling of paranoia throughout, this is a masterclass in sci-fi/ horror film making. The cast is great, with Kurt Russell being one of the genre's greatest heroes ever. The ending is pitch perfect, as is the classic Ennio Morricone score collaborating with Carpenter. In short, this is one of the true classics of the decade. And, as close as Poltergeist came, it is The Thing that reigns supreme in 1982!

What are your picks for the 10 best of 1982? Let me know in the comments section below. And, be sure to check out the earlier years by clicking on the links below!

The Best Horror Movies of 1980
The Best Horror Movies of 1981