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The 10 Best Horror Movies of 1983

1983 is a year that while not as strong as 1982, is still a solid year for the genre. For there are some genuine classics, including two that rank among the best work from one of the genre's greatest directors: David Cronenberg.

Honorable Mentions:
Twilight Zone: The Movie
A Blade in the Dark

10. Angst- This disturbing but slow Austrian, arthouse horror flick, will appeal to horror fans who are both open minded and prefer their genre material to be more on the more graphic side of things. It also features some very innovative camerawork.
9. Olivia- From director Ulli (The Boogeyman) Lommel comes this complex mix of drama, romance, and psychological horror. The suspense in certain scenes will have you fists clenched while you watch them. It also features some very strong acting especially from the absolutely gorgeous Suzanna Love, whose performance has pathos and is both innocent and sexy. While, there are exploitation elements, it might not be movie you think it is. In fact, there is a feminist undertone to it, as well as a well done romance. Highly underrated and not seen by nearly enough people, the excellent Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome is hopefully changing that.

8. Psycho II- Making a sequel to Psycho, a film rightfully thought of as one of the greatest horror films ever made as well as one Alfred Hitchcock's very best, is no easy feat. Yet, Richard (Patrick) Franklin does a damn good job with this enthralling flick. It's very well acted, especially by Anthony Perkins, has some bloody violence, and a very well done climax. The ending always leaves me a little torn on how much I actually like it. But, it's a damn good movie no matter how you cut it (pun intended).
7. The Deadly Spawn- This sci-fi/ horror flick accomplishes a lot despite its low budget. The monsters look fucking awesome, and there is some graphic and bloody gore. It's a lot of fun and way better than a bunch of flicks who just rip-off Alien. Plus, the ending is truly fucking awesome!
6. The Hunger- Tony (True Romance) Scott's bloodsucker movie is super stylish, beautiful, and sexy. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it is the sexiest mainstream/ big studio vampire movie ever made. The make-up FX by Dick Smith is excellent, especially when it comes to the old age make-up on David Bowie. The much talked about lesbian love scenes between Catherine Denevue and Susan Sarandon are hot and add to the proactive feel of this cult favorite.
5. Sleepaway Camp- This infamous, classic slasher is one of the best of the over-saturated sub-genre. The movie is alternately fun, mean spirited, and sleazy. It is also really easy to like, as it is filled with memorable characters and equally memorable lines. Plus, it has one of the greatest endings in all of cinema, not just horror.

4. The Dead Zone- It comes as no shock to anyone with a knowledge of horror and film that one of the greatest Stephen King adaptations ever made comes from David Cronenberg. This quiet, yet powerful and emotional mix of drama and horror works on multiple levels, far surpassing some of the more empty headed King flicks of its time. The mostly restrained and sympathetic performance by Christopher Walken ranks among his best work. Meanwhile, Martin Sheen's character is truly one of the best villains in King films. One that has become frighteningly timely, as a certain reality TV star became president of the United States in real life...

3. Cujo- Right off the bat, I have to tell you guys, that this is quite possibly my favorite Stephen King movie (the book's my favorite King novel). Even though, I am a tried and true dog lover, I still love this movie. The flick has a slow build that leads into one of the most absolutely nerve-shredding movies ever made. The dog attacks are jarring, and the acting, especially from Dee Wallace Stone (who gives her finest performance), are excellent. I firmly believe that all of this amounts to the scariest King movie ever made.
2. 10 to Midnight- This mix of psycho thriller, slasher horror, and cop action flick is the closest 80s Charles Bronson ever came to appearing in a genre film. Regardless, there are enough elements to count it as a genre film, including some really good suspense. The acting is also solid, with a creepy villain (inspired by a mix of real serial killers) and a badass hero in Bronson's character. The movie is pure Cannon film-making at its best, being violent, bloody, sleazy, and simply put, pure, high quality exploitation cinema. And, the ending is the very definition of fucking awesome!
1. Videodrome- One of David Cronenberg's absolute best films (which in, of itself, is saying A LOT!), this sci-fi/ horror classic was light years ahead of what others were doing at the time and. honestly, remains so. The movie is smart, complex, horrific, and very provocative. It is a profound work of art, whose messages become clearer with each viewing. These include the themes of sex and violence in entertainment, reality vs. video, the ever growing world of TV and movies, and much more. In short, this thought provoking masterpiece is truly 1983's best horror film.

What are your favorite horror movies of 1983? Let me know in the comments section below. And, be sure to see the years that I have already ranked movies in by following the links below:

The 10 Best Horror Movies of 1980
The 10 Best Horror Movies of 1981
The 10 Best Horror Movies of 1982