10 Old School Horror Classics To Binge
It seems that today’s world was written by the horror master George A. Romero or Stephen King. A pandemic with no end, a game show host turning into a cult leader, people stuck in a zombie apocalypse. But there’s one night every year when horror brings happiness when little kids eat too much candy when mischief reigns supreme, and the souls of the dead walk the Earth.
Yes, it’s Halloween folks, though this year’s festivities are a little different than in the past. With Halloween parades and trick or treating canceled around the country, your best bet is to hunker down with a bowl of candy corn and binge scary movies all night. Fortunately, the streaming service Shudder offers a plethora of horror classics to give you nightmares, distract you from the troubles at hand, to make you feel the unknown’s presence, to give you the coldest ever goosebumps, and scare the living hell out of you.
Here are 10 Old School Horror Classics To Binge from the 1970s and 1980s that you can start watching right now!
1. ‘Maniac Cop’ (1988)
Who can no to a movie with the tagline “You have the right to remain silent…forever”? A cringe-worthy movie showing a psychotic policeman murdering villains and victims with the viewing experience of the current situation, this movie creeps the hell out of you. See a young Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) and OG horror vet Tom Atkins battle supernatural evil in this ‘80s pulp mainstay.
2. ‘Sleepaway Camp’ (1983)
Decades before the 1980s made recognizable contributions to the horror aesthetics, but the 1980s was a loud and full flowering of the genre. This decade was flooded with some dangerously awesome movies. . If Halloween begat Friday The 13th, the latter begat Sleepaway Camp, which adds gender-bending plot twists to its tale of summer camp hiking, sexual tension, and bloody murder.
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3. ‘From Beyond’ (1986)
The warped melting face which adorned this film’s original poster was like a heavy metal album cover brought to the big screen. Directed by Stuart Gordon and adapted from a story by horror great and noted racist asshole H. P. Lovecraft. This is a totally different take on the Promethean theme of science gone wrong, as over-ambitious eggheads tap into another dimension which turns them into deformed brain-eating fiends.
4. ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ (1977)
After his directorial debut, 1972’s rape and revenge thriller The Last House on the Left, Wes Craven hoped to leave horror behind. This 1977 cult classic put an end to such illusions. Another tale of abuse, revenge and cannibalistic mountain folk. The film codified actor Michael Berryman as a horror movie regular and cemented Craven’s reputation as a master of the genre. THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977) ON SHUDDER
5. ‘Re-Animator’ (1985)
Reincarnation! This movie centers on scientists wreaking havoc in their quest for medical breakthroughs and personal glory. A strange medical student, his girlfriend, and a local get involved in some weird but scary experiments to bring the dead back to life. What could possibly go wrong? Answer: everything RE-ANIMATOR ON SHUDDER5
6. ‘Phantasm’ (1979)
It’s difficult to explain this one. This movie is weird, moody, deadly still, and bordering on science fiction. So basically there is this funeral home managed by a tall cringe guy. What he does is, he shrinks people into Jawas, yeah like the one from Star Wars, and then send them to another planet. Eventually, those people become his slaves and he kills them with flying silver balls. (If you haven’t seen this one from the VHS era, Shudder’s gorgeous remaster will knock your socks off.)
7. ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ (1974)
Before Jason, before Michael Myers, there was a Leather face, the chainsaw-wielding, dead skin-mask-wearing, nightmare-inducing horror icon of Tobe Hooper’s first major feature film. It shows a bunch of handsome kids who get lost in the backwoods. Kids in the woods, they are bound to be in trouble! They end up prey to a murderous family of goons who chop them to bits. This is one of the most infamous horror movies of all time.
8. ‘Hellraiser’ (1987)
By the late ‘80s, horror was starting to get stale with slasher films the norm and tales of the supernatural seeming corny and dated. Unhappy with past adaptations of his work, writer Clive Barker made his directorial debut with this trailblazing horror film which created a whole new universe that borrowed from sexual fetishism and goth and in “Pinhead” brought another horror icon to the fore. There is maybe nothing that can match Hellraiser because it in itself is a generation of this genre.
9. ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968)
The title itself is deadly scary! The Big Bang of modern horror films, George A. Romero’s low budget directorial debut was made for $114,000 and would launch the zombie horror genre which continues to this day. Though tame by modern standards, its pioneering use of gore and its bleak fatalism would shock you to the very core and inspire a younger generation who would take both to new extremes.
The film drew a line in the sand, separating the schlocky monster movies of the past from the world of horror to come.
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10. ‘Halloween’ (1978)
Night of the Living Dead launched the modern horror template and Halloween made it a whole genre. If Night of the Living Dead created the modern horror template, Halloween raised it to an art form. Like other important horror movies, it spawned its own subgenre, the slasher film, and was centered on an unforgettable character, a masked serial killer Michael Myers.
This creates the ultimate suspense with the first-person camera work and rapid cuts before its inevitable horrifying climax. So successful it spawned a series of sequels that would make the Celtic-American folk holiday synonymous with scary movies and other things that go bump in the night. It is brilliantly directed by John Carpenter to give you thrills all through your body.