Like Scott Derrickson The black phone continues to be a scare hit in theaters, it’s worth noting how the director used his personal experience to tell a story of “reversed Amblin” childhood terror, according to Time. Of course, one of Amblin Productions’ most important years was 1982, which saw the releases of both HEY and Fighting spirittwo celebrated classics that continue to stand the test of time.
Zooming in even further, 1982 was a banner year for horror movies as well as Fighting spiritwith some of the genre’s most revered directors delivering groundbreaking work that continues to influence and inspire generations of budding filmmakers.
Made on a micro-budget of $35,000, this is Frank Hennelotter’s bizarre directorial debut basket case lack of resources which he atones for with sheer ingenuity. The story concerns Duane, a fellow countryman who arrives in New York with his deformed parasitic twin Belial in a wicker basket.
In effect, basket case is a dark, biting horror-comedy with a singular take from a true B-movie auteur. The way the film relentlessly slaloms between crude horror and slapstick humor is fresh, fun, and devilishly creepy. With a Metascore of 77 and a 76% Rotten Tomatoes rating, there’s no denying that Basket Cases stands today.
A superb remake of Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 classic, Paul Schrader’s beloved film adaptation injects a sexy, elegant and surprising energy into its version of cat people. Functioning as a visceral metaphor for a woman’s sexual awakening, the story traces Irina (Nastassja Kinski in a spellbinding spin) whose primal urges transform her into a bloodthirsty black leopard.
With a bizarre mythological story and grim episodes of violent bestiality, cat people goes where most directors dare not (or couldn’t, in the case of the original), resulting in a gruesome hypnotic effect that even the most hardened horror fans won’t be able to shake.
Stephen King and George A. Romero’s rare combination equals cinematic gold struck, with their horror-comedy anthology classic horror show very good behavior after 40 years. Rarely has the mix of heartbreaking humor and overpowering horror been balanced so skillfully.
One of the best film adaptations of a Stephen King short story, the uneasy quintet of morbid vignettes does a brilliant job of mirroring the campy tone of the source material while pushing the violence to bold new heights. This makes for an eminently watchable annual horror show that prioritizes fun first and combat second.
Made for the modest sum of $350,000, Eat Raoul is a delightful cannibalistic curiosity about the Blands, a bored married couple who decide to rob and kill various swingers to pay for their dream restaurant. When burglar Raoul bursts in and attempts to participate in the scheme, terrifying hilarity ensues.
Boasting a 69 Metascore and 86% Rotten Tomatoes rating, most recognize Eat Raoul for its central premise, wild anarchic energy, a deliciously demented fusion of food, sex, violence and murder. All of these components blend together in a subversive stew of sinister mess that has a lot to say about consumerism, excess, and the American Dream, a message that still strikes today.
Friday the 13th Part III
Judging by most of its critical ratings, Friday the 13th Part III doesn’t seem like a great movie. However, horror historians know all too well the significance of the summer camp slasher film, which featured Jason Vorhees’ iconic hockey mask for the first time in franchise history.
While the core plot adheres to the tried-and-true formula of Jason tracking down and slashing a group of teenage camp counselors in Crystal Lake, the 3D effects make way for some of the franchise’s most shocking and inventive deaths, including a harpoon to the eyeball. Cementing Voorhees’ status as a slasher villain, the hockey mask in Part III directly led to a 20-year reign of terror.
One of the lesser known titles to make a difference, everyone should find it Rooms, the Spanish slasher that brilliantly blends must-have Giallo-style horror films with the sensibility of American slashers. Directed with plenty of tension and suspense by Juan Piquer Simon, the story follows a mysterious killer who mutilates female Boston University students and puts their body parts together to create a macabre puzzle.
Hailed for its outrageously over the top bloody death scenes, absurd sense of humor and sinister Euro-sleaze styles, Rooms manages to hit all the right notes for serious slasher fans. As such, it’s no surprise that the film still boasts a 68 Metascore.
As the debate rages over who actually directed the movie between Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg, Amblin’s Fighting spirit remains a near perfect tale of suburban terror in the form of a haunted house movie. The plot traces the Freeling family, a happy nuclear unit whose idyllic existence is threatened by demonic entities out to kidnap their youngest child, Carol Anne.
In addition to becoming the ninth highest-grossing film of 1982 (per box office mojo), Fighting spirit is a tour de force in directing excellence, slowly increasing the growing fear through rich characterization and special effects-driven visuals that make everyone feel and cheer the Freelings on their way safely. It probes deep childhood fears and psychological anxieties like few others and thanks to its PG rating, manages to entertain the whole family at once.
While some may prefer Italian maestro Lucio Fulci The New York Rippermost would agree that Dario Argento’s ultra-scary movie dark is the superior Giallo slasher. Currently holding an 83 Metascore and 77% Rotten Tomatoes rating, dark follows Peter Neal, an American horror novelist who travels to Rome where a mysterious killer uses his past novels as inspiration to savagely slaughter local citizens, implicating Neal in the process.
With operatic levels of graphic carnage that many American films couldn’t get away with at the time, Tenebrae is simply one of the best films from one of Italy’s most famous horror authors. never recorded. A morally complex tale loaded with lush visuals and some of the most beautifully choreographed outbursts of gore, dark proves that Argento is the king of Italian horror.
The Slumber Party Massacre
Recently remade as a SyFy original movie, The Slumber Party Massacre follows Trish, a high school girl who decides to have a sleepover with her best friends, only to find herself systematically stalked by a deranged killer with a big electric drill. As basic as that sounds, there’s more to the narrative power of the campy slasher outing.
At first glance, The Slumber Party Massacre hardly inspires greatness. But on closer inspection, it turns out that the so-called series of misogynistic murders in the film were actually written and directed by women (Rita Mae Brown and Amy Holden Jones respectively), making the whole output a decidedly subversive take on male domination. slasher subgenre.
John Carpenter The thing is an absolute paragon of visual effects-driven terror. The story follows a group of arctic researchers who slowly discover the presence of an evil, shape-shifting alien presence that takes on human form and kills the crew members, one by one.
Beyond Kurt Russell’s iconic center-turn and stunning, chilling practical effects work, and Ennio Morricone’s heart-pounding score, it’s the deep paranoia, mistrust and sense of isolation among the members of crew who really make the movie such a maddening affair. With an 83% Certified Rotten Fresh Tomatoes rating and currently ranking #160 on IMDb’s Top 250 Movies of All Time, Carpenter’s The thing is still not only one of the best horror films released in 1982, but remains a timeless horror classic today.
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