This post contains affiliate links.



A quite obscure horror movie about a girl falling in the clutches of a satanic cult. The cult element to the story is not everything. “Midnight” packs a reveal that doesn’t have anything to envy to movies with a similar vibe, like “Maniac” or “Deranged

11. “Manhattan Baby” (1982)


More or less a spoof of “The Exorcist” by Lucio Fulci. “Manhattan Baby” involves a cursed object that the protagonists bring from Egypt. As with other movies by Fulci the movie’s creepy, electronic soundtrack make the action all the more watchable.

10. “The Outing” (1987)


Bizarre take on the genie inside of a lamp tale, “The Lamp” is another of this movie’s names. When I watched this movie sometimes I thought “The Outing” went too far with the use of fantasy elements in the story. Otherwise an enjoyable movie with rather good photography.

9. “Neon Maniacs” (1986)


This is an odd movie. If I should describe it I would say, put the children of, “The Goonies” and the gang of “Shrunken Heads” in a blender, and out come the shabby gang of kids in “Neon Maniacs”. They discover a lair of murdering monsters that every night go out to terrorize people in lonely spots of San Francisco.

8. “The Pit” (1981)

THE PIT (1981)

Boy discovers pit in the woods. Boy discovers monsters living in said pit. Boy throws those who wronged him in the pit and feeds the monsters. This pretty much sums up “The Pit”.

7. “Q” (1982)


Now, how this movie isn’t more popular, I’m still trying to figure it out. Maybe because it’s more of a crime movie than a horror one? Still, the intention here was to tribute 1950s American monster movies. The exterior locations, masterfully photographed, make “Q: The Winged Serpent” an NYC time capsule, especially because has a lot of exterior scenes.

6. “Dead Heat” (1988)

DEAD HEAT (1988)

Another horror movie about cops, “Dead Heat”, more comedic than “Q”, has some seriously cool sci-fi imagery. “Dead Heat” is a movie set in Los Angeles about zombies that wants to be a movie about a revenant but fails in that sense. Otherwise enjoyable.

5. “Intruder” (1989)


If you know that one of the favorite haunts of real-life ghosts are big business locations like department stores and supermarkets, and would enjoy watching a movie that happens in a supermarket, then watch “Intruder”. It’s not supernatural but more of a slasher movie, still, for those that think supermarkets are creepy, this is a great movie.

4. “Devil Fetus” (1983)


Probably the most squalid movie on this list, from a horror fan. The pace of this movie is quite the slow burn and when the dreck hits the fan, rather underwhelming. Still, “Devil Fetus” has sufficient exotic visuals as to make itself relatively interesting.

3. “Purana Mandir” (1984)


Like Hong Kong, India is not notorious for dishing out good horror movies. Still, there are many more Indian horror movies known in the west. “Purana Mandir” is maybe the lesser-known movie by the Ramsay brothers. It touches the subject (repeatedly employed by the Ramsays) of tantric black magic and its consequences.

2. “Brain Damage” (1988)


Brain Damage” is another highly bizarre movie from the 1980s. If I had to compare this movie to a more known one I’d say it reminded me of “Basket Case”. Still “Brain Damage” is more memorable to me than its more popular counterpart. A very dark, nocturnal movie, the only day scenes in it are just a couple of shots at the midpoint. Oh, the irony! The protagonist goes to a hotel called Sunshine in those several daytime scenes.

1. “Dead Calm” (1989)

DEAD CALM (1989)

This one is the movie on this list that feels less like a B flick. It’s nice to watch due to the exotic scenes, but at the same time it’s claustrophobic and kind of not that memorable. “Dead Calm” touches the subject of terror in close quarters that movies like “Misery” also explore.

What Horror Cult Classics of the ’80s Would you Add?

Please, write your picks (even lists would be helpful) in the comments section below.

© Bholenath Valsan 2021 — 12 Lesser-known 1980s Horror Cult Classics


I curate horror things for horror fans to discover them without hassle

Leave a Reply