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Favorite Underrated Slasher Films

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Needless to say, the 1980's was the peak of Slasher films. After the success of Halloween and Friday the 13th, post-1980's horror was dominated by the slasher genre. 

There were almost too many, but when we think of the genre as whole, the most people have been exposed to has been the aforementioned Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. The lesser known ones have fallen on the way side and I thought it would be cool to see what other movies on the Forums have seen and love.

 

Maniac- 1980

This is one of the most vile Slashers out there for me. Joe Spinell as Frank gives an amazing and uncomfortable performance as the killer. What I love most about this movie is that it doesn't follow the Slasher clichés too much. The killer is the main focus and it dives into the psychological aspect of what goes through a Killer's head. Caroline Munro also is the strong female lead and gives us a wonderful pairing for us to follow. Add in a cameo to Tom Savini and you get a very strong film. The kills are very gruesome for the time. 

 

Black Christmas-1974

Quite possibly my favorite Slasher movie of all time, this film is often compared to Halloween due to two things. One, being it predates Halloween by 4 years. And two, it's heavy on atmosphere. Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon give great performances and the story slowly pulls you in, ending with a fun climax. Not that much on the gore, but the kills are effective (especially the glass unicorn). Lastly, the score in this is amazing. Very creepy. 

 

My Bloody Valentine- 1981

I love the originality of this. The Mines, the town, this movie is all about the setting for me. The charecters all feel like real people, they act like real people, and the last act within the mines is very unique among slashers. I highly recommend getting the Blu Ray special edition, which has the original cut of the film with all the kills restored because the gore in this film might be some of the best.

 

Madman-1982

This is all about the Cheese! It's like a 4-Cheese pizza topped with more cheese. This is like a guilty pleasure movie for me. Weird music compliments the enjoyable blueish cinematography. I won't say that the kills are the best but it's more  about of the overall feel of this movie (feels like a cash-grab, but it is fun to watch). And the Madman Marz character is just enjoyable. That song at the credits is ridiculously catchy! 

 

Sleepaway Camp- 1983

The last movie on this short list. The ending alone is worthy enough to watch this movie. This is it's strongest on you first viewing. The acting isn't the best and the charecters are not the greatest of humanity either. The kills range from awesome to meh (Curling Iron for the win!) But the story and the ending can freak out almost anybody. I say watch it once to get the shock value!

 

Other films that I would include would be The Prowler, Intruder, Hatchet 2, April Fool's Day and Happy Birthday to Me.

 

What are your favorite underrated Slashers? Leave a comment! 

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29 minutes ago, Not Shelly said:

Needless to say, the 1980's was the peak of Slasher films. After the success of Halloween and Friday the 13th, post-1980's horror was dominated by the slasher genre. 

There were almost too many, but when we think of the genre as whole, the most people have been exposed to has been the aforementioned Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. The lesser known ones have fallen on the way side and I thought it would be cool to see what other movies on the Forums have seen and love.

 

Maniac- 1980

This is one of the most vile Slashers out there for me. Joe Spinell as Frank gives an amazing and uncomfortable performance as the killer. What I love most about this movie is that it doesn't follow the Slasher clichés too much. The killer is the main focus and it dives into the psychological aspect of what goes through a Killer's head. Caroline Munro also is the strong female lead and gives us a wonderful pairing for us to follow. Add in a cameo to Tom Savini and you get a very strong film. The kills are very gruesome for the time. 

 

Black Christmas-1974

Quite possibly my favorite Slasher movie of all time, this film is often compared to Halloween due to two things. One, being it predates Halloween by 4 years. And two, it's heavy on atmosphere. Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon give great performances and the story slowly pulls you in, ending with a fun climax. Not that much on the gore, but the kills are effective (especially the glass unicorn). Lastly, the score in this is amazing. Very creepy. 

 

My Bloody Valentine- 1981

I love the originality of this. The Mines, the town, this movie is all about the setting for me. The charecters all feel like real people, they act like real people, and the last act within the mines is very unique among slashers. I highly recommend getting the Blu Ray special edition, which has the original cut of the film with all the kills restored because the gore in this film might be some of the best.

 

Madman-1982

This is all about the Cheese! It's like a 4-Cheese pizza topped with more cheese. This is like a guilty pleasure movie for me. Weird music compliments the enjoyable blueish cinematography. I won't say that the kills are the best but it's more  about of the overall feel of this movie (feels like a cash-grab, but it is fun to watch). And the Madman Marz character is just enjoyable. That song at the credits is ridiculously catchy! 

 

Sleepaway Camp- 1983

The last movie on this short list. The ending alone is worthy enough to watch this movie. This is it's strongest on you first viewing. The acting isn't the best and the charecters are not the greatest of humanity either. The kills range from awesome to meh (Curling Iron for the win!) But the story and the ending can freak out almost anybody. I say watch it once to get the shock value!

 

Other films that I would include would be The Prowler, Intruder, Hatchet 2, April Fool's Day and Happy Birthday to Me.

 

What are your favorite underrated Slashers? Leave a comment! 

First, I'll go through yours, and then I'll list mine. :)

Maniac (1980)- I completely agree with you here. This was a brutal slasher, especially for the time. I haven't thought about the movie in a few years. I bought the 30th anniversary Blu Ray a while back, but I haven't opened it yet. I may check that out again soon. Thanks for bringing it up.

Black Christmas (1984)- This is one of my favorite slashers as well. I don't think it's underrated in the Horror Community, but I agree that it is often overlooked by the general public. A great, creepy film with the perfect ambiguous ending. I hated the re-make until I watched a video about the behind the scenes stuff on that one. The end result was what the studio wanted, not the director. It would have been a much more disturbing, creepy, hard R feature. Not the PG-13 CGI fake-gorefest that was released.

My Bloody Valentine- 1981- I like this one too. It had a few pacing problems, but it was definitely pretty original for it's time. I wasn't a fan of the re-make of this one either. 

Madman (1982)- I don't remember this one. I've probably seen it since I watched just about every horror movie that was made in the 80s. I might try to track it down sometime.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)- This one is a pretty big cult classic in the horror community. It had it's problems, but it was definitely a fun one to watch. Can't say so much for the sequels. lol This one is on my list along with Black Christmas too.

The Prowler, Intruder, Hatchet 2, April Fool's Day and Happy Birthday to Me- All good picks. I actually enjoy all 3 Hatchet movies, but I live in New Orleans, so I am kind of biased. The rest were indeed good flicks.

Ok, my short list.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)- The acting was cheesy, but the movie wasn't bad for it's time. I have this one saved on my DVR, and I usually watch it in December every year. The sequel was dumb, dumb, dumb...but worth a watch if just for the "GARBAGE DAY!" scene.

The Burning (1981)-  The premise wasn't great. I think I would have liked it more if the killer had been afraid of fire, instead of running around with a blowtorch. But, this movie launched the careers of quite a few people. (Holly Hunter, George Clooney, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens). It also had some pretty inventive kills as well as not falling into the usual slasher tropes. Of course, the slasher genre was fairly new, so some of those tropes really didn't exist yet. What was unique about this one was that you kind of liked all of the characters, and you hated to see them die. Some of the kills were pretty inventive too.

The House On Sorority Row (1983)- This one suffered from being lumped in with other college-related themes (The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Sorority House Massacre, etc...) that were pure cheese. This one was actually a really well-told suspense/thriller that just happened to have tons of great gore effects. And, you gotta love the Jack in the Box scene! ?

Dr. Giggles (1992)- While this movie does get into silly territory a few times, it is actually a pretty good slasher. That doctor is creepy as hell!

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)- I first saw this one on VHS in the late 80s, and it creeped me out...big time! Very disturbing visuals and unsettling scenes. If you haven't checked it out, I recommend it.

Alone In the Dark (1982)- And no, I do not mean Uwe Boll's cinematic diarrhea based on the video game. I'm talking about the slasher that had Jack Palance, Donald Pleasance (Good old Dr. Loomis himself), and Martin Landau as 3 escaped mental patients who go on a killing spree. They are all awesome in this one! A great mix of dark humor and psychotic mayhem. The film also includes some of Tom Savini's best effects work in my opinion. 

I could do this forever. Not just with slasher films, but with horror in general. I love the genre and all of it's subgenres. Another gore-fest that I really like is Braindead (A.K.A. Dead Alive). It was directed by Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame.

Great topic! I had fun with this one.

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4 minutes ago, Rexfellis said:

First, I'll go through yours, and then I'll list mine. :)

Maniac (1980)- I completely agree with you here. This was a brutal slasher, especially for the time. I haven't thought about the movie in a few years. I bought the 30th anniversary Blu Ray a while back, but I haven't opened it yet. I may check that out again soon. Thanks for bringing it up.

Black Christmas (1984)- This is one of my favorite slashers as well. I don't think it's underrated in the Horror Community, but I agree that it is often overlooked by the general public. A great, creepy film with the perfect ambiguous ending. I hated the re-make until I watched a video about the behind the scenes stuff on that one. The end result was what the studio wanted, not the director. It would have been a much more disturbing, creepy, hard R feature. Not the PG-13 CGI fake-gorefest that was released.

My Bloody Valentine- 1981- I like this one too. It had a few pacing problems, but it was definitely pretty original for it's time. I wasn't a fan of the re-make of this one either. 

Madman (1982)- I don't remember this one. I've probably seen it since I watched just about every horror movie that was made in the 80s. I might try to track it down sometime.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)- This one is a pretty big cult classic in the horror community. It had it's problems, but it was definitely a fun one to watch. Can't say so much for the sequels. lol This one is on my list along with Black Christmas too.

The Prowler, Intruder, Hatchet 2, April Fool's Day and Happy Birthday to Me- All good picks. I actually enjoy all 3 Hatchet movies, but I live in New Orleans, so I am kind of biased. The rest were indeed good flicks.

Ok, my short list.

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)- The acting was cheesy, but the movie wasn't bad for it's time. I have this one saved on my DVR, and I usually watch it in December every year. The sequel was dumb, dumb, dumb...but worth a watch if just for the "GARBAGE DAY!" scene.

The Burning (1981)-  The premise wasn't great. I think I would have liked it more if the killer had been afraid of fire, instead of running around with a blowtorch. But, this movie launched the careers of quite a few people. (Holly Hunter, George Clooney, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens). It also had some pretty inventive kills as well as not falling into the usual slasher tropes. Of course, the slasher genre was fairly new, so some of those tropes really didn't exist yet. What was unique about this one was that you kind of liked all of the characters, and you hated to see them die. Some of the kills were pretty inventive too.

The House On Sorority Row (1983)- This one suffered from being lumped in with other college-related themes (The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Sorority House Massacre, etc...) that were pure cheese. This one was actually a really well-told suspense/thriller that just happened to have tons of great gore effects. And, you gotta love the Jack in the Box scene! ?

Dr. Giggles (1992)- While this movie does get into silly territory a few times, it is actually a pretty good slasher. That doctor is creepy as hell!

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)- I first saw this one on VHS in the late 80s, and it creeped me out...big time! Very disturbing visuals and unsettling scenes. If you haven't checked it out, I recommend it.

Alone In the Dark (1982)- And no, I do not mean Uwe Boll's cinematic diarrhea based on the video game. I'm talking about the slasher that had Jack Palance, Donald Pleasance (Good old Dr. Loomis himself), and Martin Landau as 3 escaped mental patients who go on a killing spree. They are all awesome in this one! A great mix of dark humor and psychotic mayhem. The film also includes some of Tom Savini's best effects work in my opinion. 

I could do this forever. Not just with slasher films, but with horror in general. I love the genre and all of it's subgenres. Another gore-fest that I really like is Braindead (A.K.A. Dead Alive). It was directed by Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame.

Great topic! I had fun with this one.

Good choice! I totally forgot Alice Sweet Alice. 

I will be honest, I prefer the Sorority Row remake over the original. The original is fine, but I find the killer to be a little dull. It has a great story in it though! 

I love the Burning too! Love the cast and kills. Very fun

And I agree, I love stuff like this! 

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Love Maniac, Sleepaway Camp, Dr. Giggles, Black Christmas!! 

April Fool's Day.

Psycho Cop.

Slumber Party Massacre.

New York Ripper.

The first half of Evil Dead Trap.

Popcorn.

 Tobe Hooper's Funhouse

Return to Horror High.

The Toolbox Murders. 

The Town that Dreaded Sundown

Some of these are real campy and cheesy, but I really enjoyed some of the kills. Almost listed Jack Frost as I remember going to video rental shops and loving the hologram cover.

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Great lists! Not much to add here -

I did prefer Maniac Cop over Psycho cop though, Robert Z'Dar is one scary looking dude :D

Maniac Cop (1988)

Terror Train (1980)

When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Shocker (1989)

Kolobos (1999)

 

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I always thought Urban Legends (1998) didn't get enough love, good film and decent cast.

The Final Girls (2015) is a hidden classic, kinda horror comedy and a massive tribute to Friday the 13th ... check it out if you haven't seen it.

From back in the day The House On Sorority Row (1983) I always enjoyed.

Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2005) is also a great watch and something different.

Few others have already been mentioned ... Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine. There's some absolute dross out there as well though and I've lost count of the amount of DVDs I've picked up thinking it'll be an undiscovered slasher classic only to find its anything but!

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I guess I'm boring, I only really know about the more mainstream slasher movies. It's not a slasher movie, but one zombie movie I think is criminally underrated is the foreign film Zombi 2. It's a classic in my eyes. Have you guys ever seen it? 

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I think Severance counts as a slasher, I love it. Scrolling through I had movies to add but they kept getting added then I got my turn & Severance was worthy of mentioning if it falls in the slasher category.

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On 9/4/2017 at 11:42 AM, hesh said:

Great lists! Not much to add here -

I did prefer Maniac Cop over Psycho cop though, Robert Z'Dar is one scary looking dude :D

Maniac Cop (1988)

Terror Train (1980)

When a Stranger Calls (1979)

Shocker (1989)

Kolobos (1999)

 

Totally forgot Shocker! That was a fun one.

On 9/12/2017 at 0:48 PM, deathbat96777 said:

I guess I'm boring, I only really know about the more mainstream slasher movies. It's not a slasher movie, but one zombie movie I think is criminally underrated is the foreign film Zombi 2. It's a classic in my eyes. Have you guys ever seen it? 

I hope everyone here has seen Lucio Fulci's Zombie, or as they call it in Italy Zombi 2. One of my favorite zombie films of all time. We should start a separate Favorite Zombie Movies of all time thread.

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Maniac Cop : Great movie and Good Story it was really good and is recommended to watch and might get a remake in 2018 on the wiki it says which will be great :D

the second one was good was well but 3rd one sucked

 

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On 9/16/2017 at 7:57 AM, FlameRiderSD said:

the same person who did the alien design made pumpkin head :P

Correct, it was Stan Winston who worked on Aliens before he did Pumpkinhead. He also did the effects for Friday the 13th Part 3 and Predator.

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