We’ve reached out to our favorite blogs, websites and writers to ask them to take a virtual time warp with us back to that glorious age of wall swatches and teased mullets, when ripped jeans became new and neon was everyone’s favorite color.
We came up with a top 8 list of our favorite eighties, and asked our friends at Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horrors, Shit Movie Fest, Guts and Grog, Freddy in Space and Back Online-Back On Duty to fill us in on their top 8 favorites as well.
As part of this week, we have a contest going with a truly grand prize. One lucky winner will receive TWO FREE PASSES* to all three days of 80’s in the Park in Melbourne, FL – featuring a cult film fest, min-horror con, faux prom, retro arcade and multiple concerts by 80’s legends such as Quiet Riot, Warrant, Slaughter, Tommy Tutone, and more.
Each day will post a new article by one of our rad guest writers, and each day you will have another chance to enter… to the max! The more articles you check out and share, the more chances you have to win!
*Two free adult passes to 80’s in the Park, includes both days at the Pavilion and the movie festival at Cinemaworld. This prize does NOT include travel expenses, lodging or cost of any food, autographs or merchandise bought at the event.
Get stoked for
DR. TERROR’S BLOG OF HORRORS’ ULTIMATE 80’s LIST!
I didn’t get to appreciate as much horror as I would have liked in the 1980’s.
At my oldest I was ten years old (born in 1980). My dad was pretty great in that he’d let me watch monster movies and supernatural flicks non stop, but I wasn’t allowed to watch the slasher films till I was older unless I was sneaking Nightmare on Elm St. 2 on cable. Still, I’ve always felt an affection for that decade whether it be in horror, music, beverages (where’s my Ecto Cooler?) or toys. It’s the decade that surrounded me as a kid when I was learning how to “play”. When I was learning that adults had a secret world of rated R movies and I wanted to watch them all. I still collect bits of my past that I’ve lost to the backyard or garage sales or the garbage dump. I try to get it all back; actively exploring my past and enjoying the act that is simply remembering.
That’s what I’m here to do with you today with the help of the Tavern of Terror. I’m going to remember a few things with you.
1. Most Radical 80’s Horror Movie
Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers.
It’s as iconic an 80’s horror/slasher/kill by numbers film as any other. Even up against Nightmare on Elm Street 3 or Friday the 13th The Final Chapter.
Unhappy Campers has the appropriate level of humor, gore and clever kills to make it iconic. Throw in Pamela Springsteen’s pre-Dexter moral kill code, Valerie Hartman’s lack of shirt and enough mullet to hang a CIT and you’ve got a movie that can hold its own with the boy’s club of mass murdering, invincible killers.
The opening credit music is Anvil’s Straight through the Eyes, and the movie even pays homage to Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Best kill: Murder by Pit Toilet.
Sing the “Happy Camper Song” and watch this movie until you die. I saw this movie and immediately started mowing lawns to purchase it. This was in a time when VHS movies weren’t priced to own, so purchasing it was no easy feat. I assure you it was worth every penny.
2. The Head-Bangingest 80’s Hair Metal Album
No doubt about it. I banged my head very hard to Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In. I stole it from my sister on cassette tape because she told me that the song Girls Girls Girls was on there (and she was wrong!). By the time I knew that she was completely off-base, I was hooked. Of course the quad pic on the cover featured some hotties… or at least I thought they were pretty damn hot until I found out that it was C.C. Deville and co. That was a true eye opener.
The album itself featured the first swear on a tape I can remember hearing:
“You heard your mother, turn that shit off!”
It also opened up with “Talk Dirty to Me” featuring my still favorite guitar solo Double Stop Heaven. If you look closely at my family’s old photo albums, you can see me playing it on the air guitar in at least three snapshots.
Coming up close behind it would be Crue and Fastway and Helloween but I think the one that gets you will always make you bang the hardest even if it isn’t the loudest, fastest, most Satanic (or lack of Satanic).
3. Most totally excellent 80’s video game
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest.
It’s not exactly easy to choose one game with Rygar, Metroid and the Legend of Zelda or even Mega Man 2 on the shelf, but there was something absolutely hypnotic and aesthetically brilliant about Castlevania II.
- You have to collect body parts and items of Dracula.
- You get various whips including a chain and flame whip.
- You fight every groovy ghoulie known to man.
- The music is terrifying and mysterious and hypnotic.
You can save using a password, die a pile of times and get multiple endings. Game play is simply but challenging. The original didn’t have a password save and Part III, while intense, was a bit difficult for my simple brain. I never did beat it. Simon’s Quest was my first introduction to Simon Belmont, and I would later include him as a character in many a Lego battles as a featured monster hunter.
4. TV… to the Max!
This may be surprising with so many quintessential 80’s horror TV shows coming to mind, but my favorite is Amazing Stories.
Sure, it was more fantasy than anything but you can’t go wrong with episodes like Go to the Head of the Class featuring a headless Christopher Lloyd chasing an ever hot Mary Stewart Masterson, or Miscalculation whose finale features an iconic Fangoria cover (about to come to life no less).
I still want to listen to Blood Sausage’s “Teacher’s Threat” and perform the Curse of Delcite. The episode even opens up with an iconic scene from House on Haunted Hill and features a phone ringer that I would later sample and use as my own ringtone (I love that evil laugh).
Yeah, I loved Freddy’s Nightmares, Tales from the Darkside, The Twilight Zone Resurrection, Hammer’s House of Horrors and even Friday the 13th the Series, but this is my absolute favorite.
5. Most Awesome Toy
Now I played with my fair share of 80’s toys. Most of them horror-related in some fashion, and those that weren’t were often requisitioned into horror service. When I wasn’t transforming Legos into childlike renditions of Friday the 13th or Jaws I was playing with my Enemy Visitor action figure from the TV series V.
This guy featured a removable face, sunglasses, laser zapper and a retractable tongue. Sometimes I’d play with him in context, as an enemy alien trying to co-opt the Earth’s natural resources. Other times I would remove his mask and turn it inside out. This would resemble the untransformed bounty hunters from Critters. Still other times, I’d strip ‘em down and pretend he was the Terminator fresh through the time warp.
My parents picked him up as a collectible from a family owned comic shop in Long Island, but he became anything but collectible after I was done with him.
6. Ultimate 80’s Item
You mean besides the glass framed Budweiser poster I won at the carnival with the bikini girls all a-glow hanging over my bed?
My ultimate 80’s item is the neon green coffin that my Mr. Bones candy used to come in. It was the perfect size for reuse in any Lego haunt game and encased a brilliant multi-colored puzzle of bones inside. They tasted great.
I miss them, and the knock offs of today don’t do the Mr. Bones brand justice.
Incidentally, I also miss that damn Budweiser poster.
7. The ultimate 80’s icon
(This is where I expect to hear crickets)
Commander USA was a horror host on the USA Network on cable television. He would host Groovie Movies, had the best theme introduction, chewed a cigar, talked to a smiley face he drew on his hand (using the aforementioned cigar) and wore a cape. He hosted everything from The Children to CHUD, from Friday the 13th to The Boogeyman. He’s one of the reasons I write and use created a sort of alter ego called Dr. TERROR to do the dirty work on my site and videos. I can still hear him yelling “Holy Cats!”
Not bad from a show that supposedly originated from a secret headquarters located under a New Jersey shopping mall (hey, I’m from New Jersey!). Say Hi to Lefty for us.
See the Commander in action:
8. What beer goes best with your above flashback list of goodies, were someone to revisit them all?
(we are the Tavern, after all!)
I’ve always been a fan of IPA’s. Chock full of gorgeous hops, alcohol content extreme and guaranteed to get you drunk. Truly marathon brew.
Burton Baton IPA from Dogfish Head is a whole lotta beer for a horror-thon, but I’ve used it for some of my finer Christmas viewing sessions. 10% alcohol gets you drunk fast, keeps you drunk and helps you to appreciate some of the finer, nostalgic memories with a tear in your eye. The brew seems to make me a bit sentimental.
If you’d prefer a holiday brew, something with a hint of Halloween, I’d recommend you go with Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead or Saranac’s Pumpkin or, hell, even Dogfish Head’s Punkin’.
I could go on forever. That’s probably why I quite drinking… I could drink on for as long as I could talk about beer.
Now it’s your chance to take a trip back in time by entering our 80’s in the Park ticket giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive TWO FREE PASSES* to all three days of 80’s in the Park in Melbourne, FL – featuring a cult film fest, min-horror con, faux prom, retro arcade, and multiple concerts by 80’s legends such as Quiet Riot, Warrant, Slaughter, Tommy Tutone, and more.
HOW TO ENTER TODAY:
(you must complete ALL of these steps to win!)
1. Like Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horrors on facebook
2. Like 80’s in the Park on facebook
3. Share this article on your facebook
4. Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite 80′s horror movie is and then leave a VALID EMAIL so we can contact you if you win.
Each day this week we will post a new article by one of our guest writers, and each day you will have another chance to enter. The more articles you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win! You have until midnight EST on Sunday, September 1st to enter.
*Two free adult passes to 80’s in the Park, includes both days at the pavilion and the movie festival at Cinemaworld. This prize does NOT include travel expenses, lodging or cost of any food, autographs or merchandise bought at the event.
From the bowels and brains of American International to the rib cage and eye sockets of Amicus, Dr. James Terror will write your eyes shut with, well… TERROR!!! (and perhaps a bit of camp now and again for flavor). The focus of DOCTERROR.COM is to enjoy and shape the horror-verse for the horror community. He reviews a variety of horror and science fiction titles with a focus on positive or constructive reviews meant to guide the audience rather than create a negative environment. You’ll find retrospectives, lists, faux movies and faux video games as well as giveaways and tributes.