ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roslyn Frost hosts her own YouTube channel which reviews horror films. She has a genuine love for them and it really comes through in the videos that she shares. We put her on the spot by asking her to send us her top ten list. If you want to learn more about her, she’s on Twitter and Instagram. Take it away!
Doing a top ten slashers is incredibly difficult. It’s hard enough determining whether a certain movie is a slasher or not, but then limiting that to just ten is almost impossible. So instead I have compiled a list of ten random slashers I love for various reasons strictly from the 1980s (excluding the Italian giallos). So without further ado…
1. The Funhouse – Everyone talks about the typical slasher tropes, but to me what makes a great slasher is the atmosphere. And this Tobe Hooper classic is full of it. It relies almost completely on mood as opposed to kills and thrills, since nothing really happens for the first hour. Always a fun watch during the Halloween season.
2. Bloody Birthday – I love killer kid movies, and this is one I always enjoy watching. A campy flick full of early 80s charm. The kids are wonderful little creeps, especially Billy Jayne (the kid from Just One of the Guys and Beastmaster).
3. Night School – Another atmospheric slasher. This one is more reminiscent of Italian giallos than American slashers at the time. Some great cinematography and when the kills happen they’re pretty good. A stronger ending would have made this a true genre classic.
4. Blood Diner – I don’t think I’ve ever seen another movie like Blood Diner. Inspired by HG Lewis gorefests, Blood Diner is a spiritual sequel to 1963’s Blood Feast. Irritating at times, but always funny. This is a great movie to go in blind to since it’ll make the watch truly bewildering.
5. Prom Night – Jamie Lee Curtis dancing to disco. That’s pretty much the only reason I love this movie.
6. Nail Gun Massacre – I love bad movies, and they don’t get as bad as Nail Gun Massacre. One of the most inept movies I’ve ever seen, the biggest surprise is that they knew how to actually work the camera. The first time I saw it I wanted to destroy the tape. Now I treasure this garbage masterpiece for all its goofy quirks.
7. Pieces – I don’t think I can say anything about this that others haven’t said better. A remarkably bizarre slasher starring cult couple Christopher and Lynda Day George. It’s a movie you’ll never forget with one of the “best” endings ever.
8. House on Sorority Row – Although it’s a bit slow at times, this one has everything I want in an 80s slasher. A strong cast, dark cinematography, a mysterious killer, and plenty of camp.
9. Christmas Evil – I was hesitant to list this because I don’t really consider it a slasher and it’s barely a horror movie. It has more of the hallmarks of a Christmas classic: Down-on-his-luck lead, non believer side characters, Santa Claus iconography, a snowy setting, and a miracle ending. This movie is basically what Miracle on 34th Street would be if directed by William Lustig.
10. Killer Workout – Another inept slasher, this movie doesn’t offer a lot in the way or kills… or strong acting, directing, cinematography, or really anything else that makes a movie good. The worst parts are actually the slasher elements, but what I love about this movie is all the campiness. With unnecessarily long and out of place aerobics scenes, bodybuilder actors, ditzy actresses, and one of the catchiest soundtracks to an 80s slasher ever, this movie is perfect for a midnight double feature.
Thanks Rosalyn! You can check out one of her latest videos below, where she discusses Night of the Comet while playing old arcade games.