Undoubtedly the 1980s was the golden era of the slasher movie: it was the decade which gave birth to the franchise horror, giving us several Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street, and Friday The 13th movies.
Friday The 13th began the decade in 1980 with a film that raised audience expectations for the relatively new genre. It had inventive and brutal kills, a great twist, and a shock ending. The franchise went on to dominate the genre in the '80s, giving us one of the all-time great villains in Jason Voorhees.
With the general volume of slasher movies that followed throughout the decade, there was always going to be great films that would fly under the radar of viewers. These films are all great examples of the genre, some have gone on to gain cult followings, whilst some have been forgotten or ignored by general audiences. In all cases, there is something great to be found in these titles and some could arguably be classed as superb examples of the slasher sub-genre.
10. The Burning
Picking up on the popularity of Friday The 13th, this is a slasher classic and one of the original video nasties banned under the Video Recordings Act (1984) in the UK. The Burning has largely been forgotten by mainstream audiences but has garnered a strong cult following over the years.
The film is based loosely on the Cropsey urban legend and borrows the name for its mutilated killer. The story starts off with kids playing a prank on the caretaker of Camp Blackfoot which goes horribly wrong, with Cropsey severely burned and disfigured in the ensuing fire. Once released from hospital he kills a prostitute who reacts in horror to his appearance, before returning to Camp Blackfoot where he proceeds to pick off the campers in revenge.
Whilst this is a familiar plot the film has a number of things which sets it apart from the many Slashers of the era – every appearance from the killer is impressive and savage, with one particular scene involving a raft of campers standing out. The script is surprisingly strong and plays against the final girl stereotype, and the special effects by the legendary Tom Savini are also, excellent making the kills stand out every time