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Nothing but classics and cult faves in trailer for Criterion Channel’s “’80s Horror” series

Thursday, September 22, 2022 | News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

Fear-film favorites from the genre’s greatest directors will be streaming next month.

The Criterion Channel begins its 30-film “’80s Horror” series October 1, showcasing a wide variety of entries from arguably the greatest decade for screen terror. There’s something for everyone, from stylish Hollywood horrors to gritty American indies to unique international frights. The full details:

“The 1980s were defined by style and excess, and the era’s horror movies were no exception. Innovations in practical effects made the nightmares more vivid than ever, and thanks to the rise of home video, the call was now coming from inside the house. While established talents such as John Carpenter (Prince of Darkness), Tobe Hooper (The Funhouse), David Cronenberg (Scanners), Michael Mann (The Keep), and Paul Schrader (Cat People) brought terrifying spectacles to the screen, often with the help of Hollywood studios, home video opened up a new market that allowed the independents to take the genre to unexpected and–in the case of the UK’s censorship of infamous “Video Nasties”–controversial new heights. Curated by Clyde Folley, this ghastly tour through the decade of greed features ambitious art-pulp hybrids (White of the Eye), a Hitchcock-inspired trucker movie (Road Games), old-fashioned creature features (Q: The Winged Serpent), a vampiric Nicolas Cage (Vampire’s Kiss), and absolutely unclassifiable cult oddities (Society), bringing together some of the ’80s’ most stylish, haunting, and outrageous visions:

Inferno, Dario Argento, 1980
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne, Walerian Borowczyk, 1981
Dead & Buried, Gary Sherman, 1981
The House by the Cemetery, Lucio Fulci, 1981
The Funhouse, Tobe Hooper, 1981
Strange Behavior, Michael Laughlin, 1981
Wolfen, Michael Wadleigh, 1981
Scanners, David Cronenberg, 1981
Road Games, Richard Franklin, 1981
The Fan, Ed Bianchi, 1981
Basket Case, Frank Henenlotter, 1982
Next of Kin, Tony Williams, 1982
Cat People, Paul Schrader, 1982
Q: The Winged Serpent, Larry Cohen
The Slumber Party Massacre, Amy Holden Jones, 1982
The Keep, Michael Mann, 1983
The Hunger, Tony Scott, 1983*
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, John McNaughton, 1986
The Hidden, Jack Sholder, 1987
Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter, 1987
White of the Eye, Donald Cammell, 1987
Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow, 1987
The Vanishing, George Sluizer, 1988
Brain Damage, Frank Henenlotter, 1988
Dream Demon, Harley Cokeliss, 1988
The Blob, Chuck Russell, 1988
Lair of the White Worm, Ken Russell, 1988
Vampire’s Kiss, Robert Bierman, 1989
Society, Brian Yuzna, 1989
Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989
*Available November 1

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.