Underrated Horror Movies: 1985

Looks like we are starting to hit our stride again for underrated horror movies. Our last two lists (1983 and 1984) was a little lacking in the quantity department, but we are back strong with 1985. The big names showed up in full force as well including films like Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Day of the Dead, The Return of the Living Dead, Fright Night, Silver Bullet and The Stuff. Most of these names could probably make our 1985 underrated horror movie list as well, but we kept them under the more known movies.

Check out the underrated horror movie list for 1985.

Cat's EyeCat’s Eye
A stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror.

Director: Lewis Teague
Writer: Stephen King (screenplay)
Stars: Drew Barrymore, James Woods and Alan King

From the director of Cujo, Alligator and The Jewel of the Nile, we get an adaptation of another Stephen King work. This one stars Drew Barrymore and James Woods, we are treated to a nice little anthology worth your time.

aka Dèmoni
A group of people are trapped in a large movie theater in West Berlin that is infected by ravenous demons who proceed to kill and posses the humans one-by-one, thereby multiplying their numbers.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Writers: Dardano Sacchetti (original story), Dario Argento (screenplay)
Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey and Karl Zinny

It probably makes little sense to have a Lamberto Bava film on this list, but just in case you have not seen this little gem, you need to.

A young man and his girlfriend move into an man’s old mansion home, where he becomes possessed by a need to control ancient demons.

Director: Luca Bercovici
Writers: Luca Bercovici, Jefery Levy
Stars: Lisa Pelikan, Peter Liapis and Michael Des Barres

The cover alone screams 80s horror, but this fun little film originally titled Beasties and originally having Charles Band as the director is one that needs to be on your list of movies that you need to see.

The Hills Have Eyes Part IIThe Hills Have Eyes Part II
A group of bikers, which includes some of the survivors from the original film, embark on a journey by bus to a biker race near the desert of the infamous incidents. However, because of a mistake they are late and decide to take a shortcut through the desert. Halfway through the desert the bus breaks down. While trying to repair the bus, some of the group wander off, and wind up in the traps of the survivors of the mutant family of the first. Then the mutants go after the rest.

Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Stars: Tamara Stafford, Kevin Spirtas and John Bloom

Forget the original and forget the remake and the sequel to the remake. This one is way out there. This one centers aroung a group of bikers and includes the dirt bikers doing their thing to get away from the mutants. Not what you expect, but still not bad.

Nailgun MassacreNailgun Massacre
aka The Nail Gun Massacre
After a young girl is gang-raped by a crew of construction workers, someone starts killing off members of the group with a nail-gun.

Directors: Bill Leslie, Terry Lofton
Writer: Terry Lofton (story)
Stars: Rocky Patterson, Ron Queen and Beau Leland

The Nail Gun Massacre is basically the trash version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but still worth watching. Do not expect regal cinema here though.

Once BittenOnce Bitten
A vampire Countess needs to drink the blood of a virgin in order to keep her eternal beauty. It seems that all is hopeless, until she bumps into Mark Kendall.

Director: Howard Storm
Writers: Dimitri Villard (story), David Hines , and 2 more credits »
Stars: Lauren Hutton, Jim Carrey and Karen Kopins

A young Lauren Hutton and Jim Carrey are featured in this fun little film. If you are a fan of Carrey, then you need to check this one out. I am not a big fan of his, but he was good in this one.

aka Creepers
A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento (screenplay), Dario Argento (story)
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence and Daria Nicolodi

I always feel silly including films from horror legends like Dario Argento in these lists, but Phenomena is one of my favorite films of this Italian legend. You will also see a young Jennifer Connelly and a younger Donald Pleasence. Honestly, we could all use more Donald Pleasence.

A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Writers: H.P. Lovecraft (story), Dennis Paoli (screenplay)
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott and Barbara Crampton

This film is not really underrated, but it is close. Stuart Gordon’s classic take on an H.P. Lovecraft tale is one of the best horror films from the 80s. Bruce Abbott and Barbara Crampton play nice roles, but the star of the show is Jeffrey Combs. His on-screen presence is undeniable.

Warning SignWarning Sign
In an ultra secret laboratory for the developing of biological weapons, covered as “Biotek”, a research center for agriculture, a serious accident occurs, spreading a sinister bacteria in the laboratory. The security guard of the complex, closes and seals the building, with all the personnel inside, making very difficult the struggle for survival, not to mention the actions that the relatives of the enclosed people are thinking to do.

Director: Hal Barwood
Writers: Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins
Stars: Sam Waterston, Kathleen Quinlan and Yaphet Kotto

I was on the fence with this one, but decided to add it on this list. Not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination.