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30 Underrated ’80s Slashers You Can Watch Instead of Becoming Employable

You’re a horror fan, and you’re starting to feel like you’ve seen it all. You’ve grown tired of such pedestrian debates as “’Halloween 3′ is underrated” and “’Prince of Darkness’ is John Carpenter’s best movie!” You’re looking to really sink your teeth into horror’s greatest decade, the 1980s, and uncover all those sweet sweet underappreciated gems that most people have never heard of. Because what else are you going to do? It’s not like you have a job or anything.

We’ve compiled a list of the 30 most underrated slasher films and ranked them by how likely watching them will make all of your problems go away. Just kidding! Only you can do that, and you won’t, and that’s why you’re here. Anyway, let’s count ’em down!

30. Hell Night (1981)

Out of all Linda Blair’s post “The Exorcist” movies, “Hell Night” is certainly… uhm, one of them. Four college pledges spend the night in an infamous house of horrors, unaware that it is the home of a maniac who picks them off one by one. It’s nothing groundbreaking and a little uneven, but if this one is on your radar, congratulations, you probably have no marketable skills.

29. The Mutilator (1984)

Years after a boy accidentally shoots his mother attempting to clean his father’s gun, the dad has a meltdown and seeks revenge against the boy and all his friends. Yes, it’s insane that this movie is bookended by the upbeat sitcom opening-esque song “Fall Break,” it’s a bonkers choice that does not match the tone of the film at all, but you really need to stop talking about it at job interviews.

28. Offerings (1989)

This movie has long been criticized as a shameless “Halloween” rip-off, but you yourself have long been criticized as an unemployable train wreck who just can’t get their shit together. The truth hurts is what I’m saying.

27. Moonstalker (1989)

It’s standard slasher fair but its unique snowy setting will give you something to talk about while dodging questions like “So how’s the job search coming?”

26. Slaughter High (1986)

A bullied high school nerd gets revenge on his abusers by staging a fake reunion and locking them in the school where he picks them off one by one. It’s no “Halloween,” or even “Halloween 5,” but what else were you gonna do today?

25. Death Spa (1988)

We all know the spa is supposed to be a place of health and relaxation, but what if, instead of that, they MURDERED you?! That’s the premise, and it’s more than you deserve. And hey, Ken Foree is in it! You know who he is because you haven’t had a job since before the pandemic.

24. Just Before Dawn (1981)

This is your classic young people in the woods being murdered formula with a fun twist totally worth blowing off that job fair for.

23. The Final Terror (1983)

The title is a little misleading. At no point do any of the characters get hit with overdraft fees and an eviction notice on the same day. Can YOU survive? Seriously, can you?

22. Curtains (1983)

6 women, each auditioning for the same film role at a mansion, are targeted by a deranged killer, but hey, at least they’re trying to find work. What have you done all day?

21. Nightmare Beach (1988)

A slasher villain who rides a motorcycle?! Oh shit, guess checking for entry-level job postings on Craigslist will have to wait, this demands your attention!

20. The House On Sorority Row (1982)

Of all the college sorority-based horror movies of the ’80s you can watch in the middle of the day instead of attempting to improve your life in any way shape or form, this is one you maybe haven’t done that with yet.

19. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

Sure, the Friday the 13th franchise is far from underrated, but this one has always been the black sheep of the franchise and frankly, we think it’s about due for a “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch” type resurgence. It was unfairly maligned upon its release because it doesn’t feature Jason, focusing instead on a copycat killer, but it’s a perfect time capsule of peak ’80s sleaziness, and championing dumb opinions is the closest thing to a job you have.

18. The Initiation (1984)

Another sorority pledge gone wrong horror movie. Man, a lot of these horror movies take place at college. Probably best you don’t finish school.

17. April Fool’s Day (1986)

A competent, well-executed by-the-book slasher with a fun twist that will leave you, well, pretty much the same unemployable mess, but you’ll have seen this movie!

16. The Burning (1981)

While largely underseen, this slasher inspired by the legend of Cropsy has long enjoyed cult-classic status among horror aficionados. If you haven’t already seen it, face it, you have time to watch an ’80s slasher where you see Jason Alexander’s big ol’ butt, and while that might not be an ideal mode of life, you should take advantage of the perks.

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