There’s a soft spot in my heart for 80’s and 90’s horror films. There’s something classy about 70’s horror and films of the noughties were so realistic and gore heavy. But in the 80’s and 90’s, horror films could be scary and also have giant worm puppets or demons made out of plasticine. I have such a nostalgia for horror films of this era, even though a lot of them were before my time.
If you’re like me, you probably already know of the classic and often so-bad-they’re-great horror films from Vestron, recently re-released by Lionsgate on Blu Ray. If not, you’re in for a treat.
The Gate (1987)
See that little kid in the picture above? That’s a really young Stephen Dorff. He’s Glen, a kid who digs up a mysterious rock in his backyard while investigating with his best friend. Their excavations just happen to reveal The Gate, a hellmouth which unleashes a host of tiny rubbery demons and all hell breaks loose in their home. It’s a wonderful film, full of grotesque creatures, bodies in the walls, and big 80’s hair and shoulder pads. It’s a genuinely entertaining ride and one that’s beloved by cult horror fans for very good reason.
Lair of The White Worm (1988)
Hugh Grant stars in this sensual horror from British director Ken Russell, based loosely on a Bram Stoker story. Grant plays a lord who awakes ancient evil on his estate when an archaeologist digs up what might be a dragon skull. When local people start to go missing, including his girlfriend, he realises that an ancient family story about defeating an ancient evil might just be based on fact. It’s a really campy and odd film, which is often very funny and often pretty chilling too. It’s not really like any other film you’ve seen, thanks to the strange visual effects, and the campy, sensual mind of director Russell.
You might have missed this 90’s horror franchise opener, starring Robert Englund of A Nightmare On Elm Street and Kane Hodder from Friday 13th (and a small part for Tony Todd from Candyman too). It was exec-produced by Wes Craven and did spawn several sequels and is well worth a look. When an ancient statue is broken, a gemstone from it’s centre is stolen, sold and makes it way to the hands of a dealer. She tries to price the stone, but in the process, unleashes an evil djinn who kills by granting wishes. Can she stop him and return him to the prison he escaped from, or is she and everyone around her doomed? The effects in this film are a lot like an episode of Buffy, but in a really good way, and some of the deaths are hilariously inventive. This film is a scary 90’s delight.