The Initiation (1984) underrated 80s slashers
The Initiation (1984) | New World Pictures

10 Underrated 80s Slashers You Might Have Missed

Ah, the ’80s! A time of neon leg warmers, cassette tapes, and some of the most gloriously over-the-top horror movie slashers ever to grace the silver screen. While the decade gave us iconic killers like Freddy and Jason, it also birthed a slew of lesser-known but equally thrilling slashers that have been gathering dust in the dark corners of horror history. These hidden gems are brimming with inventive kills, wild plot twists, and enough suspense to make your hair stand on end (and not just because of the hairspray).

So grab your VHS player, pop some popcorn, and let’s dive into 10 forgotten and underated slashers of the ’80s that still have some stabs left in them!

 

 



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the house on sorority row (1983)
Artists Releasing

1. The House on Sorority Row (1983)

When a sorority prank goes horribly wrong, leading to the accidental death of their house mother, the sisters swear to keep it a secret. But someone knows what they did, and one by one, they become the targets of a mysterious killer. With a blend of suspense, stylish direction, and a killer twist, The House on Sorority Row is a must-watch for fans of college horror. The fashion is as killer as the villain, and the suspense will have you biting your nails down to the quick! It’s a sorority party you won’t want to miss.

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Pieces (1982)
Film Ventures International

2. Pieces (1982)

A chainsaw-wielding maniac is on the loose, collecting body parts to create the perfect woman. Pieces is a bloody good time, filled with over-the-top gore, wild performances, and a plot that’s as unhinged as the killer’s weapon of choice. With scenes that will make you squirm and a killer who’s relentless in his pursuit, it’s a puzzle of terror that you’ll want to piece together again and again! It’s not just a nightmare; it’s a jigsaw puzzle from hell.

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visiting hours 1982
20th Century Fox

3. Visiting Hours (1982)

A television journalist becomes the obsession of a deranged fan, leading to a game of cat and mouse in a hospital. With a unique setting and a relentless killer (the perfectly cast Michael Ironside), Visiting Hours offers a fresh take on the slasher genre. The hospital becomes a maze of terror as the heroine fights for survival, and the killer’s twisted obsession adds a psychological edge. Forget flowers and candy; this visitor brings terror and mayhem, and visiting hours are never over!

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Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
Columbia Pictures

4. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

When a high school senior’s friends start dying in bizarre and gruesome ways, she becomes the prime suspect. With inventive kills, a mystery that will keep you guessing, and a birthday celebration that turns deadly, Happy Birthday to Me is a unique and thrilling slasher. Blow out the candles and make a wish for survival, because this birthday party is a killer!

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stage fright 1987 movie underrated slashers
Artists Entertainment Group

5. Stage Fright (1987)

A theater troupe becomes trapped with a killer in an owl mask during a late-night rehearsal. Stage Fright is a stylish and atmospheric slasher that turns the theater into a stage of terror. With a killer who’s as theatrical as he is deadly and a setting that’s ripe for suspense, it’s a performance you won’t forget. The curtain may come down, but the terror never ends. Bravo!

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Intruder (1989)
Empire Pictures

6. Intruder (1989)

Set in a supermarket after hours, Intruder offers a unique setting and a killer who uses everyday items to deadly effect. With creative kills, a sense of humor, and a late-night shopping spree of terror, it’s a slasher that offers something fresh and fun. This intruder doesn’t just slash prices!

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The Initiation (1984) underrated 80s slashers
New World Pictures

7. The Initiation (1984)

A sorority initiation turns deadly when a killer targets the pledges. With a blend of college drama, family secrets, and slasher terror, The Initiation offers a unique and engaging experience. The secrets are as deadly as the killer, and the twists will leave you gasping. Pledge your allegiance to terror, because this initiation is a killer!

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bloody birthday 1981
Rearguard Productions

8. Bloody Birthday (1981)

Three children born during a solar eclipse develop a taste for murder, turning their birthday celebration into a bloodbath. With a unique twist on the killer kid subgenre and a trio of young murderers that will chill you to the bone, Bloody Birthday is a party of terror that you won’t forget. It’s a celebration of mini mayhem, and you’re invited!

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hell night 1981
Compass International Pictures

9. Hell Night (1981)

A fraternity initiation in a haunted mansion turns deadly when the legend of the place comes to life. With a blend of haunted house chills and slasher thrills, Hell Night offers a unique and suspenseful experience. The mansion is a maze of terror, and the legend is more real than anyone could imagine. Welcome to Hell Night, where the scares never end!

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A Blade in the Dark (1983)
Anchor Bay

10. A Blade in the Dark (1983)

A composer working on a horror film becomes embroiled in a real-life murder mystery when people around him start dying. With a meta take on the slasher genre and a killer who’s as mysterious as the film’s plot, A Blade in the Dark, directed by Lamberto Bava, is a symphony of terror that will leave you breathless. It’s a film within a film, and the terror is all too real!

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The ’80s were a time of big hair, neon colors, and some of the most inventive and thrilling slashers ever put to film. While some have become classics, others are waiting to be rediscovered. These 10 forgotten gems offer unique twists, memorable killers, and enough chills to keep you entertained all night long. So why not take a stab at these films? You might just find your new favorite slasher!

 

Do you have an underrated 80s slasher to recommend? Let us know over in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

 

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