I Heart Cheesy B Horror Movies

As some of you might know, I am a horror movie aficionado.  Big time.  What you might not know is that as much as I love the few truly scary horror films out there, in my heart lies an even greater passion for campy B horror movies.  I’m an unrepentant snob in this area: I only deign to watch such movies  if they were made during the 70’s and 80’s.  Everything else is utter shite.  So without further ado, here’s a list of some of my very favorite B horror flicks:

Don’t Answer the Phone (1983):  About 1-1/2 minutes into this very recent discovery, I knew it would be one of my faves.  You have your basic unbalanced war veteran (Vietnam, natch) hunting and killing your basic smorgasbord of bimbos, to your standard awful 70’s synthesizer musical score.  A brilliant representative of the genre.

Happy Birthday to Me (1981):  Oh, this one is priceless.  Many of my favorite B horror flicks feature TV and washed-up pop stars: this one stars Melissa Sue Anderson  of Little House on the Prairie fame.  It’s a ripoff of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians,” but set at a posh boarding school in the American Northeast, with all the sexual tension and issues of privilege that implies.  Like all truly great B horror movies, HBTM includes cheesy dancing to disco music.

Prom Night (1980):  Starring the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis.  This film features the creme de la creme of cheesy disco dancing scenes: a fully choreographed dance by Jamie Lee and her prom date, complete with cwazy moves, back walk-overs, beaucoup twirls, and a dance floor of colored flashing cubes a la Saturday Night Fever (epileptics beware!).  In all my years of searching and watching, I have never—I repeat NEVER—seen a dance scene like this one: you MUST see it before you die.

Evil Laugh (1988):  A group of college graduates, all but one of whom are decidedly slutty (guess who survives?), converge upon an abandoned home for orphans to have some drinks and laughs.  Said home has a tragic history which comes back to haunt them. . .and yes, slay them one by one!  And the killer does indeed have an “evil laugh,” if by “evil” you mean “hysterically funny and unscary.”  This film features the second-best cheesy dancing scene of all time, this time to really bad 80’s music, complete with many close-ups of heiny-shaking in jean cutoff short-shorts.

Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981):  Starring Marilyn Burns from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this movie concerns pre-adolescent twins who just happen to be telekinetic.  The kiddies witness the brutal murder of their father and then get revenge with their powers, using a highly unconventional weapon: the dead body of their father!  A fun watch if you can get past the congested, flat voice of the girl twin (a tall order, believe me).

Cheerleader Camp (1987): Starring 70’s teen idol Leif Garrett.  The beautiful and mysterious Alison Wentworth is the most talented cheerleader at camp (so we’re told), but she is plagued by horrifying nightmares of murder which begin to come true!!  Can Alison win the coveted best-cheerleader award?  Can she foil the murderer stalking her friends?  Is Alison in fact the killer???  You’ll have to see for yourself.

Terror Train (1980):  Again starring the Queen of Scream, Ms. Jamie Lee Curtis.  At the beginning of this film, we see a prank go terribly wrong on initiation night at Anonymous University’s top frat.  Years later, the pranksters are reigning seniors and board a train for a wild New Year’s Eve costume party (which actually sounds like an  incredibly fun idea to me).  People start dying in horrible ways, slaughtered by an unknown killer who wears their costumes.  A very young David Copperfield stars as the party’s entertainment and the requisite Red Herring.  This movie is technically B-level, but it has some creepy moments and comes dangerously close to legitimacy.

Sleepaway Camp (1983):  I pity the fool who has never seen this masterpiece of B slasher-schlock.  It has the all-time surprise ending in horror movie history, and is a cult classic with capital C’s.  Felissa Rose, who plays the lead role of Angela, dated one of my best friend’s ex-boyfriends, which kinda makes me, you know, a big deal.

That should get you started.  There’s more where that came from, friends and neighbors.  So much more.

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~ by lewdandlascivious on July 2, 2007.

7 Responses to “I Heart Cheesy B Horror Movies”

  1. The “Evil Dead” series is my B-movie classic.

  2. Those movies, 28 Days Later, and Night of the Living Dead are the only zombie movies I can tolerate—Evil Dead is great, Bruce Campbell is the man!
    But I consider the zombie movie a sub-genre in itself (I’m such a dork).

  3. why the temporal restriction? the 50s and 60s produced some delightful flicks.

    NONETHELESS, I have updated my netflix queue thnaks to your suggestion

  4. Yay, Pink–be sure to crack open the booze as you soak in the gloriousness (as if I had to tell you to do that. . .).

    I like the 70’s and 80’s for a couple reasons–first, the nostalgia factor. I was a little kid when these movies came out, and I remember wanting to rent them in the video store and of course was never allowed (I was always fascinated with horror movies). Secondly, the 70’s and 80’s were simply the Golden Age of slasher flicks, period. There’s a particular cocktail of schlockiness in the plot, dialogue, clothes, and music that is unparalleled in any other decades.

  5. a movie whose title i cant think of, which is killing me, is about a boy who is part cat, or is possessed by cats. if i remember correctly, he turns into part cat in some parts of the movie. its pretty cheesy. he seems like a real dork in the movie and has some kinda weird crush on his mom as well. i hope you know the title of this movie from the little info i provided. i want to get this movie!!

  6. I do know it! It’s Sleepwalkers, a Stephen King movie from 1992. Madchen Amick plays the virginal target, Brian Krause plays the monster-son, and Alice Krige plays the monster-mom. They’re supernatural creatures who consume the life force of virgins and live hundreds of years. King has featured these parasitic types of monsters in several stories: Dando in The Dark Tower (of the Gunslinger series) and Ardelia Lortz from “The Library Policeman” (in the book Four Past Midnight) are similar creatures.
    It’s a pretty good movie–the musical theme is great, it’s “Boadicea” by Enya. Happy viewing!

  7. […] birur wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAs some of you might know, I am a horror movie aficionado. Big time. What you might not know is that as much as I love the few truly scary horror films out there, in my heart lies an even greater passion for campy B horror movies. … […]

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