Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) isn’t your average high schooler, thanks to the vampire (played by a very suave Chris Sarandon) that just moved in next door. Charley recruits local horror show host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) for help, only to discover Mr. Vincent isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Great effects and a spooky, fun ‘80s vibe make this required viewing for horror films.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
I’m a sucker for werewolf flicks, and this one is criminally overlooked. Directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent), the film follows a group of British soldiers out for some war games in the Scottish Highlands who end up facing off against some nasty lycanthropes. It’s a fun, atmospheric flick that features some pretty good practical werewolf effects.
Night of the Comet (1984)
This is a great little zombie apocalypse flick overflowing with wondrous ‘80s cheese. The film starts just prior to the Earth’s exposure to a comet, which promptly destroys most life on the planet. Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney) both end up surviving the comet-borne apocalypse but now they have to put up with zombies! Oh yeah, the comet turned some people into zombies. Forgot to mention that. Star Trek: Voyager fans will recognize a young Robert “Chakotay” Beltran as Hector, another of the films’ few comet survivors.
The Gate (1987)
This is a great little creature feature from the ‘80s. Glen (a very young Stephen Dorff) accidentally opens a portal into hell with yep, you guessed it, rock & roll. The devil’s music. Glen, his nerdy friend Terry (Louis Tripp), and his sister have to vanquish the demons that come out of The Gate (which is really just a big hole in the ground)…before their parents get home! It might sound childish but it’s actually pretty creepy. Just wait for the scene where Terry accidentally falls down into The Gate…
Lord of Illusions (1995)
This might be my favorite overlooked horror film. I’m biased because I’m a pretty big Scott Bakula fan (Quantum Leap ride or die). But the story is great too. Kind of a twisty, turny horror detective plot. Plus a super creepy vibe and decent (at the time, anyway) special effects.
Bakula plays private detective Harry D’Amour. An investigation in The City of Angels leads D’Amour down a path of magic and murder and takes him closer and closer to a cult and their dead (but for how long?) leader, Nix (played with menacing perfection by Daniel von Bargen). This film is unique in that it’s one of the few films directed by author Clive Barker, who wrote the original source material. Barker is, of course, the genius behind the original Hellraiser film and its source novel, The Hellbound Heart.