The Class of 1984 is about to unleash a horrific nightmare on audiences, and we can’t wait for it. But we thought the best thing to do to get in the mood for this one was to turn back the hands of time and revisit the Top 9 Horror Movies of 1984. For those of you not old enough to have lived through this golden age of horror, 1984 (in our humble opinion) was the ultimate year for 80’s horror, an era which filmmakers have been trying to revive for two decades now. What 1969 was to modern American history, 1984 was to the horror genre. The list of films from this year is incredible, and the honorable mentions are entertaining as well.
Amazingly, The Company of Wolves, released on September 21, 1984, did not make our Top 9, showing just how impressive the films from 1984 were! Also getting an honorable mention are Monster Dog (simply because Alice Cooper was featured in it), horror documentary Terror in the Aisles, Invitation to Hell, Deadly Intruder, and Night of the Comet. And we’re just getting warmed up. The films on this list would be the inspiration for about three dozen sequels, a musical, and a children’s cartoon! Let’s get into the Wayback Machine and revisit…
Children of the Corn – March 9, 1984 The master of horror, Stephen King, got the ball rolling with an adaptation of his short story “Children of the Corn.” Believe it or not, the story actually first appeared in Penthouse in 1977 before finding a final home in King’s Night Shift collection in 1978. The film Children of the Corn is a memorable depiction of feral children who ritually murder adults in assurance of a bountiful corn harvest from “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.” In hindsight, it may have been Voldemort behind the rows, but we can’t confirm that. Children of the Corn would go on to spawn eight sequels.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – April 13, 1984 Just one month after Children of the Corn gave audiences of 1984 nightmares, they were then assaulted by a familiar face… or should we say mask? Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter promised the end of the franchise, but of course it would only fuel the fire to launch it even further. The Final Chapter introduced returning character Tommy Jarvis, played in this film by Corey Feldman. In fact, as impressive as Mr. Voorhees was with tons of entertaining kills, it may have been Feldman, dressed as Jason, hacking away at the killer with a machete in the final moments of the movie screaming “Die, die, die!” that may have been the most disturbing moment of the film. See if you don’t agree.
The Toxic Avenger – May 1984 The film that launched Troma Studios! Officially, Troma was founded in 1974, but it was The Toxic Avenger, released in 1984 (sometime in ’84, the details are a bit sketchy as to just when Toxie started popping up, but it was indeed included in this legendary year), that put the company on the map. The Toxic Avenger was so perfectly Troma. It included everything we’ve come to expect from Lloyd Kaufman and his crew’s films: gratuitous nudity, insanely over-the-top violence and gore, and fall-down funny humor. The film would spawn three sequels, a musical, and (as crazy as it sounds) a children’s cartoon. In fact, we think the scene where Toxie dropped a stack of weights, crushing the drug dealer’s head, would have translated brilliantly to Saturday morning animation!