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Cheerleader/Sorority/Camp Massacre

Cheerleader/Sorority/Camp Massacre

After yesterday’s blog post about the Troll 2 documentary, an industry friend and I started chatting nonstop about our guilty-pleasure, so-bad-they’re-brilliant horror films from the 1980s. Among the tops on our list: Sleepaway Camp (1983), Cheerleader Camp (1987), The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), The Initiation (1984), The Toolbox Murders (1978), Night of the Demons (1988), and so many more. Which makes me wanna pose a question to you: What is your favorite, so-bad-it’s-brilliant horror film from that era? Or, is it one of the aforementioned? Let us know!

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Holy crap! Zack, you’ve seen BLOOD LAKE? I didn’t know anyone else had seen that. I thought it was a mistake at Blockbuster when I found it. Like someone slipped their home movie in there or something. Fantastic.


Despite the Stephen King/John Carpenter pedigree, I’ve always had a thing for Christine (83) – after all, it boasts a “body by Plymouth, soul by Satan.”


Oh, for fuck’s sake. We all forgot the untouchable HARD ROCK ZOMBIES. Truly the apex.



I had the joy of working on a film (my first feature film gig) that belongs somewhere in this list: GIRLS SCHOOL SCREAMERS!

And may I also please add a film that as co-writer I’m part responsible for? Not that I think it’s ranks with the many “greats” here, but I will say it is the damn best possessed lawn mower running amok on a country club parody of JAWS every made: BLADES!

Damn they don’t make ’em like they used to!


Nature run amuck:
Tarantula Deadly Cargo (1977)
Food of the Gods (1976)

Funny ha-ha?:
Saturday the 14th (1981)
Student Bodies (1982)

Never visit a small town:
Dead and Buried (1981)

Tourist Trap (1979)

Children of the Corn (1984)

Let’s Scre Jessica to Death (1971)

and of course…


I’m a bigger fan of decent horror movies from the 80’s. Meaning, films that I don’t think are bad at all, some being obviously brilliant. Such as, THE SHINING, THE THING, POLTERGEIST, EVIL DEAD 2, CREEPSHOW, THE STEPFATHER, THE HITCHER (original not Dave Meyers crappy remake)


There is something abnormally bad about the following 80s horror films that deserves deeper analysis: Contamination, Invasion of the Flesh Hunters, The Beyond (you know its bad), New York Ripper, Wild Beasts, and Boarding House.


MY BLOODY VALENTINE; Coal mining and Valentines Day are two great tastes that taste great together.

Also, I have to vote for THE MANITOU, wherein a psychic’s girlfriend finds out that a lump on her back is a growing reincarnation of a 400 year-old demonic Native American spirit. Brilliant.


I can say that the greatest shlock horror film of the 80s (probably ever) is unequivocally BASKET CASE.

I’m an unapologetic fan of gore-fests (including pretty much everything mentioned above), yet I always find myself returning to BASKET CASE.

Now if we were talking about non-schlocky horror, we could get into Deep Red and all that good Argento-y stuff, but that’s for another day…


I honestly and with no hyperbole consider SLEEPAWAY CAMP to be the best horror film ever made, bar none. Anyone who thinks this movie is “bad” is totally cuckoo-nutso. But for better or worse, the ’80s is my favorite movie decade and featured countless other bloodtacular blasteroids. Yes, that greedy Scott Weinberg hogged many of the great titles (XTRO, HOWLING 2 and TERRORVISION are mine, Weinberg!), but may I also submit: THE GATE, BLOOD MASSACRE, NIGHT SCREAMS, DEMONS, SPLATTER FARM, DOOM ASYLUM, SUPERSTITION, THE WRAITH, EVILS OF THE NIGHT and CHRISTMAS EVIL.


Scott mentions so many good ones – notably HUMONGOUS, CHOPPING MALL and the irreverant STUDENT BODIES. I have a hard time deciding between those and SLEEPAWAY CAMP, APRIL FOOL’S DAY, THE FUNHOUSE and TOOLBOX MURDERS (the original, people!)…. but I think I have to settle on HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW. Gotta love the clowns.


for me, TROLL 2 is the ultimate so-bad-it’s incredible. you could teach a Masters class in that thing. as for SLEEPAWAY CAMP, that’s more along the lines of I KNOW WHO KILLED ME. it’s clear that the filmmakers were winking in some capacity, it’s just tough to decipher how much of it was intentional and how much was a glorious accident. those are the truly special works that define the Avant-Retarde movement, when you aren’t exactly what was intended and what wasn’t. as for TROLL 2, everyone involved with that production admits freely that they thought they were making the scariest movie ever!

Scott Weinberg

Alone in the Dark (82), The Beast Within (82), Blood Beach (81), The Boogens (82), The Burning (81), The Children (80), Chopping Mall (86), Curse 2: The Bite (88), Death Ship (80), Evilspeak (81), Fear No Evil (81), Galaxy of Terror (81), Ghoulies (85), Ghoulies 2 (87), Hospital Massacre (82), The Howling 2 (85), Humanoids from the Deep (80), Humongous (82), The Island (80), Jaws: The Revenge (87), The Keep (83), King Kong Lives (86), Lifeforce (85), Madman (82), Maximum Overdrive (86), Mother’s Day (80), The Mutilator (85), Night of the Zombies (81), Parasite (82), The Pit (81), The Prowler (81), Rawhead Rex (86), Return of the Alien’s Deadly Spawn (83), Spasms (83), Street Trash (87), Student Bodies (81), TerrorVision (86), Xtro (83), Zombie Island Massacre (84)

…I got more if you want ’em. ;)


I’ll stand by MAUSOLEUM, starring Marjoe Gortner, the amazing Bobbie Bresee (also in another favorite, EVIL SPAWN) and LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther of Sanford and Son) who steals the show. Demonic Possession is the funniest truly awful thing that can happen to anyone and this movie is way funnier than any comedy ever made, including THE WICKER MAN remake.


Easily Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-a-rama.

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