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4 Underrated Cult Classic Horror Films from the 1980s 

Explore the most pivotal decade of horror film creation. 

blonde rich woman screaming in a closet
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  • Photo Credit: Wild Street Pictures

Oh, eighties horror—what an incredible decade for the genre!

From the origins of the Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the 13th franchises to a string of genuinely great remakes including The Thing, Cat People, and The Fly, there are dozens of films that have stood the test of time and remain part of our horror culture to this day.

 But what about the ones that fell by the wayside over the years? They certainly deserve some love as well. 

So for your underrated cult classic loving heart, here are four horror movies you might not have seen from the 1980s.  

White of the Eye 

So this film will forever go down in the history of our family as the movie with the opening sequence that completely captivated our calico cat.

White of the Eye opens with an eagle swooping down against a bright blue sky, and our cat Rose of Sharon—who normally ignores the television wholeheartedly—seriously couldn’t take her eyes off the screen. So if nothing else, this movie has an official cat seal of approval. 

As for the story itself, Cathy Moriarty and David Keith star as a passionate married couple whose lives aren’t quite what they seem. Wife Joan begins to suspect her husband is having an affair; it’s not until she starts to connect a recent string of murders to the times he was missing that the truth begins to dawn on her. 

Released in 1987, the plot goes fully off the rails by the end, so don’t expect a neat or logical wrap-up to this one.

But if you’re looking for a weird and wild horror movie that almost never makes the cut for horror lists, then consider adding White of the Eye to your streaming queue.  


Society is very possibly the best horror movie you’ve never heard of. All right, maybe you’ve heard of it, and maybe you’ve even seen it at some point, but the truth is that this film doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being such an outlandish, gruesome romp.

High school student Bill Whitney is seemingly living a perfect posh lifestyle in Beverly Hills, California. However, he has a sneaking suspicion that something about him just doesn’t quite fit in with his family or classmates.

He soon discovers that he’s more right than he ever realized, as his life starts to unravel, and the people around him turn out to be something other than completely human. 

Directed by Brian Yunza and released in 1989, Society takes the idea of the rich eating the poor and dials it up to eleven in a way only the 1980s could do. The climax of this film contains one of the most over-the-top and fantastical body horror sequences ever committed to celluloid, and if that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will.

Run to your to-watch list right now, and add Society as soon as you can.  

Psychos in Love 

This one is a nod to my husband who long considered Psychos in Love to be his favorite movie of all time.

In high school, his after-school ritual was to come home and do his homework each afternoon while rewatching an old VHS copy of this film. And to be fair, it’s a really fun, super low-budget horror flick. 

The concept is simple enough: two serial killers meet up and fall in love. Needless to say, they rack up a prodigious body count before, during, and after their courtship. 

Add in a cannibalistic plumber who finds out their secrets and blackmails them, and you’ve got the makings of one very strange and very funny little film.

Psychos in Love is such a cult film that it might be difficult to find these days, but if you ever come across it, consider giving it a chance; it’s more than worth your time.  

Stage Fright 

First off, we’re not talking about the Alfred Hitchcock classic from 1950.

This particular Stage Fright was released in 1987, and the story is another simple enough setup: a theater troupe is practicing late night for a performance that focuses on—what else?—a mass murderer named the Night Owl. 

Soon, life is imitating art when an escaped mental patient who’s also a former actor begins stalking the cast. It’s every bit as bonkers as it sounds. An Italian horror film directed by Michele Soavi and written by Lew Cooper and Sheila Goldberg, the 1980s aesthetic is strong with this one. 

Plus, there’s that undeniably bizarre dance sequence that will stick with you long after the credits roll.

Just like White of the Eye, Stage Fright most definitely goes off the rails by the end, but honestly, who goes into a slasher movie expecting something normal?