12 1980s Sci-Fi Horror Movies That Will Blow Your Mind

The 1980s was a decade of wonders when it came to filmmaking. Practical effects took center stage and make-up artists such as Tom Savini, Rob Bottin and Rick Baker became superstars in their field. If that Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences In 1981, after deciding to create a category for Best Makeup, it was Baker who took home the first-ever Oscar for his work An American werewolf in London. Forget CGI, these magic tricks were all done by hand and sometimes took weeks or even months to complete. And all for just a few moments of screen time.

It’s no surprise, then, that effects grew more sophisticated as the 80s progressed as peers attempted to outdo each other, resulting in some of the most gruesome and gory sci-fi horror films to ever hit theaters . While not all of these films were big budgets, they certainly made the most of what they had and featured over-the-top effects that made it difficult for moviegoers to keep their popcorn down.


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12 The Fly (1986)

Jeff Goldblum bends over a man with his make-up on
20th Century Fox

An updated version of the 1958 classic starring Vincent Price, The fly Jeff Goldblum plays Seth Brundle, a scientist experimenting with teleportation pods. After he decides to become a human test dummy, everything goes horribly wrong when the DNA of a common housefly is mixed with Seth’s, creating a human-insect hybrid.

With make-up by Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis, The fly There are gross effects like Goldblum regurgitating digestive enzymes onto a man’s foot, Gina Davis giving birth to a strange maggot creature, and a broken bone effect that will make you shudder.

11 Videodrome (1983)

James Woods puts his hand in his stomach
Universal images

Directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Woods as President of a UHF TV Station. videodrome is a Canadian science fiction horror film about Woods trying to track down a mysterious satellite signal. This leads to all sorts of weird hallucinations as Cronenberg takes viewers on a wild ride with some of the best body horror effects ever.

The makeup for videodrome was made by Rick Baker and his team of young artists whose average age was just 23 years old. They treat us to a vagina-like slit in Wood’s torso, into which Betamax cartridges are inserted, and a beautifully crafted meat gun that fires cancer bullets that explode the victim in a mass of tumors and blood.

Related: David Cronenberg’s Best Movies, Ranked

10 The Blob (1988)

A person covered in slime
TriStar images

This sci-fi horror is a remake of the 1958 film of the same name. Directed by Chuck Russell, it follows what happens after a meteorite crashes into a small town, releasing intelligent slime that threatens to engulf humanity.

The implications for the blob were created by Tony Gardner and his 33-strong artistic team, who did their best to delight viewers. After watching slime-covered bodies and melting flesh slide off bones, viewers said they’d made it as they exited the theater with a sick stomach.

9 Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

A man who dies in Humanoids from the Deep
New world views

Originally offered by Joe Dante gremlins Fame, Humanoids from the deep Executive Produced by Roger Corman and directed by Barbara Peeters after Dante declined. They are sex-hungry mutations whose sole purpose appears to be to kill men and impregnate women in the small fishing town of Noyo, California.

The half-human, half-fish creatures were created by Rob Bottin, with additional effects by Chris Walas and Steve Johnson. The film features the fishy mutations ripping bodies apart, attacking women against their will, and a final scene that was blatantly ripped off extraterrestrial in which a creature erupts from a woman’s stomach. Made for just $2.5 million, this B-movie feature features a lot of gross moments in place of the plot.

8th Scanners (1981)

New world views

Another entry by David Cronenberg, scanner is a cult classic starring Michael Ironside and Stephen Lack, two men with the psychic abilities of telepathy and telekinesis who battle each other throughout the film.

Though it’s not filled with gore and guts like many ’80s sci-fi horror movies, scanner is remembered for his defining, disgusting moment: an exploding head. The sequence was created by Chris Walas, with ultimate effects going to Gary Zeller. After much trial and error, a gelatin head fitted with a plaster skull was filled with various materials such as leftover latex, wax and whatever else was available. Zeller then landed on the ground with a shotgun behind his head and pulled the trigger, making for a grossing moment that’s unforgettable to this day.

7 From Beyond (1986)

dr Pretorius as a monster
Empire pictures

With Jeffrey Combs and Scream Queen Barbara Crampton, Far away Directed by the late Stuart Gordon. The film follows two scientists who use a device called a resonator in hopes of stimulating the pineal gland. The result is that monsters from another dimension invade our world and wreak havoc there.

With effects by Mark Shostrom and his team, Far away offers us shape-shifting creatures, Ken Foree being eaten alive by bees, and a really gross moment towards the end where Ted Sorel kills the insane Dr. Plays Pretorius devouring another man whole.

6 Bad Taste (1987)

Three aliens
Endeavor Productions

bad taste is Peter Jackson’s first feature film, which you may know among others Lord of the Rings Franchise. However, before Frodo ever brought the Ring to Mordor, Jackson directed and starred in this New Zealand film about aliens abducting humans to use as food in their intergalactic fast food restaurants.

Peter Jackson did most of the effects himself, including baking the alien heads in his mother’s oven, and gave the audience some really gross hands-on effects, including his own brain leaking out of his head throughout the film, which he keeps returning skull had to stuff into his head.

5 Parasite (1982)

A person is attacked by a creature
message pictures

With Demi Moore in her first major film role, parasite was directed in 3D by Charles Band, who later founded Empire Productions. While the plot is thin and revolves around a scientist injecting himself with a deadly parasite which then releases itself, the effects in the film are gross enough to make the list.

Created by a young Stan Winston, known for his work on The Terminatorthe parasite jumps from host to host, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake as it continues to eat humans while growing ever larger and its teeth ever sharper.

Also Read: Demi Moore Shares Heartfelt Video of Bruce Willis Celebrating His 68th Birthday With His Family

4 The Hidden (1987)

A creature that comes out of a person's mouth
New Line Cinema

The Hidden One Directed by Jack Sholder A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge celebrity and stars Kyle MacLachlan as an alien FBI agent on a quest to find a body-swapping alien.

With effects from Kevin Yagher Productions, The Hidden One He doesn’t rely on the disgusting to achieve the effect of his action, but when this snail-like alien transitions from body to dog and back to body again, it certainly leaves the viewer feeling squeamish. Not to mention there’s a pretty cool looking charred corpse of a senator at the end if that wasn’t enough.

3 Xtro (1983)

An alien creature on all fours
New Line Cinema

Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport, this bizarre British sci-fi horror film is about a father who is abducted by aliens only to return three years later in search of his son. Although it seems quite simple, it’s the effects that really make this film shine.

In one of the grittiest scenes to ever happen in a movie, an alien being impregnates a woman who quickly gives birth to a fully developed man. The filmmakers don’t hold back and show the grown man tearing open the woman’s vagina, biting off the umbilical cord (which was made out of spaghetti) and washing all the blood off himself. It only lasts two and a half minutes, but it’s definitely fun Xtro an awesome picture.

2 Scary Night (1986)

Tom Atkins holds a shotgun
TriStar images

With the directorial debut of Fred Dekker, night of horror Tom Atkins stars as Detective Ray Cameron, who is tasked with finding a missing body. Unbeknownst to him, the corpse contains snail-like alien creatures that came to Earth 27 years ago and are ready to find new hosts.

With an effects team that included Howard Berger, who won an Oscar for his work on The Movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobethe most memorable scene night of horror is one that still irks audiences. In it, the head of the corpse Cameron is looking for bursts and squirts out all these snails that fall to the ground to find new bodies to jump into. The effect, combined with the film’s sound design, is still GIF footage to this day.

1 The Thing (1982)

Scene from
Universal images

Except 1978 Halloween, the thing is one of the films director John Carpenter is best known for. With Kurt Russell as the straight RJ MacReady, this film tested the limits of practical effects at the time and the results are undoubtedly among the best.

Artist Rob Bottin worked tirelessly for over a year to create almost every creature you see in the thing, except for the deformed dog, for which he got help from Stan Winston. This film has it all. From human heads turning into spiders to breast-eating teeth ripping off someone’s arms. In one of the more memorable scenes, a disfigured alien’s head bursts open, shooting out a tongue-like appendage that ensnares an unsuspecting human. For viewers looking for gross movies, the thing will not disappoint.

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