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The 10 Best Cheesy Monster Movies from the 1980s

Who doesn’t get a kick out of those so-bad-it’s-awesome kind movies? Around these parts, we love them. We also love the unbridled lunacy of the 1980s. Terrible monster movies and the 1980s go together like beer and chicken, and since I’ve got some chicken frying up right now, and I’ve got my eye on my good old Toxic Avenger VHS, I figured, why not bring these rejects together for a quick little article?

Dig on 10 awesomely nauseating monster movies from the 1980s. Who knows, you may spot something you’d completely forgotten about, or perhaps never even knew existed.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988): They’re murderous, they’re clowns; they shoot deadly combinations of popcorn and cotton candy. Oh, and they’re ugly as all hell. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is technically about aliens, but the whole alien vibe is pushed to the background in favor of the silly monster approach, which shines in the forefront. Awesome, campy classic that anyone who’s ever called themselves a horror fan should get a kick out of.

C.H.U.D. (1984): Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. That’s what C.H.U.D. stands for. Do I really need to explain the goofy outrageousness of this much-beloved, but technically horrendous picture? Nah, I don’t think so – it’s got to be one of the most popular shitfests on this list!

Critters (1986): For the record, as silly as these mutant porcupine looking nasties are, they scared the shit out of me as a younger child. Once plagued by nightmares of flying Critter barbs, I now visit a psychiatrist on a monthly basis… and still can’t help but return for a little out of this world monster madness.

The Monster Squad (1987): There may not be a better 80s horror/comedy about monsters. Fred Dekker’s classic pic puts all the old Universal Monsters on display, and most of them are goofy as shit. Frankenstein’s monster goes all girly-ghoul with Phoebe the Feebs. The Mummy can’t seem to hold himself together. The creature is… well, pretty grand to look at, I guess… The only viable threats we face here are Drac and the Wolfman, and neither of their futures look all too bright. Well, let’s hope nothing is too bright, for Dracula’s sake.

The Deadly Spawn (1983): Meteorites never have, and never will bring with them pleasant, friendly creatures who aren’t dangerous in the least. It’s just never going to happen. You see a meteorite come plummeting toward earth, the midnight sky a contrasting backdrop, you know you’re about to encounter some nasty, ludicrous, fanged parasites that’ll be more than happy to take a bite out of your ass than extend a hand cordially. Cold hard facts people, cold hard facts.

The Toxic Avenger (1984): Ultra nerdy kid picked on to the point of a horrific accident that leaves him a hulking blob of contorted nastiness? And he’s out to avenge the puny weaklings who targeted even punier weaklings, like his former self? We’re all in!

The Garbage Pail Kids (1987): It wasn’t possible to assemble this list without a blatantly exploitative film so bad it’ll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand out, and the laughs never stop. This one is just stupid on all fronts, but getting a look at these nasty bastards on screen, rather than just on some cards, was awesome. This one gets my vote for least appreciated goofy monster movie of the 1980s. How can it not, with characters like Greaser Greg, Messy Tessie and Valerie Vomit?

The Funhouse (1981): What was awesome about The Funhouse was the fact that the comedy here is almost always unintentional. When that weird bastard rips his mask off, or hurls himself into a full blown tantrum (oh the screams!), I can’t help but laugh my ass off. Even if the general tone of the pic is a bit darker. But hell, how can you not laugh at a mutant murderer who decides to off a sideshow attraction because of a little premature ejaculation? It happens to the best of us, buddy! No need to go all homicidal!

Humanoids from the Deep (1980): Half man…. half fish… do I need to keep going, honestly?

Waxwork (1988): This one reminds me a lot of Monster Squad, with more humorous scenes, although half of them are entirely inadvertent. There are a number of entertaining sequences to be found here, and given the preposterous setups (we’re all geared up tot angle with werewolves, vampires and other classic beasties) and ultra-hokey dialogue, you’ve got to call Waxwork a true tour de force of silly 80s monster movies!

Got a favorite silly monster movie from the 80s that we missed? Let us know!

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

3 Comments on The 10 Best Cheesy Monster Movies from the 1980s

  1. “TerrorVision” is a personal favorite of mine thanks to the cult star cast and reams of quotable dialogue. “Kiss the boot!”


  2. 1986’s “Night of the Creeps” is one of my favorites. It definitely has the right amount of “shlock” feel to it to satisfy any fan of bad sci-fi/horror movies.


  3. Great list, ‘The Monster Squad’ rocks!


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