Blood Cult (1985)

   Throw some Jiffy Pop on the stove and fire up the top loader (love that sound) cause it's October and if you're like me then you've already begun your 2015 Horror play list. When it comes to 80's slashers, you've got Freddy, Jason and The Shape (AKA Michael) but what about The Figure? You know, from the self proclaimed, first-ever, straight to home video, movie Blood Cult (1985)? Written by Stuart Rosenthal and James Vance and Directed by Christopher Lewis who also directed The Ripper from the same year starring practical effects legend, Tom Savini; Blood Cult being eclipsed by the later. With a score of 3.4/10 on IMDB and a lack of a official score entirely on Rotten Tomatoes, a first time viewing of Blood Cult is usually followed up with a patronizing "Wow". It also had the audacity to use the alternate title of simply, "Slasher" and its original title, The Sorority House Murders, sums up the premise of the film. So what IS the premise?

   Sorority girls start dropping in Oklahoma, with each one of the victims missing a particular body part. Discovering "Canis" gold coins at every crime scene suggests that the campus is being targeted by a cult. Geriatric hero, Ron Wilbois is on the scene to solve these strange murders while devouring Arby's roast beef sandwiches.

  Blood Cult doesn't break any molds aesthetically. In fact, it almost feels like a parody of the slasher genre. With its high keyed sequences, fluorescent blood, mono sound and atrocious acting. On occasion you'll see the lens ring bordering the frame, along with the top of the walls from their one and only set they built and even the boom operator can be found standing in the scene.

  So why post about Blood Cult if it has no redeeming qualities? To be honest, I actually love and respect this film, much like the majority of other straight to video slashers. To a budding film-maker it feels like a feature length student film and with a budget of only $27,000 it practically was. Ninety minutes of amateurs discovering the ins and outs of of visual storytelling. Even though this film fails in quality it inadvertently broke the barrier and opened the flood-gates for the U.S. home video market. "But I thought David Prior's Sledgehammer was the first S.O.V. released in the 80's?" Technically, it is, right after Boardinghouse's theatrical run but Blood Cult took it one step further by dropping over $100,000 on their advertising campaign which boosted their distribution. Quantity over quality. You had a higher likelihood of seeing a copy of Blood Cult on shelves than you would Sledgehammer. So it wins the S.O.V. argument by notoriety but loses on a technicality.

 So here's a nod *raises glass* to the early 80's S.O.V. movement. Much in the way of Roger Corman; no longer would anyone have to work with a studio. If you had a vision, knew someone with deep pockets and could obtain a Betacam then you too could make a movie and have it distributed. LLoyd Kaufman and Charles Band know this method very well and if you're like me you have to screen their whole catalogue. You take the bad with the good but sometimes you just want a bad popcorn flick like Blood Cult.

Double feature DVD with both Blood Cult and its sequel, Revenge released by VCI for cheap. HERE.

Youtubers, Neo Trash Video screen Blood Cult for the first time HERE.

Blood Cult trailer HERE.

Top Ten 80’s Horror Movies You Can Watch For Free On YouTube

Just Before Dawn 1981

Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by the forest ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorizing the area. Ignoring the warnings, they set up camp, and start disappearing one by one. If that sounds too run-of-the-mill, there's a genuinely shocking plot twist half-way through...

Intruder 1989

The overnight stock crew of a local supermarket find themselves being stalked and slashed by a mysterious maniac.

INTRUDER is without a doubt one of the last great slashers from the genre's peak decade. RareSlashersReviewed

"Evil Laugh" (1988)

An old orphanage has just been rebuilt after it was mysteriously burned to the ground over a decade ago following accusations of child molestation and abuse by Martin, whose own father committed suicide out of shame. Needless to say he couldn't prove his innocence, suffered a psychotic breakdown which subsequently led to him systematically slaughter the other occupants, including the kids, particularly the accusers, before perishing in the blaze that followed. Now a group of med-students are brought in by a seemingly benevolent doctor turned pediatrician, Jerry who seeks to fix the place up as less an institution more of a foster home. One of the students is set on dwelling there at this current position, while the others are set on helping them settling in. But soon they'll discover that our current owner has been secretly disposed of by an intruder, who is still lurking close by

Night of the Demons (1988)

On the night of Halloween, 10 teens decide to go to a party at an abandoned funeral parlor. "Hull House", rumored to be built on an evil patch of land & underground stream, is the place. While starting the party, the teens gather around a big mirror to perform a seance...BIG MISTAKE. They awaken some evil force and find themselves trapped and taken over one by one. Now it's a battle for who can survive and cross over the stream before going to hell....

Clownhouse (1989)

Just before Halloween, three kid brothers who are alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities.

This one always gets a lot of controversy. Just don’t dig too deep into the director and production of this movie until after you’ve watched it. There were some real horrors going on behind the scenes….

The Changeling – 1980

A slow burning masterpiece. Watch this alone in the dark and it will haunt you.

Peter Medak's The Changeling is among a handful of films, including The Haunting (1963), Ghost Story (1981), and Lady in White (1988), that have successfully recreated the intimate, drawing-room atmosphere of supernatural horror fiction.

After his wife and daughter are killed in a snowbound car accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott) relocates from New York to Seattle to teach at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet place to rest and continue writing music, he is referred Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere) at the Seattle Historical Preservation Society. Claire shows John a large, sparsely furnished estate in the outlying countryside. He takes the house, appreciating its remoteness and the solitude it might afford, and diverts himself by renovating and settling in. He even starts to compose, putting aside his older work in favor of a new, sentimental piece for the piano.
It is not long, however, before he begins having nightmares about the accident that killed his wife and daughter. Possibly because of this trauma, he is open to communications from the house's ghostly occupants.
Those looking for a similar experience in movies will appreciate The Changeling as a gem in the horror genre.

He Knows You're Alone (1980)

A bride-to-be is being stalked upon by a serial killer. She gets help from a former lover, but will they manage to escape?

A young Tom Hanks stars in He Knows You're Alone. special FX by Tom Savini (Friday the 13th parts 1 and 4)

The Hearse (1980)

Jane Hardy decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still thought of very badly by the town's citizens. As soon as she moves in, she is haunted by a old black hearse and it's creepy driver. Is she going insane or is she truly being menaced? She meets a friendly young man and becomes involved with him, but is he and the creepy driver one and the same?

Rawhead Rex (1986)

Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex's cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it. Howard Hallenbeck (David Dukes) is an American professor who travels to Ireland to research items of religious significance...

Spookies 1986

Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house. One horror after another threatens them as the sorcerer who lives within needs sacrifices to give eternal life to his beautiful bride.

383 More Of The Greatest Horror Movie VHS Covers

I had to share this one, this is awesome stuff! Ahh the memories! There are some good ones I need to find or rediscover.
The sequel to the previous video, "167 Of The Greatest Horror Movie VHS Covers", this is a further tribute and nostalgic look at the era of horror movies on VHS, which is how many first discovered a lot of movies. The great box art was often what led people to watching the movie. Covers chosen for their look, style, creativity, iconic status, and historic and sentimental value.