The 1980s were a very dangerous time – for the younger generation onscreen. Any teen or twenty-something movie character in the slasher genre of the era was pretty much guaranteed to get the chop. 1989 slasher gem HELL HIGH is a case in point – no sooner have the credits rolled heads have started rolling. Or rather, a delinquent biker tears the head off a young girl’s plastic dolly in a rage – the little girl is not happy, and the biker and his girlfriend end up impaled on iron spikes. To celebrate the release of HELL HIGH on Special Edition Blu-ray, and Limited Edition O-card Blu-ray, from Arrow Video, here are eight more ‘80s slashers featuring everything from terrorising twins to killer mascots via masked, axe-wielding psychopaths.
BLOOD RAGE (1987)
Twins Todd and Terry seem like sweet boys, that is, until one of them takes an axe to the face of a fellow patron at the local drive-in. Todd is blamed and institutionalised, whilst twin brother Terry goes free. Ten years later and, as the family gathers around the table for a Thanksgiving meal, the news comes in that Todd has escaped. But has the real killer in fact been in their midst all along? One thing’s for sure, there will be blood and rage in this absolutely insane and out-there shockfest!
DOOM ASYLUM (1988)
When a group of horny teens wind up on the grounds of a creepy abandoned asylum, they think they’ve found the perfect place to party. Little do they know that inside the building’s crumbling walls lurks a freakishly deformed maniac, driven to madness by the tragic loss of his fiancée in a car accident. With an array of grisly surgical tools at his disposal, it’s only a matter of time before the youngsters begin meeting various splattery ends at the hands of the ghoulish ‘Coroner’.
THE SLAYER (1982)
Two young couples set off to a secluded island for what promises to be a restful retreat. But the peace is short-lived: as a storm batters the island, troubled artist Kay begins to sense that a malevolent presence is here with them, stalking them at every turn. Is she losing her mind, or are her childhood nightmares of a demonic assailant coming to terrifying life? Well, whichever way you cut it, they’re all in for a unrelaxing slay-cation.
EDGE OF THE AXE (1988)
The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. As the victims pile up, the authorities attempt to keep a lid on the situation, whilst young computer whizz-kid Gerald and girlfriend Lillian seek to unmask the killer before the town population reaches zero.
GIRLS NITE OUT (1984)
The students of DeWitt University are preparing themselves for a night of fun and frolics in the form of an all-night scavenger hunt. Little do they know that they are in fact the ones being hunted… an unhinged assailant, disguised in the college’s goofy bear mascot outfit – and bearing knives for claws, two years before Freddy donned his famous gloves – is stalking the campus hellbent on carving up co-eds. A gloriously mean-spirited chiller from the golden age of teen-tormenting slashers.
DEADLY GAMES (1982)
A masked maniac with a penchant for a horror-themed board game is playing his own twisted game with the women of a small American town. Each time the dice is rolled, another victim meets a grisly end. Returning home to mourn the death of her murdered sister, Keegan (Jo Ann Harris) befriends local cop Roger and oddball cinema projectionist Billy (Steve Railsback, Turkey Shoot) – but soon finds herself in the killer’s sights.
THE INITIATION (1984)
The Initiation ranks amongst the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks. Daphne Zuniga’s new sorority has a special initiation ritual in store for her – an after-hours break-in of her father’s department store. But what begins as a night of harmless college fun turns sour when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night… with a deadly intruder stalking the corridors.
PHANTOM OF THE MALL: ERIC’S REVENGE (1989)
High school sweethearts Eric and Melody’s romance is cut tragically short when Eric apparently dies in a fire that engulfs his family home. A year later, and Melody is trying to move on with her life, taking a job at the brand new Midwood Mall. But the mall, which stands on the very site of Eric’s former home, has an uninvited guest – a shadowy, scarred figure which haunts its air ducts and subterranean passageways, hellbent on exacting vengeance on the mall’s crooked developers, and any young shoppers who might cross his path. Uh-oh!
HELL HIGH (1989)
Enrol at your peril at Hell High! Teenage kicks take a decidedly dark turn in director Douglas Grossman’s twisted tale of delinquency pushed to its horrifying extreme, where Class of 1984 meets I Spit on Your Grave! When high school football hero Jon-Jon (Breaking Bad’s Christopher Cousins) quits the team, he winds up falling in with a group of outcasts led by the sadistic Dickens (played to unhinged perfection by the late Christopher Stryker). With a willing new recruit in tow, the gang’s youthful hijinks soon spiral into a night of abject horror when they decide to play a cruel prank on the home of their teacher Miss Storm – who, unbeknownst to the youngsters, harbours a dark and tormented past.
HELL HIGH is available on Special Edition Blu-ray and Limited Edition O-card Edition Blu-ray 18 July from Arrow Video