Jason, Freddy, Mary Lou?: 23 Obscure ’80s Slasher Films Ranked Worst to Best

Valenti Govantes
9 min readAug 11, 2021
The titular horror villain Mary Lou Maloney, who would appear in Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987) and Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1989). Image source: Alliance Atlantis.

*Spoiler warning for forty year old movies and content warning for violence*

Slasher films are arguably the one horror subgenre reigning supreme above others in terms of cultural impact. They’re not scary films, but their emphasis on exploitative components is pure entertainment. It’s tiring seeing best slasher lists prioritizing films in the main franchises and ones released outside of the eighties. This indifference towards spotlighting other eighties slashers was the motivation to list twenty three obscure slashers. Regardless of quality, they need more exposure.

23. Silent Night Deadly Night Part 3 (1989)

Image source: Lionsgate.

After the previous film’s rampage left him comatose, Ricky Caldwell (Bill Moseley) awakens to pursue a psychic teen (Samantha Scully). Suspense-free and with no extreme violence, this sequel is uneventful and has no personality. Monte Hellman’s flat direction gives the film a stale made-for-tv feel.

22. Madman (1982)

Image source: Jensen Farley Pictures.

Counselors are hunted by an undead deformed maniac named Madman Mars (Paul Ehlers) after one of the campers awakens his spirit. Some of Madman’s kills are very creative, however, it is undercut by an unappealing visual atmosphere and directionless plot. For example, the main characters search for one character and this motivation is forgotten two minutes later.

21. Prom Night (1980)

Image source: Alliance Atlantis.

Prom Night focuses on a group of teenagers as they are killed on prom night by a man, knowing as children they caused the death of a child. Slow paced with an ineffective tone, a red herring subplot feels as if the producers thought the movie needed more excitement. It’s actually relatively…

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Valenti Govantes

Just your friendly, neighborhood Medium writer. Always open to discussing anything movie or comic book related.