While 1980 may have represented the bloody dawn of a new era for horror films, 1981 demonstrated that the easiest way for Hollywood to make a good thing better was to produce a sequel. It was a year when horror won an Oscar, the first of one franchise’s eleven sequels was released, and despite being three years later, still the night He came home. Here are the HORROR HELL OF FAME inductees for 1981:
- AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
The most successful of the THREE wolf-themed horror films released in 1981, the other two being THE HOWLING and WOLFEN, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON not only entertained audiences but amazed them with Rick Baker’s groundbreaking, Oscar-winning transformation sequence make-up. Baker and director John Landis would reunite in 1983 for Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller music video.
- HALLOWEEN II
With the original’s famous now-you-killed-him-now-you-didn’t finale, fans were equally unsurprised and delighted when HALLOWEEN II arrived in theaters three years later, despite the fact that the movie is an immediate continuation of Michael Myers’ killing spree. And not counting her uncredited voice-only appearance in 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, this would be Jamie Lee Curtis’ last Halloween movie until Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) reunited the scream queen’s Laurie Strode with silent killer Michael Myers.
- GHOST STORY
With what feels like one of the oldest casts ever assembled for a horror film (Fred Astaire, Melyvn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and John Houseman), GHOST STORY was a commercially successful departure from the quickly unfolding “slasher” sub-genre, proving that dead teenagers weren’t the only ones who could lure audiences into the theater.
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2
Picking up five years after the original Camp Crystal Lake massacre, and proudly following in his mother’s bloody footsteps, all-grown-up Jason Voorhees’ return was a triumphant, albeit violent one. And with FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, this was simply foreplay for both Jason and the franchise, with two down, ten more (films to date) to go.
- THE FINAL CONFLICT: OMEN III
Place your bets. It’s the third coming of the Antichrist, hell-bent on halting the second coming of Christ in this horror film that most notably introduced North American audiences to actor Sam Neill as Satan’s favorite son, Damien; freshly appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Damien is ready to kill it (as in all boys born in England on the morning of March 24, 1981) in his new position.
STAY TUNED FOR THE 1982 HORROR HELL OF FAME!