In 1984, Wes Craven introduced horror fans to the man of nobody’s dreams, both Stephen King and Jason Voorhees were back to terrorize audiences, it was anything but a white Christmas, and a documentary celebrating all things horror brought in an impressive $10 million at the North American box office.
Here are the HORROR HELL OF FAME inductees for 1984:
- A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Director/writer Wes Craven was well on his way to establishing himself as a master of horror, having already terrified movie audiences with The Last House on the Left (1972) and The Hills Have Eyes (1975), but with A Nightmare on Elm Street, and specifically the creation of Freddy “Finger-Knives” Krueger, he really unleashed his imagination by delivering next level horror that appealed to the masses. This Nightmare was a horror lover’s dream come true and the introduction to a brand new horror franchise.
- CHILDREN OF THE CORN
Stephen King continued his reign of horror inspiration in 1984, by having two more of his works adapted to the screen: Firestarter (starring a very pre-Scream Drew Barrymore) and Children of the Corn, both which proved that children are forces to be reckoned with when provoked, or in Corn’s case, under the influence of a teenaged religious cult leader whose main mission in life is to keep a bloodthirsty deity known as “He Who Walks Behind The Rows” satisfied…by offering up human sacrifices of the ages 19 and over variety.
- FRIDAY THE 13TH – FINAL CHAPTER
A year and half after his last killing spree (in 3D, no less) Jason Voorhees returned to kill it both on screen and at the box office in the unusually (read: strategically) titled Friday the 13th: Final Chapter; unusual in the fact that with the series continuing to make a very healthy profit for Paramount ($32.9 million U.S. box office return on a $2.6 million production budget), it was very likely that this 4th installment would be anything but “final”.
- SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT
After a lifetime of trauma and abuse, (hot, sexy) dude has a psychotic breakdown and goes on a killing spree while wearing a Santa’s suit. Released on the same day as A Nightmare on Elm Street, in more theaters and earning more money on its opening weekend ($1.43 million U.S. vs. $1.27 million) than the Wes Craven classic, Silent Night, Deadly Night disappeared from movie screens after only that one week, thanks to the pot of ridiculous controversy its promotional material and the content of the film stirred with “the public”. Not surprisingly, it has since become a cult classic in both the horror and Christmas-themed genres.
- TERROR IN THE AISLES
For any documentary to make $10 million is an achievement, especially back in 1984 (that’s around $25 million today) when docs weren’t being released on the big screen all that often. And for the subject of a documentary to be horror movies was just as rare. Hosted by actors Donald Pleasance (Halloween’s Dr. Loomis!) and Nancy Allen (Carrie, Dressed to Kill), each providing (somewhat dumb) commentary on a variety of horror-themed topics that were then supported by movie clips, Terror in the Aisles is a Hell of Fame inductee not so much for what or how it delivered, but for what it represented at the time: a love letter to the horror film genre and its fans.
STAY TUNED FOR THE 1985 HORROR HELL OF FAME!