1985 saw Freddy Krueger’s vengeful return to Elm Street, the frightful arrival of a vampire in another neighbourhood, a double dose of the living dead, and a movie with a provocative message: beware of men whose eyebrows meet.
Here are the HORROR HELL OF FAME inductees for 1985:
- A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2 – FREDDY’S REVENGE
Original Elm Street director/writer Wes Craven was missing, but producer Robert Shaye and actor Robert Englund returned in the successful franchise’s first sequel; one which finds a teenager being visited in his dreams by possibly the worst housewarming gift ever, Freddy Krueger, after moving into the former home of Nancy Thompson. The homoerotic subtext of the script was an unexpected topic for delicious discussion among moviegoers, and likely the reason the film achieved “cult classic” status.
- FRIGHT NIGHT
With the exception of Dracula (1979) and The Hunger (1983), blood-sucking vampires were largely being played for laughs in the movies, especially in 1985. But unlike the other “horror-comedies” released that year, utterly forgettable Transylvania 6-5000, and Jim Carrey’s first major flick, Once Bitten, Fright Night, about a young man suspecting that his next door neighbour is an actual vampire, entertained audiences with a clever script and some cool visual effects.
- DAY OF THE DEAD
Seven years after Dawn of the Dead turned a shopping mall into a death trap where consumers became the consumed, writer and director George A. Romero unleashed Day of the Dead, his third film in the Night of the Living Dead series. Romero himself described the dark film as a “tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in this small little pie slice of society”.
- THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
With the tagline “They’re back from the grave and ready to party!” it was abundantly clear that The Return of the Living Dead was not part of the dark zombie universe created by George A. Romero, but a lighter, more comedic offering to horror fans. The zombies of this flick have both the ability to move quickly AND verbally express their need for “Brains!!!” and “More brains!!!” Because zombies can never get enough brains, of course.
- THE COMPANY OF WOLVES
Before directing Interview with the Vampire (1994), Neil Jordan was at the helm of (and co-wrote) another horror, The Company of Wolves, which begins with an elderly woman warning her granddaughter to beware of men whose eyebrows meet. That’s not ominous at all. A stylish re-working of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, with four others thrown into the mix throughout the film, Wolves delivered horror that felt at the time both retro and modern in its story-telling, and a visual feast for the eyes.
STAY TUNED FOR THE 1986 HORROR HELL OF FAME!