Entertainment

The Best 80s Monster Movies  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 226 voters 8.4k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite monster films that were released in the 1980s.

For your enjoyment, here is a list of the best 80s monster movies. Monster movies were less prevalent in the 80s compared to decades before, but surprisingly there are some really good ones here. From the remake of The Fly to the first sequel to Alien (and possibly the best of the bunch) to Cliver Barker’s Hellraiser, this decade is out to impress.
 

Prominent on this 1980s monster film list is Nightmare on Elm Street, the film that made falling asleep terrifying and spawned four sequels during the decade. You will also find, John Carpenter’s The Fog, Friday the 13th (which spawned another brand that just keeps going) and Teen Wolf with Michael J. Fox.
 

So, which of the movies on this list of good 1980s monster films gave you the willies? Vote up the top 80s monster movies and make sure to add any we might have missed.

list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more
2
Ranker Video
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn
Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more
3
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more
4
Ranker Video
Bruce Campbell, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi
Evil Dead II is a 1987 American horror comedy film directed by Sam Raimi and a parody sequel to the 1981 film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Robert ...more
5
Ranker Video
Doug Bradley, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence
Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based upon his own novella The Hellbound Heart. The film spawned a series of sequels.
6
Ranker Video
Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, ...more
7
Ranker Video
Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are taken out one by one while attempting ...more
8
Ranker Video
Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates
Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more
9
Ranker Video
Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson
Creepshow is a 1982 horror anthology film with elements of black comedy directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The film's ensemble cast included Hal Holbrook, Adrienne ...more
10
Ranker Video
Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, Tom Welling
The Fog is a 2005 horror film directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Tom Welling, Selma Blair and Maggie Grace. It is a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 film of the same name and was produced ...more
11
Ranker Video
Tom Noonan, Stephen Macht, Jon Gries
The Monster Squad is a 1987 horror comedy film written by Shane Black and Fred Dekker and directed by Fred Dekker. It was released by Tri-Star Pictures on August 14, 1987. The film features the ...more
12
Critters is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Chris King-Way added Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh
Critters is a 1986 cult comedy horror science fiction film starring Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush and Scott Grimes. It was the directorial debut of Stephen Herek who ...more
13
Ranker Video
Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Zsa Zsa Gábor
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a 1987 American slasher fantasy film and the third film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Chuck Russell, written by ...more
14
Ranker Video
Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower
Pumpkinhead is a 1988 American supernatural horror film. It was the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston. While Pumpkinhead received mixed reviews, the film has built up a ...more
15
Ranker Video
Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister
Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, co-produced, and edited by Don Coscarelli. It introduces the Tall Man. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike, who tries to ...more
16
Child's Play is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Brad Dourif, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon
Child's Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland, written by Tom Holland, Don Mancini, and John Lafia, and starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad ...more
17
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: T... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Brooke Bundy
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a 1988 American slasher fantasy film and the fourth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, stars ...more
18
Ranker Video
Dennis Hopper, Bill Moseley, Kinky Friedman
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (marketed as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2) is a 1986 American black comedy slasher film directed by Tobe Hooper. A radio host (Caroline Williams) is ...more
19
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: F... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Robert Englund, Hope Lange, Clu Gulager
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is a 1985 American slasher horror film and the second film in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. The film was directed by Jack Sholder and ...more
20
Alligator is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Chris King-Way added Dean Jagger, Sydney Lassick, Robert Forster
Alligator is a 1980 American monster movie, directed by Lewis Teague with a screenplay by John Sayles. It stars Robert Forster, Robin Riker, and Michael V. Gazzo. It follows the attempts of a ...more
21
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: T... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Wally George
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a 1989 American slasher horror film and the fifth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins, stars Robert ...more
22
Ranker Video
Michael J. Fox, Doug Savant, James Hampton
Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film released by Atlantic Releasing Corporation starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a high school student who discovers that his family has an ...more
23
Humanoids from the Deep is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Hayden the Monster Man added Helena Bonham Carter, Clint Howard, Emma Samms
24
Ranker Video
Bill Freehan, Jerry Butler, Frank Henenlotter
Basket Case is a 1982 American horror comedy film written and directed by Frank Henenlotter. It has two sequels, Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny by the same director. It is notable ...more
25
Creature is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 80s Monster Movies
Hayden the Monster Man added Klaus Kinski, Wendy Schaal, Diane Salinger
Creature - Die dunkle Macht der Finsternis ist ein Horrorfilm aus dem Jahr 1985. Regie führte William Malone.