The Nearly Good B-Pictures of the 1980sby Akira_Chimera | created - 06 Nov 2014 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
Can there even be a thing like 'nearly good B-pictures'? At first I wasn't so sure either. But after years of watching B-movies, more often than not I stumbled across a B-picture which I wouldn't exactly consider to be a good (or even brillant) one. On the other hand it didn't reach the absolute bottoms of z-grade moviedom that connoisseurs of this kind of pictures are used to either. It was simply a movie which, in terms of B-pictures, was competently done, had all those ingredients we love so much in this kind of movies, yes, possibly it was even done bad for all the right reasons. But nevertheless, it didn't click with me, didn't offer that special something which makes B-pictures so enjoyable. What you can expect on this list are B-pictures which are not bad per se, they are more like near misses which can still offer plenty for the B-movie fan. Especially if you are a fan of a certain subgenre, actor or whatever. So have fun browsing through the nearly, but not quite, good B-pictures of the 1980s.
If you're up to it, don't hesitate to leave a comment.
PS: The movies are sorted by year and not necessarily by my preference. This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.
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1. City of the Living Dead (1980)
Not Rated | 93 min | Horror
A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from their graves.
2. Cannibals in the Streets (1980)
R | 96 min | Horror, Thriller
Giovanni Lambardo Radice and John Saxon are Vietman vets that bring back contagious virus that turn people into cannibals when bitten.
4. Effects (1979)
R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller
Some crew members of a company shooting a horror film begin to suspect that the "killings" in the movie are real, and that they are actually making a "snuff" film.
5. Aquella casa en las afueras (1980)
95 min | Horror, Thriller
A young girl's husband rents a lovely home just outside of Madrid so she can spend the last three months of her pregnancy in peace and luxury. Unfortunately, just as they arrive at the home... See full summary »
6. Macabre (1980)
Unrated | 89 min | Horror
A middle-aged woman, traumatized from the death of her adulterous lover, moves into a room at a New Orleans boarding house where the blind landlord becomes suspicious to her activities of continuing her affair with her dead lover.
7. La nuit de la mort! (1980)
Not Rated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror
Young Martine begins working as a nurse at Deadlock House, a secluded grande retirement home, but from the beginning not everything is as it seems, strange residents each with their own ... See full summary »
8. The Exterminator (1980)
R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York City. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York City into a great war zone, and Christopher George is the only one to stop him.
10. The Chain Reaction (1980)
92 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
An earthquake in rural Australia causes a dangerous leak at WALDO, a nuclear waste storage facility. Heinrich Schmidt, an engineer badly hurt in the accident, knows that the leak will ... See full summary »
11. Forbidden Zone (1980)
R | 74 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical
The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family's basement.
12. Contraband (1980)
Unrated | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Cigarette smugglers in Naples run into problems with cocaine operations being set up by a rival smuggler. Full of violence, including a women's face being burned off with a blow torch and a... See full summary »
13. Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.
Votes: 53,261 | Gross: $21.72M
16. Mystics in Bali (1981)
86 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Researching a book that takes her to Bali and the black magic cult of Leák, Cathy meets an evil witch which promises to train her in the dark arts. Tricked, Cathy is turned into a ... See full summary »
17. Petlya Oriona (1981)
85 min | Sci-Fi
A strange phenomenon has been noticed on the outskirts of our Solar system that quickly approaches the Earth. It's called "Orion's Loop." A spaceship with a crew of people and androids ... See full summary »
21. The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)
R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A mercenary with a three-bladed sword rediscovers his royal heritage's dangerous future when he is recruited to help a princess foil the designs of a brutal tyrant and a powerful sorcerer in conquering a land.
Votes: 5,241 | Gross: $39.10M
22. Cannibal Ferox (1981)
Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Horror
Three friends out to disprove cannibalism meet two men on the run who tortured and enslaved a cannibal tribe to find emeralds, and now the tribe is out for revenge.
23. Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
PG | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In a lake high in the mountains of New Zealand hunter Gibbie Gibson discovers a plane wreck from ww-ii. When he tells it around, a gang of crooks follows and threatens him and his daughter,... See full summary »
25. Season of the Witch (1982)
R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Kids all over America want Silver Shamrock masks for Halloween. Doctor Daniel Challis seeks to uncover a plot by Silver Shamrock owner Conal Cochran.
Votes: 39,483 | Gross: $14.40M
28. Blood Link (1982)
R | 98 min | Crime, Horror
Haunted by psychic visions of murder, an American man travels to Europe where he learns that a rash of murders are being committed by someone who looks exactly like him.
29. Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982)
PG | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A maverick motorbike racer wanders into a top-secret time-travel research test site which unintentionally teleports him to the mid-1800s and ends up having to fight violent outlaws for his survival.
30. Forbidden World (1982)
R | 77 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
In the distant future, a federation marshal arrives at a research lab on a remote planet where a genetic experiment has gotten loose and begins feeding on the dwindling scientific group.
33. The Clairvoyant (1982)
R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Two uneasy friends, a police officer and a TV talk show host, each pursue the mysterious "handcuff killer" with the aid of an artist who sees - and draws - the killer's crimes before they're committed.
35. The Aftermath (1982)
Not Rated | 95 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
Two astronauts return to Earth to find that it has been destroyed by nuclear war. L.A. has been taken over by Cutter and his gang of outlaw bikers. Cutter rapes and pillages. There are also... See full summary »
36. Baker County, U.S.A. (1982)
R | 95 min | Thriller
When a group of college students come across a redneck in the wilderness murdering his wife's lover, they become the objects of his crazed vengeance.
37. Double Exposure (1982)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A photographer for a men's magazine is disturbed by a recurring dream he has that he is killing his models by various gruesome means. Then he discovers that his city is being terrorized by ... See full summary »
38. Angkor: Cambodia Express (1982)
Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Drama, War
An American journalist returns to Cambodia to bring out the girlfriend he was forced to leave behind when the murderous Khmer Rouge took over the country.
39. Fuga dall'arcipelago maledetto (1982)
96 min | Action, War
On one of his last trips before retirement, a plane of an illegal gunrunner in Vietnam is shot down where he hooks up Annie Belle, a humanitarian rebel.
40. The Concrete Jungle (1982)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
When her slimy boyfriend Danny (Peter Brown) uses his unsuspecting girlfriend Elizabeth (Tracy Bregman) to carry a stash of cocaine in her skis, she is nabbed by airport security. After a ... See full summary »
41. El extraño hijo del Sheriff (1982)
93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Set in the old west, the sheriff's wife gives birth to conjoined twins, she dies during labor and the ashamed sheriff decides to hide his children, years later he force the town doctor to ... See full summary »
42. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
R | 84 min | Horror
Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance.
Votes: 23,196 | Gross: $11.00M
44. Screamtime (1983)
R | 89 min | Fantasy, Horror
A trilogy of three improbable stories of horror and the supernatural are combined into this low budget thriller: "That's the Way to Do It," "Dreamhouse,," and "Do You Believe in Fairies?"
47. The Final Terror (1983)
R | 82 min | Horror
A group of rangers go camping on unfamiliar forest grounds. All is well until the group members start getting picked off by a cunning, tactical, malevolent, killer in the woods.
49. Women's Prison Massacre (1983)
Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama