150 of the Best Lesser-Known 1980s Moviesby jaimie-k | created - 15 Sep 2010 | updated - 11 Aug 2011 | Public
I still own every one of these on VHS (along with dozens of other obscure titles). Many are not available on DVD. You just can't beat dodgy 80s movies :-D
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1. The Zero Boys (1986)
Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Thriller, Horror
A group of friends travel to a wilderness area to play a survival game. Soon they unexpectedly find themselves in a real-life survival situation.
2. Young Warriors (1983)
R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A young woman is gang raped and murdered in a California college town, sparking her brother Kevin to take up arms by night with a gang of like-minded vigilantes from his fraternity, ... See full summary »
Votes: 448 | Gross: $0.24M
3. Born American (1986)
R | 95 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Three American students vacationing in Finland, cross the border into Russia for fun of it. When they are spotted by the Russian soldiers who are shooting to kill, it's not fun anymore. ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,771 | Gross: $3.39M
aka Arctic Heat
5. Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)
R | 86 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
After a worldwide nuclear war, where 68% of the male population was wiped out and virile men becoming a rarity, Sam Hell, a scavenger and a highly virile man, is assigned to help rescue a group of fertile women kidnapped by humanoid frogs.
6. Let's Get Harry (1986)
R | 102 min | Action, Adventure
When Colombian revolutionaries kidnap an American engineer, his brother and friends, faced with official inaction, hire a mercenary and mount the rescue operation themselves.
Votes: 1,138 | Gross: $0.14M
7. April Fool's Day (1986)
R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery
Nine college students staying at a friend's remote island mansion begin to fall victim to an unseen murderer over the April Fool's Day weekend, but nothing is as it seems.
Votes: 14,314 | Gross: $12.95M
8. Turk 182 (1985)
PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Drama
Jimmy Lynch is angry because his older brother, who was injured as a result of an off duty fire rescue, is denied benefits by the city.
Votes: 3,609 | Gross: $3.59M
9. Iceman (1984)
PG | 100 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A prehistoric Neanderthal man found frozen in ice is revived by an arctic exploration team, who then attempt to use him for their own scientific means.
Votes: 5,168 | Gross: $7.34M
12. My Science Project (1985)
PG | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A high school student and his friend find a strange, orb-like piece of equipment to use as a science project, but must stop it when it begins to threaten mankind.
Votes: 5,271 | Gross: $4.12M
13. Death Before Dishonor (1987)
R | 91 min | Action, Drama
Gunnery Sergeant Burns reports for duty to an American Embassy in the Middle East. However due to the 'enlightened' views of the Ambassador, the marine security detachment he is in charge ... See full summary »
Votes: 812 | Gross: $4.55M
16. No Safe Haven (1987)
R | 95 min | Action
When his family is murdered by members of a drug gang, an undercover CIA agent tracks them down, but they escape and flee to their hideout, a fortress in South America. Knowing he can't ... See full summary »
17. Fortress (1985)
TV-MA | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
An Australian school teacher and her students are kidnapped. She and the children fight for their lives and try to escape from their captors.
18. The Rescue (1988)
PG | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A group of kids venture into enemy territory in an ambitious attempt to rescue their Navy Seal fathers who were captured during a failed mission in North Korea.
Votes: 1,106 | Gross: $5.86M
20. Jack's Back (1988)
R | 97 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery
A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th birthday by committing similar murders and only one has a chance of stopping him.
Votes: 2,709 | Gross: $0.49M
21. Final Jeopardy (1985 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A small-town couple find themselves stranded in an unfamiliar, and unfriendly, big city. Weaving in and out of the proceedings are a bunch of murderous criminals with names like DOA, Ice ... See full summary »
22. Bad Dreams (1988)
R | 80 min | Horror, Thriller
The lone survivor of a suicide cult wakes from a thirteen-year coma in a psychiatric ward, where other patients suddenly start dying under mysterious and gruesome circumstances.
Votes: 3,361 | Gross: $9.80M
23. The Wraith (1986)
PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Horror, Romance
After a young man is murdered by a road-racing gang of motor-heads, a mysterious fast-driving spirit descends from the sky to take revenge.
Votes: 14,698 | Gross: $3.50M
24. 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.
25. Rampage (1987)
R | 97 min | Drama, Thriller
Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.
Votes: 1,939 | Gross: $0.80M
26. Gymkata (1985)
R | 90 min | Action, Thriller
An American gymnast travels to a foreign country to compete in a deadly game not won by anyone other than a native in more than 900 years.
Votes: 3,751 | Gross: $5.73M
27. The New Kids (1985)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
A brother and sister arrive in a small town to help their relatives run an amusement park, and they find the town is terrorized by a local street gang.
Votes: 2,625 | Gross: $0.20M
aka Striking Back
28. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
PG | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
Dodger must confront the struggles of life as he is visited by the Garbage Pail Kids and intimidated by some older bullies.
Votes: 7,421 | Gross: $1.58M
29. Thrillkill (1984)
96 min | Crime, Thriller
Karlie Kendall's job is to write computer games - but in her spare time she hacks bank accounts. With 5 million dollars gathered, she wants to retire to Brazil - unaware that her secret ... See full summary »
30. The Park Is Mine (1985 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 102 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A Vietnam vet takes forceful control of Central Park to remember those who served and died in the Vietnam War.
31. Trial by Terror (1983)
90 min | Thriller
A couple moves into a new home and find success and happiness, but soon their dream becomes a nightmare when they hear chilling voices in the night, vandalous attacks and a faceless, ... See full summary »
33. Chiller (1985 TV Movie)
PG-13 | 94 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Corporate exec Miles Creighton dies, and is cryogenically frozen in the hopes that he can be revived. 10 years later, the procedure is a success, and Miles returns--without his soul.
35. The Buddy System (1984)
PG | 110 min | Drama, Comedy, Romance
A quiet school truant officer, Joe, uncovers a young boy's attempt to fake a residential address, and subsequently gets involved romantically with the boy's mother. The truant officer ... See full summary »
Votes: 782 | Gross: $1.82M
36. Limit Up (1989)
PG-13 | 88 min | Fantasy, Comedy
Casey Falls is the assistant of commodity trader Peter Oak, but wants to get a license herself. When the diabolic Nike appears and promises to make her successful by use of her supernatural... See full summary »
37. Ghost Warrior (1984)
R | 81 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A deep-frozen 400-year-old samurai is shipped to Los Angeles, where he comes back to life. Dazed and confused, he goes on a rampage. Can the female scientist and her colleague who revived him stop him before it's too late?
38. How I Got Into College (1989)
PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy, Romance
Marlon has a crush on Jessica (running for high school senior class president). Jessica wants to attend Ramsey College. Marlon wants to go wherever Jessica is going. Problem: low SAT score.
Votes: 2,046 | Gross: $1.64M
40. Of Unknown Origin (1983)
R | 88 min | Horror, Thriller
A man becomes destructively obsessed with killing a dangerous rat, which has taken residence in his, recently renovated, house.
Votes: 2,784 | Gross: $1.08M
41. Date with an Angel (1987)
PG | 105 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
An aspiring composer discovers a broken-winged, beautiful angel in his swimming pool. When everyone finds out, he must deal with his jealous fiancé, his future father-in-law, and his friends who have a business plan.
Votes: 2,516 | Gross: $1.99M
43. Witchboard (1986)
R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
When his girlfriend becomes dangerously obsessed with a ghost she contacted using a ouija board, Jim reluctantly joins forces with her ex - his own estranged childhood best friend - to identify and exorcise the evil spirit.
Votes: 6,280 | Gross: $7.37M
44. Vanishing Act (1986 TV Movie)
PG | 95 min | Mystery
A man honeymooning with his new wife in the Rockies reports his wife's disappearance to the police. A few days later, a strange woman escorted by the local priest claims to be his missing wife, despite the man's inability to recognize her.
45. Modern Girls (1986)
PG-13 | 84 min | Comedy