Top 5 Movie Monsters of the 1980s

Q the winged serpent 1982 close

The 80s was a rich breeding ground for horror and sci-fi, for some it was the peak. Undoubtably the decade produced absolute classics when it came to monsters and creatures. With that in mind, just as we did with the Top 5 Monsters of the 1990s, let’s make this tough for ourselves with some house rules: 1) The creature has to be a new film from the decade and not a sequel to a movie from previous decades (so that’s goodbye to Aliens, King Kong, and Godzilla). 2) ‘Monsters’ refers to proper monsters, beast type creatures that offer up something a little different from the normal humanoid-type beings we’re all so used to (so that’s goodbye to Freddy, Jason, Michael et al). 3) I’ll try and avoid animals, both current and extinct (so that’s goodbye giant crocodiles, alligators, sharks, and Cujo!). 4) Let’s get it on..,

5. The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl in Q The Winged Serpent (1982):

Q the winged serpent 1982

What a treat of a movie this is, if nothing more than Michael Moriarty’s barmy performance. But if it’s a huge flying, stop motion, dinosaur terrorising the rooftop sunbathers of 80s Manhattan then this is the movie for you*.

*To be fair this is probably the only movie for you; weirdo.

4. The Creature in Leviathan (1989):

Leviathan Creature 1989

Stan Winston’s creature design for Leviathan was actually pretty cool. The execution by the filmmakers wasn’t. The big fish-guy had the ability to assimilate its victims who’s likeness (or maybe their actual part-digested selves?) would protrude from it’s slimy skin. Not convinced? We’ll check out the cast roll-call: Peter Weller, Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson, Hector Elizondo, and Richard Crenna. How 80’s is that?

3. Brundlefly in The Fly (1986):

Brundlefly 1986

All singing, all dancing, all puking, all kill-me-now Brundelfly. Grotesque body horror at its absolute peak. What else is there to say? It’s a bloody great movie too.

2. Mr Stay Puft in Ghostbusters (1984):


It’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man“. Long before The Real Ghostbusters made him into a Saturday Morning poster boy (that could speak!), Mr Stay Puft was a demonic-dessert-demon-demigod loose of the streets of Manhattan looking for churches to step on and that other thing that sailors do on shore leave. What an asshole.

1. All incarnations of The Thing in The Thing (1982):

The Thing Spider Head

Let’s waste no time justifying the wonderment of this movie, it’s a given. So instead let’s list our favourite Thing incarnations: Exploding dog-head Thing, Spider walking man head Thing, chest mouth Thing, elongated head and neck Thing, and alien hand Thing. It’s all good baby. Hey Sweden!

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