10 Underrated Slasher Flicks From The Past 40 Years

The conclusion of the slasher trilogy is here! So far we focused on the slashers’ heyday twice: the 1980’s. Now it’s time to talk about the best slasher films from before and after that era. Like before, the list will not include films that star slasher icons like Freddy, Jason, Michael, or Chucky. In addition, since it’s extended to other decades, the list will also not include later icons such as Leprechaun, Candyman, The Creeper, and Ghostface.

Also check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Anthony’s slasher compilation.


10. High Tension (2003)

First on the list is a film from France. The film is directed by Alexander Aja, known for the decent Hills Have Eyes remake and the campy Piranha 3D.  The film is about a woman trying to protect her best friend (who she has a lesbian crush on) from a killer. High Tension is known for its graphic gore as well as its twist ending that has caused people to ether like the film even more or hate it completely.


9. The Tripper (2006)

Directed by David Arquette, The Tripper is a homage to exploitation films of the 70’s and slashers of the 80’s.  The film is about a man dressed up as JFK who goes around killing hippies. Jason Mewes (Clerks) and Paul Rubbins (aka Pee Wee Herman) both having supporting roles in this film.


8. Gutterballs (2008)

One of the more extreme films in the genre. The film is a love letter to both 80’s slashers and 70’s rape/revenge films due to its score, feel and atmosphere. The film stars a group of rapist friends who go bowling and are killed one by one by a guy with a mask made out of a bowling ball bag. The killer looks both stupid yet scary at the same time, and the acts of violence in the film are shown in explicit detail. The film also does a good job of being an 80’s throwback while still being original at the same time.


7. To Sir, With Love aka Bloody Reunion (2006)

Next we take a trip to South Korea, the country that spawned this hidden gem.  The film is about a teacher getting a bunch of her old students who are together for a class reunion. This slasher is very different from most others, focusing on story over gore. It also has a great twist.


6. Hatchet (2006)

Mid 2000’s the American horror scene was polluted with remakes of old horror films, Saw rip offs and remakes of Asian horror films. This film was made as a direct reaction against all of that. Like Gutterballs, the film replicates the 80’s slasher feel. Hatchet is about a group of tourists in New Orleans who get stranded in the woods. They are then killed one by one by an undead man named Victor Crowley (played by horror icon Kane Hodder). Horror actor Tony Todd (Candyman) also has a small role in the film. The film so far has 2 sequels.

5. Tourist Trap (1979)

A very strange installment on the list. The film is about a group of kids who get stranded at a local wax museum. The owner lets them spend the night . The kids are then killed by a masked telekinetic man who smothers them with plastic. Oh, and the wax dummies all come to life and kill some of the kids too. Almost every shot in the film has at least one wax dummy giving the viewer a feeling of always being watched. Yeah it needs to be seen to be believed… unless you’re afraid of dummies, then avoid!


4. The Driller Killer (1979)

One of the most famous of the “video nastys”(List of movies banned in the UK during the 1980’s). The film is about a struggling artist named Reno Miller who lives in the slums of New York City.  He is having trouble paying his bills, can’t get any sleep because of a band practicing late next door, and his two female roommates annoy the hell out of him. As the film progresses Reno is driven further and further into insanity. He eventually snaps and starts killing people on by one using a power drill. The both stars and is directed by Abel Ferrara. It is his first film and showcases his sleazy city style of story telling which would be seen again in his later films such as Ms.45Bad Lieutenant, and The King of New York.   


3. Castle Freak (1995)

Coming out one year before the overrated Scream and its rip offs altered the standards of slasher films, Castle Freak is a loose adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story The Outsider. The film is about a couple and their blind daughter that inherit a castle in Italy. They then discover that something else is living in the castle with them!. The film is directed by Stuart Gordon, most know for Re-animator, and produced by Charles Band, who is most known for the Puppet Master films.


2. Inside (2007)

A film from the “New Wave of French Horror” (same movement as High Tension) . The film is about a pregnant woman who is being attacked by a woman who wants her unborn baby and will kill all who get in the way! The film is very brutal in its violence, scares and does not hold anything back! Though it’s very violent, it is also very stylized, making it one of the very few critically acclaimed slashers.


1. Black Christmas (1974)

We end the list with one of the first slashers ever (some even say its the first true one). An import from Canada, the film was directed by Bob Clark, who ironically also made A Christmas Story. The film is about a sorority house getting bizarre sexual and threatening phone calls from an unknown man. The members of the house are then killed one by one (sound famliar?) by this unknown person. The film set up many slasher tropes, and though there’s not too much gore, the deaths are really freaky. Halloween was originally going to be the sequel to this film. In 2008, the film revived a really poor remake titled Black X-mas.