Top 10 best cult classic ’80s movies

Willow Bowen

More stories from Willow Bowen

The fatality of hazing
February 21, 2024
Carl Poppa
January 29, 2024

Even today, ’80s movies thrive and are still the favorites of many people. There are some movies from that era in time that have yet to gain the popularity they deserve, so I am going to list some of the best cult classic ’80s movies. There is no particular order of these films just because I think they are all too unique to compare. 

“Night of the Comet”

“Night of the Comet” came out in 1984 and was directed by Thom Eberhardt. The movie starts off with everybody celebrating a comet that was going to pass by, but ends up turning the population into dust and those slightly exposed into zombies. Two sisters Regina and Samatha and truck driver Hector, who were protected by steel during the passing of the comet, struggle to survive with the remaining zombies and suspicious scientist chasing them. Will they survive or be victims of the night of the comet? If you like sci-fi and horror I would highly recommend this movie to you. 


“Legend” was released in 1985 and was directed by Ridley Scott. It’s a fantasy, adventure, and romance film. The evil being Darkness has plotted to create eternal night by destroying the last unicorn. Jack (Tom Cruise) goes on a mission to save the light of day and princesses Lili (Mia Sara) from turning off to the dark side. The set and makeup design of this film is highly impressive and they spent 14.4 million dollars on glitter alone. 

“Three O’Clock High”

“Three O’Clock High” was directed by Phil Joanou and was released in 1987. This film is about a scrawny school reporter, Jerry Mitchell (Casey Siemaszko), who asked to write an article about a new student, Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson). Buddy is a buff, troubled, and violent student who has been through many schools already due to his past. He is infuriated when Jerry asks to write about him and immediately challenges him to a fight when the bell rings at three o’clock after school. This terrifies Jerry, and his only option may be to face Buddy at the end of the day. This is one of my personal favorites on the list and Buddy was even used to inspire character Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery), from “Stranger Things.” 

“The Monster Squad” 

“The Monster Squad” came out in 1987 and was directed by Fred Dekker. This movie follows five kids Andre Gower (Sean), Robby Kiger (Patrick), Brent Chalem (Horace), Michael Faustino (Eugene), Ryan Lambert (Rudy) who find themselves battling Dracula, the Mummy, Gill Man, Wolf Man, and Frankenstein. The monsters have arrived in town in search of an amulet, and the kids soon realize they must stop them by getting the amulet first. So they can banish the monsters with an incantation to open up a wormhole, and send the monsters into limbo. 


“Labyrinth” is a 1986 film that was directed by Jim Henson. It’s a fantasy musical that follows the character Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly) who takes her baby brother Toby for granted and he ends up getting stolen by the Goblin King (David Bowie). The only way the Goblin King will let Sarah have her brother back is if she completes his task of walking through the labyrinth in only a set number of hours. This movie has stuck with me since I was young and just recently there has been talk of a sequel being produced by David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones. 

“The Stuff” 

“The Stuff” came out in 1985 and was directed by Larry Cohen. This horror sci-fi follows private detective David ‘MO’ Rutherford , who is investigating a new substance on the food market called “the stuff.” Everybody is absolutely hooked on it but it seems that the sweet treat could possibly be lethal and deadly. This movie may be a little silly, but I think it’s a unique and good watch. 

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was released in 1985 and was directed by Alan Metter. This movie is about Janney Glenn (Sarah Jessica Parker) who has just recently moved to a new town and loves to dance. Although her free spirit Janney lives in a strict household under the surveillance of her dad, an army colonel. Janney finds out that her favorite dance TV show is coming to town for auditions and she disobeys her father for the first time to get a chance to be on the show. Throughout the film she struggles with her dad and her love life. 

“The Running Man”  

“The Running Man” was directed by Paul Micheal Glaser and was released in 1987. “The Running Man” is a dystopian sci-fi horror that follows the character Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is imprisoned and has the opportunity to leave if he enters into a sick reality TV show. Contestants of this show have to survive deadly courses that they will surely not survive. Even if they do survive, will talk show host Damon Killian (Richard Dawson) let them go?

“The New Adventures of Pippi Long Stockings”

“The New Adventures of Pippi Long Stockings” came out in 1988 and was directed by Ken Annakin. Pippi arrives in town after falling off board of her father’s pirate ship. She soon starts influencing the children around the community with her spunky, bubbly, and mischievous persona. In my opinion this film is an underrated classic. 

“Midnight Madness” 

“Midnight Madness” was directed by Micheal Nankin and David Wechter. The movie was released in 1980 following character Leon picking college students to participate in his scavenger hunt all around the city. The main team, who consist of Adam Larson (David Naughton), Flynch (Joel Kenney), Laura (Debra Clinger), Marvin (David Damas) and Adams younger brother Scott Larson (Micheal J. Fox). They compete against five other teams for the fight to the finish of each clue leading up to the next. Interestingly enough this was Micheal J. Fox’s first feature film as he was only 17 at the time. I think this is a super fun movie and a great watch with the family.