The Funhouse (1981)
Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse came out when the slasher-craze was booming. However, rather than falling into the tropes of the age, The Funhouse is more of a throwback, atmospheric monster movie.
The slasher genre is even poked fun of with a Halloween/Psycho homage during the film’s opening sequence. A masked intruder attacks the protagonist (Elizabeth Berridge) as she showers, of course, resembling the famous scene from Hitchcocks’s Psycho. The “attacker” turns out to be her younger brother (playing a practical joke), a nod to John Carpenter’s opening to Halloween. Whether it’s intentional or not, this acts as a humorous snub to the flood of slasher films that were flooding the marker at the time.
Deadly Blessing (1981)
Three years before Wes Craven made his ground breaking horror film A Nightmare On Elm Street, he made Deadly Blessings. The film is about a mythical dream demon, an incubus that sucks your life force while you sleep. Sounds like a prototype for another certain demon that comes in your dreams. It’s also worth noting that Wes actually used the famous blades between the legs in the bathtub moment from his future game-changer, simply replacing one threat with another.
One night, a hooded figure releases a snake in the bathroom as the film’s protagonist (Maren Jensen) takes a bath. The thing slides right into the tub and pops up right between her legs. The appropriate amount of freaking out ensues.
The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
The Slumber Party Massacre is what happens when feminist writer, Rita Mae Brown, and director Amy Holden Jones parody the slasher genre which, to this day, is mainly focused on half-naked women running from a psycho in a mask. This film in particular follows a murderer using a power drill who crashes a high-school sleepover.
In the commentary for the film, the director makes mention of how producer Roger Corman required a certain amount of nudity in the opening half of the flick, which certainly explains the long, lingering shots of naked, soapy bodies in the opening shower scene. She didn’t seem happy about it. Her quote was something to the effect of “Here’s your nudity, all up front, now let’s be done with it.”
Friday The 13th Part III (1982)
As classic as the original Friday the 13th is nobody can really deny that a few of it sequels are far superior. The first film was a surprise hit, the second film tried its best to top it and it wasn’t until the third film that the franchise started to find its swagger.
One of the best moments features the hapless couple Debbie (Tracie Savage) and Andy (Jeffrey Rogers). After having some vigorous sex in their hammock, Debbie heads off to take a post coitus shower while Andy walks on his hands to go get her a beer. Andy is then killed when Jason walks up to him mid handstand and slices him in half with his machete. Debbie meets a similarly gruesome demise not too long afterwards.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Made at the height of the low-budget slasher film craze, Sleepaway Camp tells the story of a transgender girl named Angela (Felissa Rose) who, after surviving a horrific boating accident which killed her father and twin sibling, goes crazy and murders a bunch of unsuspecting campers.
One of Angela’s main tormentors is Meg (Katherine Kamhi), a counselor at the camp who gets along with the popular girls and has no problem giving poor Angela a hard time. She’s ultimately stabbed to death in the shower while preparing for a date.