My Best Worst Movies of 1981... (and in list order)

by DukeEman | created - 3 months ago | updated - 3 months ago | Public

The Eighties were a great time for trashy movies. And these movies really made 1981 a real turkey, but fun...

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1. Polyester (1981)

R | 86 min | Comedy

72 Metascore

A suburban housewife's world falls apart when she finds that her pornographer husband is serially unfaithful to her, her daughter is pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.

Director: John Waters | Stars: Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey, David Samson

Votes: 6,316

The master of filthy trash gives us the sense of cinema sniffing....

2. Ms .45 (1981)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys, Darlene Stuto

Votes: 7,551

The early musings of Ferrara and St. John in this neat chickflick revenge film...

3. The Beyond (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror

A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John

Votes: 18,395 | Gross: $0.12M

You can't have a trashy list without the maestro of B-grade trash, Lucio Fulci...

4. The Prowler (1981)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

45 Metascore

An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito | Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger

Votes: 8,477

One of the better bad slasher films...

5. The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport

28 Metascore

A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.

Director: Hal Needham | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise

Votes: 31,031 | Gross: $72.18M

Hal Needham makes the best worst silly films, and Burt is a bonus...

6. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

R | 81 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

38 Metascore

Science fiction suspense thriller, in which a rescue space ship crew meets up with horrors projected by their own imaginations.

Director: Bruce D. Clark | Stars: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens

Votes: 5,909

What a ham of Sci-Fi

7. Porky's (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy

40 Metascore

In 1954, a group of Florida high school students try to help their buddy lose his virginity, which leads them to seeking revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson

Votes: 35,758 | Gross: $111.29M

When teenager's and their wild hormones took on the box office...

8. Caveman (1981)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

55 Metascore

A caveman seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cavewoman.

Director: Carl Gottlieb | Stars: Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, Shelley Long, Jack Gilford

Votes: 6,665 | Gross: $15.97M

Poor Ringo...

9. Nice Dreams (1981)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Crime

54 Metascore

Disguised as ice cream vendors, Cheech and Chong make--and subsequently lose--millions of dollars selling a batch of marijuana with an unusual side effect.

Director: Tommy Chong | Stars: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Benita Barrie, Sandra Bernhard

Votes: 6,592 | Gross: $33.98M

Not their finest, but still worth a stoner's giggle...

10. Hell Night (1981)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion, where they are stalked by the monstrous survivor of a family massacre years earlier.

Director: Tom DeSimone | Stars: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton, Kevin Brophy

Votes: 5,452

Nowadays they make college porn, but back in the Eighties it was college slasher films..

11. Private Lessons (1981)

R | 87 min | Comedy

34 Metascore

An immigrant housemaid seduces a 15-year-old boy and later fakes her own death as part of his chauffeur's blackmail plot. Troubles arise when the two start to fall in love.

Director: Alan Myerson | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Howard Hesseman, Eric Brown, Patrick Piccininni

Votes: 3,034 | Gross: $26.28M

We just wanted to perve on Kristel...

12. Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

26 Metascore

Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King

Votes: 53,248 | Gross: $21.72M

Back to slashing with Jason...

13. Mommie Dearest (1981)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted.

Director: Frank Perry | Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 13,314 | Gross: $19.03M

Get out your coathangers...

14. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

59 Metascore

Perseus must battle Medusa and the Kraken to save the Princess Andromeda.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith

Votes: 38,236 | Gross: $41.09M

Cheesy as...

15. Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel. After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterly is torn between her love for her husband and her physical desires. With her ... See full summary »

Director: Just Jaeckin | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Shane Briant, Nicholas Clay, Ann Mitchell

Votes: 2,241

We blame Kristel for making us watch it...

16. Comin' at Ya! (1981)

R | 91 min | Western

Tragedy strikes as two ruthless brothers kidnap a bride during her wedding. Hurt and angry, H.H. begins his quest to find the love he lost, and take vengeance upon the wicked. Comin' at Ya.

Director: Ferdinando Baldi | Stars: Tony Anthony, Gene Quintano, Victoria Abril, Ricardo Palacios

Votes: 436 | Gross: $12.00M

Saw this at the cinema when 3D was attempting a comeback, and this movie sucked big time...

17. Smokey Bites the Dust (1981)

PG | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

This movie follows the rivalry between a small-town southern sheriff and a small-town teenaged thief who steals cars and destroys them with the sheriff's daughter by his side.

Director: Charles B. Griffith | Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Janet Julian, Walter Barnes, Patrick Campbell

Votes: 232

The bottom of the barrell...

18. Hot Bubblegum (1981)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Momo and Yudale take turns mounting Bentzi's foreign buxom cousin, but Yudale and her get stuck together. Momo raises the bar even further by proving the rumors of an accepting older buxom piano tutor, Fritzi. Bentzi looks for love.

Director: Boaz Davidson | Stars: Yftach Katzur, Jonathan Sagall, Zachi Noy, Ariella Rabinovich

Votes: 1,541

Even the Israelis were attempting to break into the trashy teenage market...

19. Enter the Ninja (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also ... See full summary »

Director: Menahem Golan | Stars: Franco Nero, Susan George, Shô Kosugi, Christopher George

Votes: 3,819

Franco Nero doing Ninja moves is a hoot...

20. Nobody's Perfekt (1981)

PG | 96 min | Comedy

The story of a group of misfits living in Miami, and their revenge against government bureaucracy. After the city refuses to pay for the damage to their car caused by a pothole, the three ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bonerz | Stars: Gabe Kaplan, Alex Karras, Robert Klein, Susan Clark

Votes: 142

It was not meant to be Kaplan's (Welcome Back Kotter) comeback...

21. Dead & Buried (1981)

R | 94 min | Horror, Mystery

A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.

Director: Gary Sherman | Stars: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield

Votes: 8,998 | Gross: $0.22M

Dead and buried alright...

22. Endless Love (1981)

R | 116 min | Drama, Romance

30 Metascore

A high school student's love for a 15-year-old girl is thwarted by parental disapproval, circumstance and accident. He burned down her family's house and was committed in a mental hospital.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Shirley Knight, Don Murray

Votes: 6,627 | Gross: $31.18M

Teen romance of the corniest kind...

23. Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure (1981)

108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Action

On a small pacific island, Alan and Charlie try to find a war treasure left behind by the Japanese army in World War II.

Director: Sergio Corbucci | Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, John Fujioka, Louise Bennett

Votes: 9,406

These buffoons do come up with the dregs...

24. The Amateur (1981)

R | 112 min | Crime, Thriller

A researcher for the CIA who convinces his superiors to send him to the eastern bloc in order to avenge the murder of his wife by enemy agents discovers a web of deception underneath his ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Jarrott | Stars: John Savage, Christopher Plummer, Marthe Keller, Arthur Hill

Votes: 734 | Gross: $6.89M

John Savage never made it beyond The Deer Hunter...

25. Deadly Blessing (1981)

R | 100 min | Horror

56 Metascore

After her husband dies under mysterious circumstances, a widow becomes increasingly paranoid of the neighboring religious community that may have diabolical plans for her.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Jeff East

Votes: 4,479 | Gross: $8.28M

Not Craven's finest moment, but as a teenager this movie was a bore until the final scenes...

26. The Fan (1981)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

Douglas, a record salesman, is an obsessive fan of actress Sally Ross. When his letters are rejected, he strikes out at her and her loved ones.

Director: Ed Bianchi | Stars: Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Michael Biehn, Maureen Stapleton

Votes: 1,702

Managed to get a decent cast for this turkey...

27. Paternity (1981)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

45 Metascore

A single man searches for a woman who will bear his baby with no strings attached.

Director: David Steinberg | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Beverly D'Angelo, Norman Fell, Paul Dooley

Votes: 869 | Gross: $18.84M

I wonder if Burt ever sacked his agent after making a string of really bad films in the early Eighties...

28. Rich and Famous (1981)

R | 117 min | Drama

52 Metascore

Liz and Merry Noel become friends as college roommates and their friendship endures over the years. Liz becomes a respected "serious" novelist. Merry Noel marries, has a daughter and writes... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen, David Selby, Hart Bochner

Votes: 1,442 | Gross: $14.49M

Legendary Cukor bows out with this cold turkey...

29. So Fine (1981)

R | 90 min | Comedy

48 Metascore

While trying to get his father out of a financial jam, a man comes up with an idea that turns into an unexpected overnight financial fashion success - the bottomless pants.

Director: Andrew Bergman | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Jack Warden, Mariangela Melato, Richard Kiel

Votes: 961

The fall of Ryan O'Neil...

30. Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

52 Metascore

Mexico, 1840s. When the new Spanish Governor begins to grind the peasants under his heel, wealthy landowner Don Diego Vega follows in his late father's footsteps and becomes Zorro, the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George Hamilton, Lauren Hutton, Brenda Vaccaro, Ron Leibman

Votes: 3,791 | Gross: $11.12M

At least it was funny enough...



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