The 1980s were good to horror fans. Sure, not everything was up to snuff: Halloween and Friday The 13th inspired waves of generally disposable slasher fare, flooding multiplexes with bad twentysomething actors playing expendable teenage victims. But the genre also flourished during the Reagan years. Future masters like Sam Raimi and Joe Dante made their big breakthroughs, while fright experts like George Romero and John Carpenter solidified their reputations. Practical effects work reached its disgusting peak, before the gooey talents of Tom Savini and Rob Bottin were eclipsed by the cleaner spectacle of CGI. And the proliferation of VHS turned every living room into a grindhouse theater, as Fangoria turned every subscriber into an expert. For fans of the frightening, the revolting, the obscene, it was a great time to be alive.
There’s no way to comprehensively cover the genre’s 1980s heyday in just three minutes. But for those looking for a quick fix of the decade’s flavor, check out this energetically constructed remix from editor Steve Collender, who mashes up several of the most awesome moments from a handful of iconic movies—including Hellraiser, Fright Night, and Videodrome—to the tune of Marilyn Manson’s anthemic “The Fight Song.” Yes, a period-appropriate choice might have given it a more distinctly nostalgic flavor. (Did the gore not cut to “Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter”?) But Manson’s arena industrial music does sync well to the exploits of Freddy, Jason, and Deborah Harry. There’s some sort of thesis about watching here, too, but don’t get too hung up on it: Like many of the highlights it samples, this quick-cut compilation is all about the kills. They did those right in the ’80s, didn’t they?