20 Legendary ‘80s Cult Movies True Fans Can’t Miss

Rob Leung

Over the decades, certain films manage to capture audiences in such a way that they will never leave them. In this post, we’ll look at 20 such films from the 80s, and we think that only true movie fans will have watched every single film on the list. Let’s take a look.

Harlem Nights

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Directed by the talented Eddie Murphy, Harlem Nights transports viewers back to the vibrant era of the Harlem Renaissance with meticulous attention to detail. The narrative revolves around a group of gangsters managing a club in Harlem, delivering both critical acclaim and a devoted cult following.

Back to the Future Part II

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Back to the Future Part II remains an unparalleled masterpiece in the realm of time-slip films. Following the escapades of Marty and Doc as they navigate through time, this movie seamlessly blends humor, thrilling moments, and impeccable storytelling, setting a benchmark for ’80s sci-fi cinema.


Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Initially overlooked upon its release, Scarface shocked audiences with its raw portrayal of a life entrenched in crime. Despite facing initial criticism, Al Pacino’s compelling performance and the film’s gritty realism have rightfully earned it a cult favorite status over time.

The Shining

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Despite its initial lukewarm reception, The Shining has since become an influential force in the horror genre. Exploring themes of madness and isolation within the eerie confines of the Overlook Hotel, this film gradually captivated audiences, solidifying its place as a cult classic.

Repo Man

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Repo Man is regarded as one of the standout films of 1984 and follows the journey of Otto, a young man who is thrust into the world of repossession and alien encounters. With a unique blend of action and intrigue, this film captivates audiences with its offbeat charm and unexpected twists.

Blade Runner

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Blade Runner revolutionized the sci-fi genre with its immersive depiction of a dystopian future. Beyond its breathtaking visuals and stellar performances, the film dives deep into existential themes, offering a profound exploration of the human condition.

When Harry Met Sally…

Photo Credit: MGM Studios

Chronicling the serendipitous reunion of two friends turned lovers When Harry Met Sally… is a touching comedy that navigates the complexities of relationships with wit and sincerity. Balancing laughter with poignant moments, this movie remains a timeless classic.

The Evil Dead

Photo Credit: Renaissance Pictures

The Evil Dead stands as a quintessential horror classic, terrifying audiences with its tale of demonic forces unleashed in a remote cabin. With its visceral gore and spine-chilling atmosphere, the Evil Dead continues to enthrall viewers, earning its status as a cult favorite.

They Live

Photo Credit: Alive Films

In They Live, a chance discovery of special sunglasses unveils an alien conspiracy controlling humanity through subliminal manipulation. Blending science fiction with ’80s action flair, this film has amassed a dedicated following for its thrilling narrative and social commentary.

Escape from New York

Photo Credit: AVCO Embassy Pictures

Set in a crime-ridden future, Escape from New York follows the daring mission of Snake Plissken as he navigates the treacherous streets of Manhattan. Packed with adrenaline-pumping action and dystopian intrigue, this film remains an enthralling cult classic.

The Terminator

Photo Credit: StudioCanal

Making its mark on this lineup is The Terminator. This film tracks the chilling journey of an unfeeling, unstoppable cyborg from the future. Its mission? To terminate Sarah Connor, thus preventing the birth of John, destined to lead humanity against the malevolent Skynet. The Terminator has cemented itself as a beloved gem among aficionados.

The Breakfast Club

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

The Breakfast Club showcases the unlikely camaraderie of five high schoolers thrust together in Saturday detention. Across cliques, they bare their souls, forging unexpected connections amidst shared trials. Even decades post-release, this film boasts a devoted fanbase, a testament to its enduring appeal.

The Lost Boys

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

With its gripping narrative and devoted fandom, The Lost Boys reigns as a quintessential ’80s horror classic, defining the allure of rebellion. Journeying through a Californian town overrun by vampires, two brothers grapple for survival. Their tale has captivated audiences for generations.

Streets of Fire

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Set in a retro-futuristic metropolis, Streets of Fire chronicles the daring rescue of a kidnapped rockstar by a soldier and mercenary duo. Despite initial commercial setbacks, its vibrant characters and stylish aesthetics have secured a devoted cult following, firmly entrenching it in action and neo-noir lore.

Missing in Action

Photo Credit: The Cannon Group

Initially overshadowed by comparisons to Rambo: First Blood Part II, Missing in Action found redemption through Chuck Norris’s compelling performance. With subsequent sequels and a legion of memes, it has evolved into a cherished favorite among audiences, transcending its initial reception.


Photo Credit: New World Pictures

Heathers found its stride on VHS, subverting teen movie norms with biting satire. Its portrayal of high school dynamics resonates deeply, earning acclaim for its fresh perspective and fearless exploration of adolescence.

The Hunger

Photo Credit: MGM

The Hunger has since captivated audiences, particularly within the goth subculture. Its bold visuals and thought-provoking narrative have earned it a revered status, solidifying its place as a cult classic.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Considered the pinnacle of the Star Wars saga, The Empire Strikes Back expands the universe while delving into the depths of its beloved characters. Praised by enthusiasts and casual viewers alike, it stands as a testament to the franchise’s enduring legacy.


Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Videodrome plunges viewers into a nightmarish world of mind control and media manipulation. Despite initial commercial setbacks, its provocative themes and surreal imagery have earned it a revered status in the annals of cult cinema, cementing its place in the pantheon of revered classics.