Horror movies from the 80s that use 3D technology

Although 3D (three-dimensional) images and the like have existed in some form since the mid-1800s, 3D films and movies are still a relatively new phenomenon. The skills and technology required to make it look as if the characters and settings from the film would jump out at the audience took several decades to perfect (early 3D film technology has been in development since at least 1915). But in the 1950s the practice was finally perfected (for its time) and audiences started going to see the spectacle that was 3D movies.

Alas, however, with most new and exciting technologies, the novelty of 3D movies has faded from the world’s consciousness. Considered the “Golden Age” of 3D, 3D technology would take a back seat until roughly the late 1970s and 1980s, when it experienced a huge revival due to the new IMAX theaters and cameras. With amazing new camera work and popular genres like horror combining to make 3D great again. Here are some horror movies from the 80s that used 3D technology to help revive cinema.

Related: 80s Horror Movies That Could Use a Remake

5 Parasite (1982)

Although it was not well received (17% on Rotten Tomatoes; 3.9/10 on IMDB), A parasitedirected by Charles Band, was one of the earlier 1980s horror films to use 3D technology. a parasite follows Dr. Paul Dean as he tries to find a cure for a flesh-eating virus he created (forced by the criminal organization that now runs the United States) and tries to save a small, abandoned town that the parasite is now ravaging. The film was panned, calling it a “B-movie with unconvincing special effects”. The parasite itself was horrifying to watch and watch in 3D as it bursts through stomachs ala Extraterrestrialit was one of the best moments.


4 Friday the 13th: Part 3 (1982)

Another 1982 horror film that is perhaps better received (5.6/10 on IMDB) is Friday the 13th: Part 3. The only one Friday the 13th the film will be released in 3D, Part 3 follows the story of a teenage girl named Dana Kimmel and her friends who take a trip to Camp Crystal Lake. Unbeknownst to them, the serial killer known as Jason Voorhees is also hiding there. As most might expect, murders ensue, filled with guts and blood. The first 3D film to receive a mainstream widescreen debut, Part 3 became one of the highest grossing films of 1982.

3 Amityville 3D (1983)

Amityville 3D is a horror film that is based on a true story (The Amityville Horror) and is part of a multi-film franchise. After hearing all the rumors and myths, a man named John Baxter decides to buy the Amityville house to prove that it is not haunted. As expected from a horror film and from Amityville franchise, Baxter and the family learn that the house is haunted. With unexplained events, ghosts and more terrorizing the family. The film was critically panned when it was released (with a 4/10 on IMDB), with critics calling it one of the worst films of 1983.

2 Jaws 3D (1983)

The third film in Jaws the franchise debuted in 1983, directed by Joe Alves. The film follows the Brody children (protagonists in the first film) to their jobs at Sea World in Florida. However, before the opening of the park, a great white shark manages to end up in the park and cause chaos and havoc among the animals and employees. The 3D was put to good use for the shark destruction, with pieces flying towards the audience. Although it did well at the box office ($88 million off an $18 million budget), the film received an overwhelming amount of negative reviews. Critics said the film felt like a “gimmick” and that there was no build-up of tension with the shark. Alas, this will not be the last Jaws movie.

Related: The Most Underrated Slasher Movies, Ranked

1 Quiet Madness (1984)

A very unknown film from the 80s is the horror thrasher known as Quiet madness. It has a simple premise: Dr. Joan (played by Belinda Montgomery) must go and recapture (dressed as a sorority sister) a murderous patient from her mental hospital before he can go and commit more crimes. Horrifying, disturbing and downright gory, Quiet madness may have the best reviews of any film on this list (5.1/10 on IMDB; 3/5 on Letterboxd). It managed to do all this on a measly budget of $600,000 USD.

Horror movies and 3D horror movies in general just kept getting better and better as the 3D revival followed in the following decades. As the directors and producers managed to enhance the scares, suspense and gore; as well as figuring out what works in 3D and what doesn’t have come together to give us some true horror classics from the last few decades. But without the groundbreaking 3D horror movies above, we may never get them.

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