Best Fantasy Movies of 1981

1.

Excalibur

5.2
7.3/10 IMDB

A surreal adaptation of Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur", chronicling Arthur Pendragon's conception, his rise to the throne, the search by his Knights of the Round Table for the Holy Grail, and ultimately his death.

Starring: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nicol Williamson, Corin Redgrave, Patrick Stewart, Keith Buckley, Clive Swift ..
Directed by: John Boorman
Release date: 1981-04-10
2.

Clash of the Titans

5.0
6.9/10 IMDB

To win the right to marry his love, the beautiful princess Andromeda, and fulfil his destiny, Perseus must complete various tasks including taming Pegasus, capturing Medusa's head, and battling the Kraken monster.

Starring: Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith, Jack Gwillim, Harry Hamlin, Ursula Andress, Burgess Meredith, Susan Fleetwood, Pat Roach, Judi Bowker ..
Directed by: Desmond Davis
Release date: 1981-06-12
3.

Time Bandits

4.9
6.9/10 IMDB

Young history buff Kevin can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former employees of the Supreme Being, they've purloined a map charting all of the holes in the fabric of time and are using it to steal treasures from different historical eras. Taking Kevin with them, they variously drop in on Napoleon, Robin Hood and King Agamemnon before the Supreme Being catches up with them.

Starring: Craig Warnock, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Mike Edmonds, Malcolm Dixon, Tiny Ross, Jack Purvis, Ian Holm, John Cleese, Sean Connery ..
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Release date: 1981-07-13
4.

Heavy Metal

4.8
6.6/10 IMDB

The embodiment of ultimate evil, a glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with bizarre stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Starring: Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Don Francks, Caroline Semple, Richard Romanus, Susan Roman, Harvey Atkin ..
Directed by: Gerald Potterton, Pino Van Lamsweerde, John Bruno, Jimmy T. Murakami, John Halas, Paul Sabella, Harold Whitaker, Jack Stokes, Barrie Nelson, Julian Harris
Release date: 1981-08-07
5.

Dragonslayer

4.8
6.6/10 IMDB

The sorcerer and his apprentice Galen are on a mission to kill an evil dragon to save the King’s daughter from being sacrificed according to a pact that the King himself made with the dragon to protect his kingdom.

Starring: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Albert Salmi, Sydney Bromley, Chloe Salaman, Emrys James, Roger Kemp ..
Directed by: Matthew Robbins
Release date: 1981-06-26
6.

Shock Treatment

3.2
5.7/10 IMDB

Janet and Brad Majors, unhappily married, are separated after appearing on a game show. Janet becomes a superstar while Brad is thrown into a mental hospital. But what does fast food magnate Farley Flavors have up his sleeve?

Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff DeYoung, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Rik Mayall, Barry Humphries, Manning Redwood ..
Directed by: Jim Sharman
Release date: 1981-10-30
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Tuck Everlasting
7.

Tuck Everlasting

3.2
6.5/10 IMDB

In turn-of-the-20th-century upstate New York, Winnie Foster, a 12-year-old girl, discovers a family living in the woods near her family's home who never ages thanks to a magical spring they drink from and she is entrusted to keep their secret and becomes involved in their lives.

Starring: Margaret Chamberlain, Paul Flessa, Fred A. Keller, James McGuire, Sonia Raimi ..
Directed by: Frederick King Keller
Release date: 1981-06-05
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Fantastic Adventures of Unico
8.

The Fantastic Adventures of Unico

3.1
7.3/10 IMDB

Unico the Unicorn has the amazing power to make anyone he meets happy. Whether it's because of his personality or the powers of his horn, no one knows. However, the gods become jealous of Unico, thinking that only they should be able to decide or allow people to be happy. Unico is banished to the Hill of Oblivion, and the West Wind is ordered to take him there. She can't stand giving this fate to Unico, so Unico's adventures begin, as the West Wind takes him from one place and time to the next, in a neverending journey to escape the wrath of the gods.

Starring: Katsue Miwa, Kazuko Sugiyama, Junko Hori, Chieko Baisho, Makio Inoue, Ryouko Kitamiya, Ichir? Nagai, Jôji Yanami, Isamu Tanonaka, K?ji Yada ..
Directed by: Osamu Tezuka, Toshio Hirata
Release date: 1981-03-14
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : In the Shadow of the Sun
9.

In the Shadow of the Sun

2.9
6.6/10 IMDB

'The Shadow of the Sun' draws upon Derek Jarman’s interest with alchemical processes as a metaphor for reprocessing Super-8 film. Jarman once described film’s union of light and matter as “an alchemical conjunction” and experimented throughout his career with creating dream symbolism through the superimposition of image and action. Originally called English Apocalypse, the film’s final title is derived from a 17th Century alchemical text that used the phrase as a synonym for the philosopher’s stone – the highly sought substance that turns base metals into gold and silver. The film was intended as a step toward the idea of an ambient video, that like its musical counterpart, was designed to enhance an environment.

Starring: Karl Bowen, Graham Dowie, Christopher Hobbs, Gerald Incandela, Andrew Logan, Luciana Martínez, Lucy Su, Kevin Whitney, Francis Wishart ..
Directed by: Derek Jarman
Release date: 1981-02-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City
10.

Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City

2.9
7.4/10 IMDB

Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City chronicles Strawberry Shortcake's trip to Big Apple City, so she can compete in a baking contest at "the little theater off Times Pear". Strawberry's journey, however, is in jeopardy due to the constant interference of the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, who is her only competition in the bake-off. The Pieman counts on his kohlrabi cookies and a little trickery to beat Strawberry and her famous shortcake.

Starring: Russi Taylor, Robert Ridgely, Diana McCannon, Bob Holt, Romeo Muller, Julie McWhirter, Joan Gerber ..
Directed by: Hal Silvermintz
Release date: 1981-04-10
11.

Faeries

2.9
7.3/10 IMDB

The king of the faeries sends for a young hunter after his shadow escapes and threatens his kingdom.

Starring: Hans Conried, Craig Schaefer, Morgan Brittany, June Foray ..
Directed by: Lee Mishkin
Release date: 1981-02-25
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Devil and Max Devlin
12.

The Devil and Max Devlin

2.9
5.0/10 IMDB

When Max dies in an accident, he goes straight to hell. But the devil Barney makes him an offer: if he manages to get three innocent youths to sell him their souls in the next two months, he may stay on earth. Max accepts, and returns to earth, equipped with special powers. However, his task is harder than expected, especially when 7 years old Tobi demands that he marry his mother.

Starring: Elliott Gould, Bill Cosby, Susan Anspach, Adam Rich, Julie Budd, Sonny Shroyer, David Knell, Chuck Shamata, Sally Marr, Reggie Nalder ..
Directed by: Steven Hilliard Stern
Release date: 1981-03-06
13.

Nightdreams

2.8
6.6/10 IMDB

In an experiment, a pair of scientists use electric jolts to induce a sleeping woman to have erotic dreams.

Starring: Dorothy LeMay, Loni Sanders, Jennifer West, Kevin James, Fast Steppin' Freddie, Paul Berthell, Ken Starbuck, Jacqueline Lorians, Danielle, Andy Nichols ..
Directed by: Francis Delia
Release date: 1981-02-04
14.

Grendel Grendel Grendel

2.7
6.8/10 IMDB

This is an animated story covering the ancient legend of Beowulf, as narrated by Grendel himself, the "monster" in the legend. Aimed more at adults than children, this version holds some interesting twists on the traditional tale, and is based on a novel by American critic and academic John Gardner.

Starring: Peter Ustinov, Keith Michell, Arthur Dignam, Ed Rosser, Alison Bird ..
Directed by: Alexander Stitt
Release date: 1981-08-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Saturday the 14th
15.

Saturday the 14th

2.6
4.6/10 IMDB

After his family moves to a new house, a young boy discovers a mysterious book that details a curse hanging over the date of Saturday the 14th. Opening the book releases a band of monsters into the house and the family must join together to save themselves and their neighborhood.

Starring: Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Jeffrey Tambor, Severn Darden, Kari Michaelson, Kevin Brando, Rosemary DeCamp, Carole Androsky, Roberta Collins, Stacy Keach, Sr. ..
Directed by: Howard R. Cohen
Release date: 1981-10-30
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Munsters' Revenge
16.

The Munsters' Revenge

2.6
5.9/10 IMDB

The film begins with the Munster family making a visit to the wax museum. They take a picture of themselves standing next to their wax replicas. When the family leaves, the statues in the museum mysteriously come to life and begin wreaking havoc across the city. Herman and Grandpa are then arrested for various crimes they did not commit and try to clear their names in time for the Halloween celebration at the Munster home.

Starring: Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo, K.C. Martel, Jo McDonnell, Bob Hastings, Herb Voland, Charles Macaulay, Colby Chester, Joseph Ruskin ..
Directed by: Don Weis
Release date: 1981-01-01
17.

Full Moon High

2.5
4.7/10 IMDB

A teenager becomes a werewolf after a family vacation in Transylvania.

Starring: Adam Arkin, Ed McMahon, Joanne Nail, Alan Arkin, Pat Morita, Jim J. Bullock, Elizabeth Hartman, Laurene Landon, John Blyth Barrymore, Julius Harris ..
Directed by: Larry Cohen
Release date: 1981-08-04
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Years of the Beast
18.

Years of the Beast

2.4
5.7/10 IMDB

College professor Stephen Miles (Gary Bayer), his wife, a young girl, and a drifter (Jerry Houser) are suddenly faced with a society where money is worthless, food is scarce, your neighbor is your enemy and oppression reigns. The four must survive a world of earthquakes, natural disasters, looters, corrupt officials and the Anti-Christ in power.

Starring: Gary Bayer, Alana Rader, Malcon McCaiman, Jerry Houser, Sarah Rush, Jon Locke, Peter von Berg, Valentina Quinn ..
Directed by: D. Paul Thomas
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Angel Buns
19.

Angel Buns

2.4
6.1/10 IMDB

In order to earn her wings, potential angel Angel Buns is dispatched to Earth to help middle-aged Sidney Pertzer, who is about to commit suicide out of frustration over his sexual ineptitude and inexperience.

Starring: Veronica Hart, Robert Kerman, Lisa Beth, Tiffany Clark, Jerry Butler, Angelina Flores, Diana May, George Payne, Brenda Brooks, Ron Jeremy ..
Directed by: David Buckley
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire
20.

The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire

2.4
5.2/10 IMDB

The hero is given his mentor's bow (the Heartbow) which chooses its new owner when passed on. It fires arrows that blow up like grenades, but can only be wielded by the one chosen to wield her. The hero is a member of a nomadic tribe wiped out by the Draikian Empire's forces. He attempts to find the wizard Lazar-Sa who might be able to help him. He is joined by a thief looking for adventure and cash, and the daughter of a goddess, Estra, looking to revenger herself on Lazar-Sa for crimes against her mother.

Starring: George Kennedy, Lane Caudell, Belinda Bauer, Victor Campos, Kabir Bedi, George Innes, Marc Alaimo, Allan Rich, Robert Feero, Ivan J. Rado ..
Directed by: Nicholas Corea
Release date: 1981-04-12
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : A Midsummer Night's Dream
21.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

2.3
6.8/10 IMDB

A TV adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy, made for the BBC Television Shakespeare series.

Starring: Phil Daniels, Helen Mirren, Brian Glover, Nigel Davenport, Estelle Kohler, Hugh Quarshie, Robert Lindsay, Pippa Guard, Nicky Henson, Geoffrey Lumsden ..
Directed by: Elijah Moshinsky
Release date: 1981-12-13
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge
22.

Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge

2.2
4.9/10 IMDB

Two episodes of the TV series "Spider Man" edited together and released as a feature.

Starring: Nicholas Hammond, Robert F. Simon, Rosalind Chao, Myron Healey, Chip Fields, Ellen Bry, Hagan Beggs, Richard Erdman, John Milford, Benson Fong ..
Directed by: Don McDougall
Release date: 1981-06-25
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Delicious
23.

Delicious

2.2
6.4/10 IMDB

A man with a cold wife and a husband who can't keep his hands off the maid.

Starring: Veronica Hart, Desiree Cousteau, Candida Royalle, Nicole Scent, Jane Kelton, Robert Kerman, Aaron Stuart, Jerry Butler, Michael Gaunt, Ron Jeremy ..
Directed by: Bill Milling
Release date: 1981-08-06
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Reborn
24.

Reborn

2.1
4.6/10 IMDB

A man discovers that his girlfriend is a "stigmata" (someone whose hands and feet mysteriously bleed in the same places where Jesus Christ was crucified) and tries to keep her out of the hands of a greedy TV preacher who plans to exploit her to make money for himself.

Starring: Dennis Hopper, Michael Moriarty, Francisco Rabal, Antonella Murgia, Àngel Jové, Kit Massengill, Jo Perkins, Charles Bacarisse, Xabier Elorriaga ..
Directed by: Bigas Luna
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Lovespell
25.

Lovespell

2.1
5.2/10 IMDB

Romantic tragedy, the story of Tristan and Isolde.

Starring: Richard Burton, Kate Mulgrew, Nicholas Clay, Cyril Cusack, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Niall Toibin, Diana Van der Vlis, Niall O'Brien, Kathryn Dowling, John Jo Brooks ..
Directed by: Tom Donovan
Release date: 1981-12-31
26.

Through the Magic Pyramid

1.9
5.7/10 IMDB

A lad finds himself magically sent back to ancient Egypt where he and the young King Tut team up to stop their evil and overly ambitious elders.

Starring: Chris Barnes, Hans Conried, Vic Tayback, Olivia Barash, Betty Beaird, Gino Conforti, Elaine Giftos, Eric Greene, James Hampton, Robbie Rist ..
Directed by: Ron Howard
Release date: 1981-12-06
27.

Hannah and the Dog Ghost

1.8
8.2/10 IMDB

Beginning with an abstract explaining ghost dogs, a woman tells a story of an abduction of a widow's son by an evil Fiddle Man with powers of Satan, and how a dog that might contain the spirit of her husband saves them both.

Starring: Vickie Washington-Nance, Derek Betts, Ray Geller, Anna Harrison, Cole Harrison, Joe Dishner ..
Directed by: Ken Harrison
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Marvelous Land of Oz
28.

The Marvelous Land of Oz

1.8
8.1/10 IMDB

The Marvelous Land of Oz is a 1981 musical play by Thomas W. Olson, Gary Briggle, and Richard Dworsky, based on the 1904 novel by L. Frank Baum. Not long after the events in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a young boy named Tip is the unhappy servant of Old Mombi, a wicked Sorceress in the Land of the Gillikans (in the north of Oz). One day Tip escapes, after creating a walking stick figure with a jack-o-lantern head named Jack Pumpkinhead with a magic Powder of Life stolen from the witch. He goes to the Emerald City, now ruled by the Scarecrow, but unfortunately, a female Army of Revolt, 400 strong and led by General Jinjur, captures the city. The Scarecrow, Tip, Jack, and some other oddball characters flee the city and head west to the land of the Winkies, now ruled by the Scarecrow's old friend the Tin Woodman. They must recapture the Emerald City, defeat Old Mombi (who allies herself with Jinjur), and most of all, discover the true secret of unassuming young Tip.

Starring: Wendy Lehr, Christopher Passi, Carl Beck, Gary Briggle, Stephen Boe, Rana Haugen, Julee Cruise, Steve Huke, Kathleen Wegner, Tom Dunn ..
Directed by: John Driver, John Clark Donahue
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Olden Days Coat
29.

The Olden Days Coat

1.8
7.3/10 IMDB

While at her grandmother's house, a ten-year-old girl finds a coat in the closet. As she inspects it, she is suddenly taken back in time.

Starring: Megan Follows, Kate Parr, Doris Petrie, Daniel Buccos, Sylvia Kelly, Priscilla Oxendine ..
Directed by: Bruce Pittman
Release date: 1981-10-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Crown of Bogg
30.

The Crown of Bogg

1.8
7.8/10 IMDB

It is time to crown a new king of the kingdom of Bogg, and King Mildew's son, Milo, seems like the best creature for the job. However, Vandred, the king's brother, has other plans, and intends to put his son, Vandal, on the thrown. He challenges Milo, who must prove his worthiness by retrieving the Crown of Bogg and returning it to the kingdom. The crown has been banned from the kingdom for years because it is cursed, but Mildew and Milo are willing to face the risks of the quest in order to keep Vandred and Vandal from assuming control of the kingdom

Starring: Tony Basilicato, Lisa Buckley, Bob Fappiano, Paul Fusco, Al Magliochetti ..
Directed by: Bruce Murray
Release date: 1981-10-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : My Mother Was Never a Kid
31.

My Mother Was Never a Kid

1.7
7.5/10 IMDB

A trip to the past helps a teenager learn to appreciate her mother

Starring: Mary-Beth Manning, Holland Taylor, Rachel Longaker, Jane Lowry, Elizabeth Ward, Carol Morley ..
Directed by: Robert Fuest
Release date: 1981-03-18
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Stig of the Dump
32.

Stig of the Dump

1.6
7.0/10 IMDB

Young boy discovers a teenaged caveman living in the local rubbish dump.

Directed by: Richard Handford
Release date: 1981-09-28
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Nightmare Man
33.

The Nightmare Man

1.6
6.6/10 IMDB

A heavy fog cuts the small isolated Scottish island off from the mainland, and dentist Michael Gaffikin has just discovered a dismembered corpse on the golf links. Michael and his artist girlfriend, Fiona Patterson, assist the local law enforcements in searching for the murderer. However, as the body count rises and the surrounding circumstances turn increasingly bizarre and gruesome, everyone begins to wonder if the killer is a human or an unimaginable creature...

Starring: James Warwick, Celia Imrie, Maurice Roeves, Jonathan Newth, Tom Watson, James Cosmo, Fraser Wilson, Jeff Stewart, Tony Sibbald, Pat Gorman ..
Directed by: Douglas Camfield
Release date: 1981-05-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Seven Seductions
34.

The Seven Seductions

1.5
6.6/10 IMDB

A wealthy playboy, seeking the ultimate sexual experience, ends up meeting Madame Lau, an exotic oriental temptress endowed with mystical powers. She promises him that he will find the gratification he seeks.

Starring: Annette Haven, Richard Pacheco, Georgina Spelvin, Kay Parker, Phaery Burd, Laura Lazare, Allesandro Duroussff, Carol Doda ..
Directed by: Charles Webb
Release date: 1981-10-09
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : The Girl, the Gold Watch & Dynamite
35.

The Girl, the Gold Watch & Dynamite

1.5
5.9/10 IMDB

In this sequel to The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything, down-on-his-luck Kirby Winter inherits a floundering business, and the magical gold watch which can stop time. But his wedding plans with Bonnie Lee Beaumont are interrupted when her mother phones them to help her save her family farm from a nasty land developer - using the gold watch's powers.

Starring: Lee Purcell, Philip MacHale, Burton Gilliam, Zohra Lampert, Jack Elam, Gary Lockwood, Jerry Mathers, Richie Havens ..
Directed by: Hy Averback
Release date: 1981-05-21
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Come Under My Spell
36.

Come Under My Spell

1.4
5.8/10 IMDB

Bumbling, desperate, and libidinous foreign exchange student Fernando isn't having any luck scoring with the ladies until his best friend Dave hooks him up with a used book on how to seduce women through using hypnotism.

Starring: Liza Dwyer, Fernando Fortes, Blair Harris, Mike Horner, Connie Peterson, Vicky Zederquist, Carlos Tobalina, Marlene Munroe, Carol Lougan, Jesie St. James ..
Directed by: Carlos Tobalina
Release date: 1981-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Around the World with Dot
37.

Around the World with Dot

1.3
5.9/10 IMDB

In this magical film Dot joins up with Santa Claus in order to help her friend the mother kangaroo find her lost baby. The pair take off into the air in Santa’s sleigh led by two kangaroos and travel the world searching for the zoo where the lost kangaroo has been sent.

Starring: Drew Forsythe, Barbara Frawley, Ron Haddrick, Anne Haddy, Ben Alcott, Ashley Ayre, Frank Gott, Marli Mason, Ross Higgins ..
Directed by: Yoram Gross
Release date: 1981-12-04
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : Carnival Magic
38.

Carnival Magic

1.1
2.5/10 IMDB

A magician in a carnival--who actually can read minds and levitate people and objects--works with a superintelligent chimp named Alex, who can also talk. The magician and the chimp soon become the stars of the carnival, drawing in big crowds. However, the wild-animal trainer, who has been displaced by the team as the carnival's top act, decides to kidnap Alex and sell him to a medical laboratory for experimentation, thereby getting rid of his competition.

Starring: Don Stewart, Jennifer Houlton, Howard Segal, Regina Carrol, Joe Cirillo, Mark Weston, Charles Reynolds, Diane Kettering, Missy Crutchfield ..
Directed by: Al Adamson
Release date: 1981-01-01
39.

A Christmas Carol

1.1
4.4/10 IMDB

Televised stage performance based on Charles Dickens' novella.

Starring: Peter Belden, Corina Benjet, Raye Birk, Toby Brenner, Jared Brown, Mimi Carr, Julia Fletcher, Rebecca Garrett, Lydia Hannibal, Thomas Harrison ..
Directed by: Laird Williamson
Release date: 1981-12-21
Best Fantasy Movies of 1981 : La revanche de Madame Beauchamp
40.

La revanche de Madame Beauchamp

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

1980 Canadian film.

Starring: Yvette Thuot, Danielle Schneider, Jean Faubert, Marc Legault, Danièle Paradis, Liliane Clune, Yolande A. Lévy, Deborah Lévy ..
Directed by: Raphaël Lévy
Release date: 1981-01-23

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