The ’80s were known for sequels and movie series — some of which went a little too nuts in pumping out installments. Limiting ourselves to just the period of time from 1980-89 and franchises that produced four or more titles, these are the most prolific!
Friday the 13th: 8 installments
It’s all about timing, folks. Friday the 13th got in the door right at 1980 and proceeded to pump out seven more sequels — almost on a yearly basis — before the decade closed out with Jason Takes Manhattan. By far, this one series takes the crown.
Police Academy: 6 installments
For a series that got started as late as 1984, Police Academy quickly made up for lost time by cranking out a new movie every. single. year until 1989. From Police Academy to Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, this series became well-known for its excessive output.
James Bond: 5 or 6 installments
Believe it or not, James Bond actually had a busy decade in the ’80s. He starred in For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), and Licence to Kill (1989). If you count Sean Connery’s unofficial return as Bond in 1983’s Never Say Never Again, the series popped out six entries with three actors playing the role that decade.
Nightmare on Elm Street: 5 installments
Not quite as rapid-fire as its machete-wielding sibling, Nightmare on Elm Street nevertheless did its best to compete in the slasher department. From the original in 1984 to The Dream Child in 1989, the Elm Street series became the poster-child for a decline in quality.
Aces Go Places: 5 installments
Never heard of Aces Go Places? Known in the west as Mad Mission, this James Bond parody series from Hong Kong spat out five entries over the decade.
The Howling: 5 installments
The somewhat-overlooked werewolf slasher series, The Howling nevertheless sits upon a mighty franchise of movies that include five from this decade alone. They started with the 1981 original and counted up to number five by 1989’s The Rebirth.