I'm still trying to figure out the reason Universal created this compilation film in the first place. I suppose it was cheap and easy. Hire Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen to say some cheezy lines, hire a whole bunch of editors, and instant product. Added to that, horror was enjoying a boom spawned from Halloween and Stephen King at the time (the '80s Horror Cycle). It worked. According to IMDb, the movie made $10,004,817 and the average ticket price in 1984 was $3.36. This means an amazing 3 million people went to see this in the theaters. Not bad for a clip show.
For me, I caught it on rental VHS probably about ten years after it was released. At that time -- and still now, though less so -- it was a great way to see clips of a ton of horror and suspense movies to try and figure what else I should be renting (note to self: I have absolutely got to see Nighthawks). In a more general sense, as a kid, this is one of the things that got me excited about the horror genre. Look at all this cool stuff horror movies offer hidden in them! Listen to these two people say smart-sounding stuff about the deeper side of the genre! Horror is cool!