HT Schuyler: 70’s Horror Rundown

Posted: October 31, 2012 by htschuyler in Commentary

Well, it’s Halloween again. In honour of this awesome time of year, I am going to do a quick rundown of what I think are some of the most important horror movies of the 70’s. Why the 70’s? Well, in my opinion the 70’s is one of the most important decades in horror history, so why not? I’m sure some movies will be left out, but I will try to mention as many as I can that I’ve seen. So, without further ado, here is HT SCHUYLER’S 70’S HORROR RUNDOWN . TM.

The Last House on the Left(1972)

Before anyone starts complaining as to why I’m mentioning this film, let me simply say that despite it being a rather poor film, it was revolutionary for the time. It relentlessly displayed rape, murder, sex and nudity like very few films had before it. It tells the tale of a young girl and her friend trying to score some weed in the city, only to be kidnapped and murdered by a gang of psychopaths, only for the same psychopaths to later seek refuge in the young girls parents’ house. The parents discover their crime, and murder the gang. The end. It’s not particularly well made or enjoyable, but it provides a fair amount of shock and terror that some people may crave, so for that, it deserves a mention.

The Exorcist (1973)

What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? It’s a horror masterpiece. The award winning film tells the story of a young girl possessed by a demon, and bad shit happens. Simple, yet unforgiving in its terror. There are so many iconic moments that just stick with the viewer, and if the make-up effects on Regan don’t make your skin crawl…well, then there’s something wrong. A brilliant piece of terror that is rightfully cited as one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Black Christmas (1974)

A holiday classic that displays the delightful tale of a psychopath killing off sorority girls in the festive season. Often considered the film to have spawned the modern slasher film (next to Psycho, of course, but that’s a whole other debate entirely).  The first film to utilize the POV killer shot, the scary phone calls and groups of people being killed off in creative ways, this film is truly a classic. One of my all-time favourite horror movies and one that I can’t recommend enough.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

You want terror? Here’s the terror. Arguably one of the most horrifying movies ever made, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre holds up to this very day. A group of backtrackers in Texas find themselves victim to the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface and his morbid family. Includes enough scenes to traumatize someone for life and enough to make someone want a shower after watching due to the sheer brutality and disturbance of the film. A truly frightening experience that is not for the faint of heart, but is worth it for those who can handle the extreme horror.

Jaws (1975)

Debatable whether or not this is a true horror movie, I say it counts. Why? Because it’s pretty damn scary. What makes this film so effective is the great acting, brilliant direction and build up to showing off the creature, and creating characters that you really care about and hope to see succeed. The creepy scenery, the iconic theme song and memorable quotes all play a part in what makes this movie a true classic.

The Omen (1976)

Some people call this a rip-off of The Exorcist, and while there are definitely similarities between the two, I find this movie strong enough to hold up on its own.  When a couple find out their newborn baby is actually the son of the Devil, the father searches for answers as strange deaths start to occur that all lead back to his young son. Heavy on atmosphere and suspense, great acting from everyone and a great direction, The Omen is a thrilling experience that satisfies fans of religious horror.

Suspiria (1977)

A young dancer goes to a dancing school in Germany, and soon deaths and strange occurrences start happening. She discovers that the school is actually run by a coven of witches.  The movie is filled with bizarre imagery, surreal colours and a kick ass soundtrack that gives the movie a demented, nightmare like feeling. A strange experience that gets a different reaction out of everyone, but a frightening one none the less.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

George A. Romero’s follow up to the brilliant Night of the Living Dead tells the story of a group of survivors seeking refuge in a mall. The movie works as a great social satire as well as a horror film, and the movie is responsible for many of the now common zombie movie tropes. A fun ride from start to finish, a must see for zombie and horror fans alike.

Halloween (1978)

A lunatic escapes from an insane asylum and stalks a young babysitter on Halloween night. The movie is full of suspense, memorable kills and terrifying imagery. Creating one of the first big horror movie killers, Michael Myers, and terrifying audiences for generations. The movie still holds up very well, and is a must see during the season of the witch.

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

A young woman who is trying to complete her first novel in a small rural town is brutally attacked and raped by four deranged men. After surviving her horrific attack she seeks bloody revenge on the men, leaving no one alive. It’s a hard film to recommend due to its disgusting and traumatizing rape scenes, but for those of you who can handle that sort of thing, the revenge is very satisfying.

Alien (1979)

This horror sci-fi classic is about a team of explorers in space who discover that there is a violent alien life form on board who starts to kill them off one by one. Amazing special effects and brilliant art design by H. R. Giger, this movie stays in your head long after it’s over. A kick ass heroine, ground breaking effects and amazing direction make this a horror classic.

That concludes my 70’s Horror Rundown. I hope you enjoyed reading, and from myself and everyone else here at PG COOPER’S MOVIE REVIEWS, we wish you all a safe and happy Halloween.

-HT Schuyler.

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