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The 50 Greatest Horror Movies of the 1970s

1972

Blacula

Verdict: I confess to being an absurd fanatic of blaxploitation. I just love these flicks, from the suave lines to the smooth music to the unrelenting ass-kicking, blaxploitation is a hit in my mind. The fact that William Marshall absolutely KILLS as Blacula is just the icing on the cake.

Blacula is the story of Manuwalde, an African Prince. This movie presents a modern version of the classic Dracula story in a very chilling and inventive way. In 1780, after visiting Count Dracula, Manuwalde is turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin.. The scene shifts to 1972, when two antique collectors transport the coffin to Los Angeles. The two men open the coffin and unleash Blacula on the city of Los Angeles. Blacula soon finds Tina, who is his wife, Luva, reincarnated, and gains her love. Tina’s friend, Dr. Gordon, discovers Blacula is a vampire and hunts him down.

Dr. Phibes Rises Again

Verdict: While I prefer the first Phibes film, Dr. Phibes Rises Again is still an excellent sequel that changes the formula perfectly: Insteadof seeking revenge, Phibes not seeks a way to resurrect his deceased love.

The moon rises at a predestined angle and awakens the sleeping Dr. Phibes three years later. To his dismay, he finds his house has been demolished and his papyrus scrolls stolen, the scrolls he needs to find the Pharoah’s Tomb in Egypt, where the River of Life flows. After identifying the source of the papyrus theft, he packs and leaves for Egypt with his assistant Vulnavia, still intent upon awakening his dead wife Victoria. The parties responsible for the theft of Phibes’ scrolls suffer an attrition problem as Inspector Trout chases him across the world.

Dracula AD 1972

Verdict: Hands down one of the best Dracula films ever produced, Dracula AD 1972 showcases Christopher Lee at his greatest. While he’s owned the Dracula character time and again, this time around he shines like never before. Great performances, great set pieces and a brilliant light on Lee’s extensive and glorious resume.

In London 1872 – the final battle between Lawrence van Helsing and Count Dracula on top of a coach results in Dracula dying from a stake made from the remains of a wooden wheel. Lawrence dies from his wounds and, as he is buried, a servant of Dracula buries the remains of the stake by the grave and keeps a bottle of Dracula’s ashes and the ring. One hundred years later, the colourful 1972, Johnny, the great-grandson of the servant joins up with a “group” containing Jessica, the grand-daughter of the present vampire hunter, Abraham van Helsing and with their unknowing help resurrect Dracula in the 20th Century who is determined to destroy the house of Van Helsing, but who can believe that The king of the Vampires really exists and is alive – in 20th Century London?

The Last House on the Left

Verdict: Gritty, grimey and totally visceral, this primal tale of ultra-violence and extreme degradation eventually turns into a revenge tale for the ages, and if you’ve missed it, you’ve missed a historically important picture.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Mari Collingwood tells her parents that she is going to the concert of underground band Bloodlust in New York with her friend Phyllis Stone. She borrows the family’s car and heads with her friend to a dangerous neighborhood in the city. Meanwhile, the sadistic and cruel escapees Krug Stillo and Fred ‘Weasel’ Podowski are hidden in a hideout with their partners Sadie (Jeramie Rain) and Krug’s addicted son Junior Stillo (Marc Sheffler) after killing two guards and one shepherd in their runaway. The two girls seek marijuana near the theater and meet Junior that offers some Colombian grass to them. They go to his apartment and are subdued by the criminals that rape Phyllis. On the next morning, they hide the girls in the trunk of their convertible and head to Canada. However, they have a problem with the car’s rod and they stop on the road close to Mari’s house. When Phyllis tries to escape, the gang stabs her to death and shots Mari after…

Tales from the Crypt

Verdict: We’ve seen countless anthologies over the years, but very few of them impress on this level. It truly feels as though it was lifted directly from the pages of an EC book. Ironically, however, the film is extremely tame, while the old EC books fought an uphill battle because of how raunchy and risqué those stories could be. Oh, side note: This is worth watching for the drop dead gorgeous Joan Collins, alone!

Five persons are visiting a catacomb following a guide and get lost. They find that they are trapped in a crypt and, out of the blue, they see The Crypt Keeper (Ralph Richardson) that tells five stories: (1) And All through the House: On the Christmas Eve, Joanne Clayton kills her husband expecting to receive his insurance. She hears on the news that the police are seeking-out a serial-killer posing of Santa Claus. When the man knocks on her door, she can not call the police since the body of her husband lays on the living room, and Joanne locks windows and doors. When she looks for her daughter, she has a lethal surprise. (2) Reflection of Death: Carl Maitland leaves his wife and children and leaves town with his mistress. However something happens during their journey (3) Poetic Justice: The widower janitor Arthur Edward Grimsdyke is a good man that spends his leisure time with the children from the neighborhood. His heartless neighbor James Elliot does not like him and destroys his…

Continue the list on the next page.

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About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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