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The 50 Greatest Horror Movies of the 1970s

1977

The Hills Have Eyes

Verdict: Wes Craven made some groundbreaking films. While I don’t consider The Hills Have Eyes to be one of those groundbreaking films, I do think it was an important picture, as it really hammered home the idea that an innocent traveling family isn’t necessarily a safe traveling family. The visuals are often extremely animalistic, and that too strengthens the flick.

A family going to California accidentally goes through an Air Testing range closed to the public. They crash and are stranded in a desert. They are being stalked by a group of people, which have not emerged into modern times.

Rabid

Verdict: David Cronenberg’s approach to the zombie subgenre is a complete WTF segment overlapping another WTF segment. It’s a nutty film, but it taps a nerve that definitely leaves the viewer feeling a little disconcerted. On the other hand… Marilyn Chambers is in the film, and that should leave most male viewers feeling… well, warm and fuzzy inside.

In Camelford, while swinging his van across a narrow road to make a u-turn, a driver stalls the vehicle that does not restart. Hart Read is driving his motorcycle with his girlfriend Rose and he drives off the road to avoid the collision. Hart suffers minor injuries while Rosie is injured and burned by the flames when the motorcycle explodes. The ambulance from the nearby Keloid Clinic for Plastic Surgery brings the couple and Rose, who is in coma, is submitted to an emergency surgery and to an experimental plastic-surgery technique by Dr. Dan Keloid to retrieve her skin in the chest and abdomen. Hart is discharged but Rose stays in coma in the intensive care unit (ICU) to recover. Out of the blue, Rose awakens from her coma one month later and screams. A nurse helps her but is wounded by her and then he cannot remember what has happened. He is sent to a hospital in Montreal while Rose realizes that she needs to feed with blood. However her victims become zombie-like creatures. Rose…

The Sentinel

Verdict: This is a deeply disturbing movie, when you’re really following the story. Suicidal tendencies and paranoia are placed under the microscope, but the terror reaches much more tangible levels, which only compounds the terror in Michael Winner’s highly respected picture.

A fashion model moves into a house inhabited (on the top floor) by a blind priest. She begins having strange physical problems, has trouble sleeping at night, and has some nasty flashbacks of her attempted suicide. She complains to the real estate agent of the noise caused by her strange neighbors, but finds out that the house is only occupied by the priest and herself, and ultimately discovers that she has been put in the house for a reason.

Suspiria

Verdict: I Don’t need to break this film down. It’s widely recognized as Dario Argento’s magnum opus, and for good reason. Visually it is out of this world. As for the story, it’s twisted and unique, and once it gets rolling, you just can’t peel your eyes from that screen. Amazing film.

Suzy Bannion travels to Germany to perfect her ballet skills. She arrives at the Tanz dance academy in the pouring rain and is refused admission after another woman is seen fleeing the school. She returns the next morning and this time is let in. She learns that the young woman she saw fleeing the previous evening, Pat Hingle, has been found dead. Strange things soon begin to occur. Suzy becomes ill and is put on a special diet; the school becomes infested with maggots; odd sounds abound; and Daniel, the pianist, is killed by his own dog. A bit of research indicates that the ballet school was once a witches’ coven – and as Suzy learns, still is.

Shock Waves

Verdict: Shock Waves was a nutty flick, and it was one of the earlier zombie pieces that dared to throw a few monkey wrenches in the standard formula. The result is a blast of a flick that no doubt inspired a number of other similar pictures that would sprout up in the US as well as Italy, in the years to follow.

This horror movie concerns a shipwrecked yachting party. Rose and her fellow yacht-mates, including the captain run aground on an island when they hit an odd-looking freighter. Once beached, they meet up with an aging SS Commander who had been in charge of a crew of zombies.

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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