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Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies 
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Post Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
I haven't started a list in far too long. As long as it was made in the 70s and belongs in the horror genre... you know the rest.

Most Esteemed and Honourable Mention Goeth To:
Alien. Still tremendous and rates, in my book, as Ridley Scott's best movie. The most tense film in my collection.

5 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I challenge you to watch the scene with the girl running around in circles outside of the house and not get scared. This one is minimalist brilliance and creepy, lovely art.

4 - Suspiria. Argento is still among my favorite directors - he knew how to build atmosphere like nobody else and this one feels like no other. One of the more sensual movies... and all with just the right shots.

3 - Phantasm. An art movie of schlock proportions with geysers of blood and that sweet b-movie spirit.

2 - Dawn of the Dead. Romero's masterpiece and has the strongest sense-of-place of any horror movie. Ever.

1 - The Exorcist. Scary and deeply meaningful. The weirdest, truest coming-of-age allegory in the books. I still mourn for Ellen Burstyn - the kid she raised turned out to be a handful.


Last edited by majoraphasia on Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:57 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Fantastic!

Dawn of the Dead - I love George Romero and this is him at his best.

The Omen - Stakes the claim, at least in my book, as having the worst remake in the history of film. But Hot Damn this is a great horror movie.

Jaws - Is it a horror movie? Hell yes it is, ask your ten year old self if Jaws is a horror movie.

The Exorcist - Crab walking, vomit spewing, crucifix defiling greatness!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - I'm not describing this. It's the best horror movie ever made. The end.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:03 am
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
stiefmo wrote:
Fantastic!

Dawn of the Dead - I love George Romero and this is him at his best.

The Omen - Stakes the claim, at least in my book, as having the worst remake in the history of film. But Hot Damn this is a great horror movie.

Jaws - Is it a horror movie? Hell yes it is, ask your ten year old self if Jaws is a horror movie.

The Exorcist - Crab walking, vomit spewing, crucifix defiling greatness!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - I'm not describing this. It's the best horror movie ever made. The end.


GAH!!!!!! I had to go back and edit my post because you reminded me of a gigantic oversight. Curses! Advanced apologies to Alien for getting knocked to an honorable mention. *sheds tear*


Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:08 am
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Halloween
Black Christmas
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Exorcist
The Shining


Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
calvero wrote:
The Shining


Wasn't that an early 80s release? Not that it matters, really. Black Christmas was very good... nice example of 70s slasher theater.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:39 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
For the sake of clarity, The Shining was made in 1980. But really, who cares?

5. Halloween - There was a time when I considered Micheal Myers something of a hero. Weird, I know. As a stand alone film separate from the dreadful franchise, this one is tough to beat.
4. Jaws - The way Stevie S. uses what could be throw away shots to elevate the tension and impending doom is simply astounding. This is one of the most technically efficient films ever made. The speech is awesome too - you know the one.
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Scary. Frightening. Terrifying. As a straight fright fest, this one cannot be topped.
2. Alien - I'd agree with major, Ridley Scott's best movie. I can never get enough of this.
1. The Exorcist - The only thing scarier than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and that's because of how deeply affecting it is. I watch it around Halloween every year, and each time I'm reminded of how core-rattling it is.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:07 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Alien would be my #1 by some distance, but I prefer to think of it as sci-fi.

My list also features:

Jaws
The Exorcist
Suspiria
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

These are picks that I expect to hear repeated. And with good reason as they're all excellent.

As a fifth choice I'll add Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. It's not really "pure" horror but don't let that stop you. The BFI thinks it's the 8th best British film of all time!


Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:15 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
ed_metal_head wrote:

As a fifth choice I'll add Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. It's not really "pure" horror but don't let that stop you. The BFI thinks it's the 8th best British film of all time!


Very memorable movie, it would seem, as I haven't seen it since I was 12 and still remember the frightening last scene.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:20 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
5. House of the Devil - I know it came out last year, but it's a better 70s horror movie than most 70s horror movies. That and I haven't seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
4. The Omen - Blisteringly successful in its use of sound, The Omen unsettled me as a late teenager (no easy feat).
3. The Exorcist - What was once my favorite horror film is now something I admire the crap out of. It's a little long and occasionally boring, but there are moments of absolute terror that cannot be denied. Fuck that spider walk.
2. Alien - For a long time, I couldn't decide if I liked Alien or Aliens more. That's still the case. I appreciate both of them in different ways, most notably the atmosphere in the case for Alien.
1. Jaws - *points to signature*

Quote:
5. Halloween - There was a time when I considered Micheal Myers something of a hero.

This combined with your story about getting arrested for streaking is perplexing me to say the least. Now I'm waiting for a murder confession.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:03 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Pedro wrote:
Quote:
5. Halloween - There was a time when I considered Micheal Myers something of a hero.

This combined with your story about getting arrested for streaking is perplexing me to say the least. Now I'm waiting for a murder confession.


I'm actually the world's first (to my knowledge) nude serial killer. The question is are my victims paralyzed in horror at the sight of my nude body? Or is it the absolute beauty of my nude body that renders them helpless? Only the victims know for sure...and they're too dead to tell anyone!


Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:14 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Pedro wrote:
5. House of the Devil - I know it came out last year, but it's a better 70s horror movie than most 70s horror movies. That and I haven't seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


Ti West's movie is an homage to 80s horror movies, not 70s horror movies.

My Top 5:

1. Alien (1979): Creepy throughout, with a growing sense of menace, a supreme villain, and two of the best scenes in horror cinema (the famous chest-burster, and the incredibly scary sequence with Dallas in the vents)
2. Halloween (1978): There's a reason it established a template for the genre.
3. Dawn of the Dead (1978): This would rank higher if it were actually scary in some regard, but it gets most of its credit for its clever social commentary than for its chills. The opening scene is intense, however
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974): I would have ranked this film higher a couple years ago before I got to thinking that there's not that much to separate it from so-called "torture porn." Still, it's so well-made that it merits inclusion.
5. Jaws (1975): This is more of an adventure film (and a terrific one at that) than a true horror, but the part when Ben Gardner's head shows up in the hole in the boat single-handedly merits its inclusion on my list.

Ones that other people support but I have issues with:

The Exorcist (1973): I like the movie well enough, but what the fuck is Lee J. Cobb doing in the film? And who decided we needed 3 hours of buildup before we get to the interesting parts? And what's with the scene in Iran? Do any of these things make the movie scarier? I don't think so.
Suspiria (1975): All the characters are fundamentally and annoyingly stupid, which makes some sense if you know that Argento initially imagined them all being 10 years younger and then didn't bother changing the script, but doesn't change the fact that it's completely annoying and gives you no one to identify with.

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Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:30 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
JamesKunz wrote:
Pedro wrote:
5. House of the Devil - I know it came out last year, but it's a better 70s horror movie than most 70s horror movies. That and I haven't seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


Ti West's movie is an homage to 80s horror movies, not 70s horror movies.


You're right, my mistake. If I may, though, the statement's still somewhat valid. It's not like there weren't slow burning horror movies in the seventies.

But I suppose Halloween can rest easy at number five if we're going to be technical.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:35 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
JamesKunz wrote:

4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974): I would have ranked this film higher a couple years ago before I got to thinking that there's not that much to separate it from so-called "torture porn." Still, it's so well-made that it merits inclusion.



I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I think the difference is as follows; torture porn films create horror and disgust for their audience specifically through the torture, where real horror films create horror and suspense through the chase, the enviroment, and other exterior forces. Sure, there was a bit of torture in TCSM but it wasn't the focus, and it certaintly wasn't why this film terrified me.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:03 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
stiefmo wrote:
I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I think the difference is as follows; torture porn films create horror and disgust for their audience specifically through the torture, where real horror films create horror and suspense through the chase, the enviroment, and other exterior forces. Sure, there was a bit of torture in TCSM but it wasn't the focus, and it certaintly wasn't why this film terrified me.


I'm glad to see you disagree because I *want* to like that movie as much as I used to. Moreover, I agree with you that TCM does a lot more than simply focus on the torture: the first 60 minutes uses simple and very effective horror staples. However, when I watched it again (in theaters: an incredible experience I recommend to everyone if possible) I couldn't help but notice that the centerpiece of the film--and, I daresay, the most effective and scary scene--is the 'dinner' scene where Sally is tortured. It's an agonizing scene, and the only art in it is the director's skill in making it agonizing.

Now on one level, who cares? The world of horror isn't divided into worthy flicks vs. torture porn. The point of horror is to horrify and TCM certainly achieves that. But on the other hand, it does put a pretty girl through horrible things for the sake of entertaining us...

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Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Absolutely true. I guess there could be an argument that all horror films are torture films because being chased around by a 6'8" 300 pound monster wielding a knife, chainsaw, or machete is extremely torturous, but to me there is a distinct difference between that and the specific act of physical torture displayed in some of those titles. I understand that gore is a byproduct of horror films but the mistake becomes when gore becomes the selling point and not just a happenstance.


Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:31 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Any sports fans out there? A bit of a facetious question, as I know there are quite a few sports fans that frequent the Reelviews forum. Anyone remember the Sportscentury documentary series ESPN did at the turn of the century counting down the top athletes of the past 100 years? Well, a few years later Bill Simmons wrote his own mock Sportscentury on none other than Michael Myers. If you've seen any of the shows (which were usually terrific), you might find Simmons' piece pretty funny:

http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/020730


Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:50 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
1: Halloween (Which is probably also my favorite horror film of all-time).
2: Dawn Of The Dead (More a satire.dark comedy than a truly scary horror film. But earns its spot).
3: Alien (More horror than sci-fi).
4: The Exorcist (One movie that actually scared when I watched it.)
5: Carrie (De Palma offers one of the better Stephen King adaptations)

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Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:18 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
JamesKunz wrote:
The Exorcist (1973): I like the movie well enough, but what the fuck is Lee J. Cobb doing in the film? And who decided we needed 3 hours of buildup before we get to the interesting parts? And what's with the scene in Iran? Do any of these things make the movie scarier? I don't think so.



That definitely makes 'The Exorcist' scarier. I mean, imagine you're Reagen, and you get the news that you've been possessed and you have to go through harrowing medical check-ups that border on gratuitous torture. Your mother is frantic and constantly chain-smoking and you have priests and various other clergymen hanging around every 13th hour, while you're on your back making love to the 'Christ is on it' stick and peeing in public at open-house parties.



And you want to meet a famous person before you die.


Then you get a letter saying Lee J. Cobb is coming to your house. You know, the guy who played various heels through every important film of the 50's and 60's, who hasn't had a good role for almost two decades. And looks like Sgt. Pepper after he ate The Hearts Club Band.


And he wants to meet you.







Is that not chilling?




P.S.

5. The Devils
4. The Exorcist
3. Don't Look Now
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
1. Deliverance

Honorable Mentions - Alien, Halloween, The Tenant, A Clockwork Orange (technically not a horror film, although it skirts the line), and The Last House on the Left, Jaws, Salo (heh heh), and maybe just maybe Taxi Driver (which would be on the list, same as Clockwork Orange, if only I could classify it as horror without people batting an eyelash).


Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:27 pm
Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
1. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
2. Don't Look Now
3. Alien
4. The Exorcist
5. The Wicker Man


Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Your Top Five 70s Horror Movies
Jaws by far. The Exorcist is the only thing to come close to it. And then there is Halloween which I find to be a wildly overpraised me. I like it, but it's seriously not a 4 star movie. I mean, c'mon!


Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:44 pm
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