Friday, December 14, 2012

Best Horror Films of the Late 70s

The Best Horror Cinema between 1977 - 1979

What's notable about the years between 1977 and 1979 isn't the number of horror films made, but the number of good ones made and perhaps the foundation of Modern American Horror era. The movie list below is a rough sampling that only represents the best of the best and horror films of real significance. Of course there are tons of flicks left out. Lot's of sequels, and knockoffs, and little films not worth mentioning, or films that many only think are so-so. Read on...


DEMON SEED (Donald Cammell) - It's not software, it's not softcore - it's Demon Seed, the tale of Proteus IV, a horny super computer that forces Julie Christie to bear his child. And you thought those guys at Apple were just fiddling with floppy disks! Video link 

THE HILLS HAVE EYES (Wes Craven) - A family driving a camper through the South¬west desert suffers a breakdown, and then really suffers when a cannibalistic family descends from the surrounding hills. This intense, gruesome thriller helped get director Wes Craven a cult following before he hit big with Nightmare on Elm Street. Video Link


HALLOWEEN (John Carpenter) - They say it started with HalloweenA psychotic killer does his thing on Halloween. And it isn't trick or treating. John Carpenter's movie changed the way we thought about the genre and inspired dozens of imitators, and many sequels, and many imitators' sequels. Let us not forget the dazzling score either! Video Link

Most people consider this the greatest zombie movie ever made.
I'm partial to Day myself (I just think it's scarier),
but I wouldn't give up either without a fight.

DAWN OF THE DEAD (George Romero) - That same year, George Romero's Dawn of the Dead heralded the true Zombie phenomena - would also generate a plethora of (mostly Italian) gory zombie massacre movies. But both are masterworks, no matter how much crap they would inspire.  This second installment in Romero's Zombie trilogy is non-stop blood feast mayhem. Four survivors battling the undead in an abandoned suburban shopping mall provide the perfect setting for a pointed satire of consumerism. The unnerving horror of Night Of The Living Dead gives way to an uneasy mix of satire and apocalyptic carnage that will please cultists and offend the weak of stomach. Video Link

EVIL (Gus Trikonis) - A haunted house horror film in which a psychologist (Richard Crenna) takes a group of patients to a remote mansion, where everyone starts getting shock treatment of a most unpleasant kind. Lots of scares and gore for chiller fans. Video Link

PIRANHA (Joe Dante) - John Sayles scripted this neat little send-up of Jaws about scientists and swindlers who discover a species of specially bred, super-nasty piranha fish living in a stream near a resort. The acting is almost incidental to the overall "bite" of this piece. An early effort in gleeful gruesomeness by the director of Gremlins. Video Link

TOOLBOX MURDERS (Dennis Donnelly) - A vile and violent shocker about a nut case with a couple of screws loose. Cameron Mitchell portrays the drooling sickle. With Pamelyn Ferdin, Aneta Corseau and Kelly Nichols. Video Link


ALIEN (Ridley Scott) - In space no one can hear you scream, but there was plenty of screaming to be heard in movie theatres when Alien exploded out onto the scene.  High-tech, chest-bursting horror as a very unfriendly extraterrestrial stows away on a spaceship and gorily disposes of its crew. Sigoumey Weaver made her film debut in this scary reworking of 1958's It! The Terror from Beyond Space which went on to spawn James Cameron's smash sequel, Aliens. Video Link

SHINING (Stanley Kubrick) - "H-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny!" Bringing all latent demonisms to the surface in a totally lunatic performance, Jack Nicholson plays a disillusioned writer who moves his wife (Shelley Duvall) and moody little son (Danny Lloyd) to a deserted Colorado hotel for the winter. Soon the snow falls and deep weirdness sets in. The little boy rides his tricycle down empty corridors battling telepathic visions; Jack makes manic mischief at the typewriter; Shelley becomes even more pop-eyed in a progressive freak-out culminating in the famous nocturnal maze scene. Kubrick concocts an unusually black, occasionally comic, horror-thriller. Video Link


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