10/08/2008

The Top 10 Horror Films of the '70s

The second part of my list of the top horror films of each era to the present take us to my favorite time in movies, and I don't just not just in horror films: the 1970's. This time period represented a bold new era in cinema with movies reaching new levels of sexuality and graphic violence. The movies of this era broke new ground, and in some cases, are still not topped. There is a certain attitude that the films of this decade that sets them apart from others. Whatever the case might be, this was the most fun list for me to do.

10. - Dario Argento's gallio remains the best in the sub-genre. With an excellent score by The Goblins, great acting, and the memorable murders, this remains one of the finest fright films to ever come out of Italy. And, speaking of murders, this film has one of the most brutal dental assaults, ever caught on celluloid. Argento's style is also mesmerizing with his camera swooping, moving, tightening in everywhere. A masterpiece of gore, suspense, and style.

9. - David Cronenberg really hit the mark with this smart, horrifying, and shocking tale of a woman who manifests her anger in her mutant children, her "brood". The great acting coupled with the horrific gore and smart script make this one work to perfection.

8. - Richard Donner's wonderfully Satanic masterpiece has one of the best and truly scariest scores ever made. The kid is also effectively creepy, and Gregory Peck is a great hero. The creative deaths are very memorable, in particular the slow-mo decapitation with the head spinning in the air, which ranks as one of the greatest deaths in film history.

7. - the definitive lesbian vampire, this is also the most well done mix of eroticism and graphic horror. Both lead women are stunningly beautiful, though my tastes lean more towards Marianne Morris (the brunette). Regardless, the scenes of these beauties killing, making out, and sharing the blood of their victims is one of the sexiest visions in the genre. The so called erotic lesbian vampire films made today, could learn a thing or two of this frequently underrated Euro-masterpiece.

6. - Romero's own follow up to his classic Night of the Living Dead is one of most renown and beloved, as well as oft-imitated zombie films ever. Knowing that the gore drenched film would never get an "R" rating Romero released the film unrated, a bold move, even today. But, the excellent cast, great writing- including some very memorable characters and political commentary about the consumer being zombies, absolutely smashing FX work by Tom Savini, and great score by The Goblins, make this a perfect film. The movie is smart, exciting, violent (but never in a depressing or disturbing manner), and funny. Unarguably one of the genre's crowning moments.

5. - You don't need to have Christian beliefs to agree with the following statement: The Exorcist is one of the scariest films ever made. William Fredkin directed William Peter Blatty's adaptation of his own bestseller. With great performance's, powerful directing, still shocking moments, and superb effects work by Dick Smith this classic is one of the most highly regarded horror films ever. The images of Reagan masturbating with a crucifix, barfing, and head spinning are classic and defining moments in the genre. Oft imitated, many times by films even more graphic, but never equaled The Exorcist is a true vision of classic terror.

4. - To me this is Steven Spielberg's best film. Long before his production of Gremlins or his own Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was ever criticized for their graphic violence, came this film, of the most intense movies to ever be rated PG (or probably any other rating). The dialogue, the characters, and the acting is just classic, as is the nail biting climax. Like many of the best horror films, this one is ripped off countless of times, but Jaws remains the single greatest killer animal film, ever. It's score also remains, alongside of Halloween and Psycho, as one of the most recognizable in horror film history.

3. - Tobe Hooper's classic is the single scariest film EVER made. Despite its' title, what makes this film so amazing is the lack of gore, and yet, the images in this film rank amongst the most horrific ever. You don't want to or need to see it graphic detail. Shit, this movie was made with a PG-rating in mind! Whatever the case maybe, it set the tone and standard for all films that followed it. This is the measuring stick, kiddies.

2. - John Carpenter's classic is the greatest slasher film, as well as one of the most influential horror films ever made. Like Texas Chainsaw this movie accomplishes a lot and is scary as hell without ever being graphically violent.

1. -When I first saw this classic, I was immediately blown away by it. Despite the years that have passed and the many viewings I have given it, it still does. The score by The Goblins is perhaps my favorite score for any movie. The gory murders are breathtaking with the opening double murder being one of the greatest beginnings in any genre. Dario Argento's use of color and his moving camera are jaw dropping and astonishing in their beauty. In all this is Argento's best and, unarguably, scariest movie. One that rightfully is worshiped and spoken in the absolute highest regard by horror fans.


2 comments:

Ro-Beast Rollie said...

I watched that Omen decapitation in slow motion so many times! It scares the shit out of me because it's not a traditional movie murder. It's more like a freak accident that could happen to anyone anytime.

I need to check out some of those Argento films... I've never seen one before. Where should I start?

Master_Gio said...

Go with Suspiria. It's his best. And make sure you see Deep Red, Tenebre, Opera, and Phenomena (which has Donald Pleasance and Jennifer Connley), as well.

Actually, all of his work up until Opera is great. After that is hit or miss.