Extreme Horror Thru the Ages: 1970's

The Most Extreme Horror Movies from the 1970s.
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Extreme Horror in the 1970s

The 1970s saw a massive rise in the publics need for extreme horror movies and spawned a number of the horror movies that ended up on the infamous UK's 1984 "Video Nasty" list. In this article Horror Extreme presents some of our favorite extreme horror movies from the 1970s.

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

I Drink Your Blood (1970) - directed by David E. Durston

I Drink Your Blood was one of the first horror movies to be given an X Rating for extreme violence. The plot revolves around a gang of drug-crazed Satanist-hippies who go on a violent drug-fuelled rampage in a small town. A boy from the local bakery decides to put a stop to their violent antics by feeding them pies laced with blood from a rabid dog. This plan backfires as the hippies turn berserk with rabies and their rampage becomes more violent and bloodthirsty than before!

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973) - directed by William Friedkin

Probably the most famous horror movie in this list, The Exorcist is based on a supposedly true exorcism performed on a 13-year-old boy in 1949. The Exorcist is the story of a desperate mother who turns to religion when science fails to cure her daughter Regan's increasingly deranged behaviour. As the daughter's condition exacerbates her symptoms become extreme and paranormal, contorting into unnatural positions, violently shaking the bed, projectile vomiting and a transformation into something barely human. The priests involved decide that the issue is a demonic possession and perform an intense and harrowing exorcism to rid the girl of the evil within. A number of scenes from the movie have become infamous such as Regan's head revolving 360 degrees, the pea-soup vomiting and Regan violently stabbing herself with a crucifix in her private lady area!

The Candy Snatchers (1973)

The Candy Snatchers (1973) - directed by Guerdon Trueblood

This movie has been described as a gritty take on the crime-noir genre executed in a violent 1970s exploitation style. A trio of sociopathic criminals kidnaps an innocent schoolgirl, Candy (Susan Sennet), and hold her for ransom demanding that her father gives them a case full of diamonds from the jewelry store that he owns. When the kidnappers plan does not go smoothly they soon start on a downward spiral into depravity, mutilation, violence and eventually murder.

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974) - directed by Theodore Gershuny

This is rather an odd Christmas-based low-budget slasher movie based in a small rural town in New England. A man inherits a creepy old mansion which just happens to come with a vengeful mad psychopath, as Christmas nears more and more people get lured into the house to meet their bloody demise.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - directed by Tobe Hooper

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most infamous horror movies of the decade, and although often referred to as a graphic horror movie, it relied on tension and suspense much more than it relied on explicit gore. The plot revolves around a group of friends stranded in a deserted location where the locals are a family of cannibalistic misfits who gain a great amount of pleasure from terrorising the marooned group. There is plenty of screaming, the notorious meat-hook scene and, of course, the chainsaw wielding Leatherface. The story and characters are inspired by the true crimes of the serial killers Ed Gein and Jeffery Dahmer.

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) - Troma Entertainment Exploitation directed by Joel M. Reed

Bloodsucking freaks is a highly controversial horror movie from Troma Entertainment. The original movie was cut and given an R-Rating but Troma released the uncut version into the cinemas claiming it was the cut version and got sued for doing so. The almost slapstick storyline centers on an S&M theatre where owner kills people in front of the public and tries to pretend it is fake. The movie features sexual abuse, cannibalism, caged women and just about any other taboo you can think of. This movie has been described as depraved and found itself on the Video Nasty list.

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria (1977) - directed by Dario Argento

Suspiria is a cult horror movie classic from horror master Dario Argento and is cited as his greatest work. It is the first part in an unfinished trilogy, followed by Inferno in 1980 which is soon to be followed by The Third Mother (due to be release in October 2007). The story involves a promising young American ballet student who arrives in Germany to join a prestigious ballet school, after a number of mysterious deaths and other strange goings on, she discovers the school is a front for a Satanic coven of witches who practice diabolical black magic.

I Spit on your Grave AKA Day of the Woman (1978)

I Spit on your Grave AKA Day of the Woman (1978) - Extreme Exploitation directed by Meir Zarchi

This exploitation movie was controversial enough to earn itself an X rating and instantly shot the director, Meir Zarchi, to fame through controversy alone. The plot revolves around Jennifer Hills (played by Camille Keaton), a writer who retreats to a log cabin in the woods to write her book. Disturbed by her presence four local men gang-rape, torture and ridicule her in the woods and leave her for dead after thinking that they have stabbed her in the heart. She survives the ordeal due to the fact that the would-be murderer in the group could not bring himself to do it and cold-heartedly and brutally exacts her revenge on the men that terrorised her.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Dawn of The Dead (1978) - Classic Zombie Horror directed by George A Romero

Dawn of the Dead is George A. Romero's 1978 follow up to Night of the Living Dead. The zombies have now taken over most of the country and a few human survivors take refuge in a now abandoned shopping mall to avoid the zombie onslaught. Apart from the zombie gore, the highlight of the movie is the satirical look it takes at the modern consumer society. The zombies are drawn to the shopping mall (and the potential of a feast of human flesh) which is a cynical look at the way modern day people are drawn to shopping malls and wander around like zombies. This cynicism is sadly missing from the 2004 remake which completely misses the point of the original movie.

Phantasm (1979)

Phantasm (1979) - directed by David Arntzen

Phantasm is a cult classic supernatural horror movie. It introduced the Tall Man (played by Angus Scrimm) as the demonic undertaker who turns the dead into undead dwarf slaves in a bid to take over the world with his evil. The Tall Man also controls flying silver balls with spiked blades and drill attachments that drill into the heads of their victims and drain their brains. The story follows two brother's quest to stop the Tall Man from getting them and converting them to his zombie-dwarf slaves.
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