40 Double Features for 99 cents

When I was a kid in the 1970s we had something called "local theaters" (as opposed to multiplexes) that showed low budget films or "B" movies (as opposed to art house), usually double or triple features for 99 cents. I would spend entire Saturdays in the theater enjoying the show, and since I was a kid, I really didn't know the difference between a good and a bad film. It was ALL fun.

Here's some of my favorite movie memories from the 99 cent double feature days.
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1.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers is mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best... (93 mins.)
Director: John Hough
“ DMCL is one of my all time favorites. Car crashes were real back then. I saw this one on a triple bill with Vanishing Point and White Line Fever. Then I sat through all three movies AGAIN and got in a lot of trouble when I came home at 9 PM. I was nine years old, mind you. Watch out for that train! ” - chicagopoetry
 
2.
Vanishing Point (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops. (99 mins.)
“ Drive fast and crash. End of story. ” - chicagopoetry
 
3.
White Line Fever (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In the 1970s Arizona, a young married man becomes an independent long-haul driver and he risks his life fighting the corruption in the local long-haul trucking industry. (90 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Kaplan
“ The trailer on TV showed a semi-truck crashing through a big glass sign of sorts. Sold. Bad ass CJ Hummer takes on the entire corrupt trucking industry and everyone gets hurt or killed around him but he don't care, he gonna crash that truck through that sign sooner or later. For some reason this title is not offered by Netflix, not even listed to be Saved. Please don't tell me it's lost forever. ” - chicagopoetry
 
4.
Grizzly (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
An eighteen-foot-tall grizzly bear terrorizes a state park, leaving it up to a park ranger to save the day. (91 mins.)
Director: William Girdler
“ Here we have one of the many low budget answers to Jaws. I cut out the cool looking newspaper ad and brought it to the theater, because they promised a bear tooth necklace in exchange. Hey, that's the same plastic tooth they gave out for that other Jaws rip off! They called it a shark tooth that time. It didn't dawn upon me that the severred horse's head would be shredded instead of surgically sliced off if a bear claw was indeed responsible. Now that I think about it, they probably borrowed the prop from Godfather. ” - chicagopoetry
 
5.
The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
An astronaut is transformed into a murderous gelatinous mass after returning from an ill-fated space voyage. (84 mins.)
Director: William Sachs
“ Oh what fun! An hour and a half of a man oozing all over the place. And how about that slow motion shot of a severred head falling down a waterfall. Also have to love the nurse running down the hall for five minutes and suddenly smashing through a glass door. Huh? That didn't even make any sense but that's what you get for 99 cents. ” - chicagopoetry
 
6.
Psychic Killer (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
A former mental patient uses astral projection to destroy the people he believes have wronged him. (89 mins.)
Director: Raymond Danton
“ Probably saw this on the same bill as the Melting Man. Some dude in a jail cell goes into a trance and kills people, PSYCHICLY, whoo whoo. Okay, the hamburger that came out when the guy got his hand shoved into a meat grinder is forever embedded in my brain, but often the trailers for these flicks were scarier than the actual films were. ” - chicagopoetry
 
7.
End of the World (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  
After witnessing a man's death in a bizarre accident, Father Pergado goes on a spiritual retreat, where... (88 mins.)
Director: John Hayes
“ Nothing happens in this film. There are a bunch of aliens dressed up like nuns and Christopher Lee appears for a few minutes. But the entire world blows up at the end so you just have to love it. I didn't know there was silver confetti inside the world but hey, a kid learns something new every day. ” - chicagopoetry
 
8.
Shark (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
A gunrunner loses his cargo near a small coastal Sudanese town so he's stuck there. When a woman hires him to raid a sunken ship in the shark-infested waters, he sees a chance to compensate for his losses. He's not the only one. (92 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
“ Exactly what was this movie called? Caine, Kane, Man Eater or Shark? Well when I saw it it was called Shark! with exclamation point. It was actually made in 1969 but was re-released in 1975 to capitalize on the Jaws frenzy. It was part of a double bill with Grizzly no doubt. It doesn't really have anything to do with a killer shark but it stars Burt Reynolds and I think he shows his naked butt. ” - chicagopoetry
 
9.
Race with the Devil (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Two couples vacationing together in an R.V. from Texas to Colorado are terrorized after they witness a murder during a Satanic ritual. (88 mins.)
Director: Jack Starrett
“ RWTD was yet another Peter Fonda vehicle for cars crashing. Apparently after Easy Rider he was typecast as either a biker or at least someone driving something somewhere. This film looked so much better when I saw it in a drive-in as a kid than it did when I watched it again as an adult. But even back in the double feature days, I was well aware that this movie boasts probably the STUPIDEST ending for an action film, ever. And I love how the small town library has an entire section of books on the occult. How convenient. ” - chicagopoetry
 
10.
Day of the Animals (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A battle for survival as hikers encounter a chemically imbalanced forest. (97 mins.)
Director: William Girdler
“ After Jaws made a splash, there came film after film about killer animals. This one didn't even bother to choose a killer animal, all the animals killed ya. Don't remember much from it so it couldn't have been very good, but still, gotta love the ingenuity. ” - chicagopoetry
 
11.
Tidal Wave (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Racked by earthquakes and volcanos, Japan is slowly sinking into the sea. A race against time and tide... (143 mins.)
Director: Shirô Moritani
“ This one is so off the map that I guess it doesn't even have an IMDB image for it. The disaster films were raking in dough with Towering Infernal, The Poseiden Adventure and Earthquake, but if you wanted to spend 99 cents for a double feature, what you got was Lorne Greene in a poorly dubbed Japanese movie that was originally called Nippon chinbotsu. When the Tidal Wave FINALLY strikes, the cardboard buildings that fall over are even cheaper than those that Godzilla took on. But in the year 2011 . . . ” - chicagopoetry
 
12.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge. (101 mins.)
Director: Meir Zarchi
“ Let's not forget the drive-in cult classics. Although they might have been a tad more expensive than 99 cents, they certainly delivered a punch for the buck. Other drive in classics included The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and Toolbox Murders. I tricked my mom into taking me to see the original I Spit On Your Grave and she's been traumatized ever since. ” - chicagopoetry
 
13.
Flesh Gordon (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Emperor Wang (the Perverted) is leader of the planet Porno and sends his mighty "Sex Ray" towards Earth... (78 mins.)
“ If you were really sneaky as a kid, you somehow got into the X-rated double features. They weren't hardcore but they had a lot of sex jokes. Others in the genre included Alice In Wonderland, Cinderella, and Andy Warhal's Frankenstein and Dracula. ” - chicagopoetry
 
14.
The Day of the Dolphin (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Dr Jake Terrell, who has been training a pair of dolphins for many years, has had a breakthrough. He... (104 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
“ Sometimes the double features actually showed good movies that survived the test of time. In this one George C. Scott trains a talking, cussing dolphin how to plant bombs. Cool. ” - chicagopoetry
 
15.
Beyond the Door (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
Juliet Mills plays a young pregnant woman in San Francisco who is going to have the devil's baby during her strange possession. Richard Johnson shows up to help her... but what does he really want? (109 mins.)
“ Mom won't let you watch The Exorcist? No problem, there's some other woman spitting green pea soup and spinning her head around at your local 99 cent double feature. This was actually pretty scary stuff. "Whooooo are you?" ” - chicagopoetry
 
16.
The Song Remains the Same (1976 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary of a Led Zeppelin tour mixed with live concert footage, a unique fantasy, and interviews with those involved with the band. (137 mins.)
“ Imagine my surprise when this one turned out to be nothing but a rock concert. My older brother was really into it but I was like, hey, where's the car crashes and the monsters? ” - chicagopoetry
 
17.
Demon Seed (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A scientist creates Proteus--an organic super computer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with human beings, and in particular the creators wife. (94 mins.)
Director: Donald Cammell
“ Eerie and creepy, with nothing much happening until the ending, but oh what an ending. To think this was way before any of us had home computers. If I remember correctly a super computer somehow impregnates a woman and then goes on a killing spree to protect the unborn baby. At least that's what I think I remember. Sometimes these movies are best left where the childhood imagination puts them. ” - chicagopoetry
 
18.
Trilogy of Terror (1975 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Three bizarre horror stories all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing tormented women. (72 mins.)
Director: Dan Curtis
“ I swear I saw this in a theater, even though it was made for TV. Or perhaps that crazy killer voodoo doll was so whack that it deserved a spot in a 99 cent double feature even if it never made it there. This is pre-Child's Play killer doll madness, one third of the three segments Karen Black stars in. Nobody cares what the other two segments are about. Really. ” - chicagopoetry
 
19.
Blacula (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
An ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles. (93 mins.)
Director: William Crain
“ I wasn't really into Blaxploitation. I guess those movies just didn't show up at my local theaters. But who didn't see Blacula? You just weren't American if you didn't see Blacula. ” - chicagopoetry
 
20.
Fritz the Cat (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s. (78 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
“ This one actually had an X rating for its cartoon portrayal of breasts, humping and drug abuse, but somehow I managed to get in anyway. I was seven years old when this came out so I had no idea who Crumb was but I liked cartoons. Look at the cute kitty on acid! ” - chicagopoetry
 
21.
Scanners (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him. (103 mins.)
“ At the tail end of the double feature era, this was another one that stands the test of time. When that head blew up you knew you were watching something altogether original. ” - chicagopoetry
 
22.
Circle of Iron (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A young martial artist embarks on an adventure, encountering other martial artists in battle until one day he meets an aging blind man who will show him the true meaning of martial arts and life. (102 mins.)
Director: Richard Moore
“ Of course there was no end to the double feature karate chops but this one is the most memorable, with David Caradine fighting monkey men and several other versions of himself. And what's with the guy soaking in a big cauldron of oil? Never did figure that one out. ” - chicagopoetry
 
23.
Duel (1971 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer. (90 mins.)
“ Steven Spielberg? Never heard of him. Guy being chased by a psycho truck driver for an hour and a half. Oh yeah! Although this one was also made for TV, it deserves a spot in my fantasy double billing with Trilogy of Terror. I can actually feel the soles of my shoes stuck to the soda pop soaked floor. ” - chicagopoetry
 
24.
Suspiria (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the school is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of grisly murders. (98 mins.)
Director: Dario Argento
“ The one and only film I have ever crapped my pants while watching. One of the only double feature films that actually lived up to the hype about its scariness as well. Those TV spots weren't fooling: the only thing scarier than the last fifteen minutes of Suspiria are the first 85. ” - chicagopoetry
 
25.
Abby (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A possession film about a marriage counselor who becomes possessed by a Demon of Sexuality, when her father in law... (89 mins.)
Director: William Girdler
“ Once again, Mom won't let you watch The Exorcist? No problem. There's a low budget blaxploitation version down at the double feature for only 99 cents. There was yet another version too, I think it was called Ruby. And another, and another . . . ” - chicagopoetry
 
26.
Death Race 2000 (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In a dystopian future, a cross country automobile race requires contestants to run down innocent pedestrians to gain points that are tallied based on each kill's brutality. (80 mins.)
Director: Paul Bartel
“ Let's not leave out the ULTIMATE double feature classic, with none other than Sylvester Stallone running his car over live human beings. Old people were worth one point and babies were worth ten, right? Have to love the pumpkins filled with red syrup being crushed by car tires. They really looked like heads. I swear! ” - chicagopoetry
 
27.
The Swarm (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people. (116 mins.)
Director: Irwin Allen
“ When they ran out of killer animals they started in with the killer insects. ” - chicagopoetry
 
28.
Blue Collar (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Three workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel) and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), are working... (114 mins.)
Director: Paul Schrader
“ I went into Blue Collar thinking I was going to see a comedy starring Richard Pryor, and came out of this drama about racism and union corruption so much wiser. Another GREAT film that didn't get a lot of mainstream play because of its controversial nature. It ended up on the 99 cent double feature bill. ” - chicagopoetry
 
29.
Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Competition between privately owned LA ambulance companies is played for humor. (98 mins.)
Director: Peter Yates
“ I would have to watch this again to confirm that it stands up to the test of time, but I remember MJ&S was one of the funniest movies I ever saw on a double feature bill. The bit about carrying the overweight woman on a stretcher down some stairs is so over the top I think I spit my Seven Up into my popcorn. ” - chicagopoetry
 
30.
The Longest Yard (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards. (121 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
“ There were some big stars in some of the movies at the double feature show. Another great sports comedy gem was Slapshot. Burt Reynolds also starred in a movie called The End with Dom Deloise that was classic, but these double feature movies mostly played in the drive ins instead of in the musty smelling 99 cent theaters. ” - chicagopoetry
 
31.
The Devil's Rain (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
A bunch of Satanists in the American rural landscape have terrible powers which enable them to melt their victims... (86 mins.)
Director: Robert Fuest
“ The Devil's Rain promised new and exciting special effects that ended up being wax spurting out of masks so that it looked like all the satanists melted. Even a ten year old kid was disappointed by that hype, but still gotta love the special effects you get for 99 cents. Right? ” - chicagopoetry
 
32.
Piranha (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal. (94 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
“ Why spend five bucks to see Jaws when you can spend 99 cents to see a thousand little itty bitty jaws. There's quite a bit of humor and some pretty crafty special effects in this, the original Piranha. ” - chicagopoetry
 
33.
Sisters (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth. (93 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ I have seen this movie at least four time and I jump out of my seat every time that crazy chick with the big knife stabs the dude with the birthday cake, even though I know it's coming. After that it's a body in a couch and a lot of Rear Window type of spying. Great film though. ” - chicagopoetry
 
34.
Mark of the Devil (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Udo Kier is a witch hunter apprentice to Herbert Lom. He believes strongly in his mentor and the ways... (90 mins.)
“ Why my Dad would take me to see this movie in a drive in when I was perhaps 7 years old is anyone's guess, but the version I saw then I never saw again and doubt that it still exists. I saw what must have been the ultimate uncut version before censors tamed it into what is still one of the goriest films ever made. I specifically remember large nails being pounded into human buttocks, something not included in a video release claiming to be uncut. ” - chicagopoetry
 
35.
Rosebud (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
In a bold coup a Palestinian terrorist group captures the yacht Rosebud and kidnaps the millionaires five daughters on it... (126 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
“ I'm pretty sure I saw Rosebud in a double bill with Night Moves. I haven't seen or heard from it since. All I remember is a bunch of people sleeping in a yaught getting ice picks stuck in their heads in the opening scene but beyond that I imagine the plot was too complicated for my ten year old mind as I believe I fell asleep and slept through Night Moves as well. ” - chicagopoetry
 
36.
The Nickel Ride (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Small-time criminal Cooper manages several warehouses in Los Angeles that the mob use to stash their stolen goods... (99 mins.)
Director: Robert Mulligan
“ When I was nine years old, I voted this the most boring and stupid movie I had ever seen on a double feature bill (what, no monsters or car crashes?). I never saw it again but based on the ratings and reviews here, I'd like to give it an adult chance, but apparently it's so obscure that it doesn't even have an IMDB image and isn't offered or even mentioned on Netflix. Probably a super gem of a movie that is lost forever. ” - chicagopoetry
 
37.
The Laughing Policeman (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
In San Francisco, one victim in a mass murder is a police detective. His partner and a new partner investigate in the city's seamy side. (112 mins.)
“ Sometimes a real hell of a double feature would arise. The Laughing Policeman played on a double bill with The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Man, you just had to love 70s cinema, and all for 99 cents!! ” - chicagopoetry
 
38.
X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A doctor uses special eye drops to give himself x-ray vision, but the new power has disastrous consequences. (79 mins.)
Director: Roger Corman
“ The beautiful thing back in the 70s was that they would dig up old movies and re-release them to suit their purposes, which is what they did nine years after X-ray Eyes first came out in order to double bill it with The Thing With Two Heads. Who cared? It was so much fun! I'm pretty sure the plot of X-ray was ripped off from a Rould Dahl short story, but transplanting Ray Milland's head onto a big black guy, that had to be an original screenplay. ” - chicagopoetry
 
39.
The Changeling (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre. (107 mins.)
Director: Peter Medak
“ I really love George C. Scott. He should have made more movies. Here he finds himself haunted by a ghost in a wheel chair. He was also dynamite as the angry father taking on the entire porn industry in Hardcore, and although both those movies came out about the same time, I doubt they ever played together as a double feature. During the eighties the small theaters started to fade away as the cineplexes moved in and by the nineties there weren't any such thing as B movies anymore. These days if a low budget film is considered artsy enough it may get limited showings in select theaters--otherwise it goes straight to DVD. ” - chicagopoetry
 
40.
Grindhouse (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation double features in the 60s and 70s with two back-to-back cult films that include previews of coming attractions between them. (191 mins.)
“ And today the only double features we get are parodies of double features. I never heard of the term Grindhosue until 2007. To me it was just a Saturday afternoon at the Tivoli when I got to see Elliott Gould in Silent Partner AND in Capricorn One for 99 cents. ” - chicagopoetry