The Best Horror of the 1970's

by nathaniel-brehmer | created - 20 Jan 2012 | updated - 20 Jan 2012 | Public
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1. Mark of the Devil (1970)

R | 90 min | Drama, History, Horror

In 1700s Austria, a witch-hunter's apprentice has doubts about the righteousness of witch-hunting when he witnesses the brutality, the injustice, the falsehood, the torture and the arbitrary killing that go with the job.

Directors: Michael Armstrong, Adrian Hoven | Stars: Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Olivera Katarina, Reggie Nalder

Votes: 2,457

2. Count Dracula (1970)

PG | 98 min | Horror

Jess Franco's version of the Bram Stoker classic has Count Dracula as an old man who grows younger whenever he dines on the blood of young maidens.

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Klaus Kinski, Maria Rohm

Votes: 2,153

3. The Vampire Lovers (1970)

R | 91 min | Horror

Seductive vampire Carmilla Karnstein and her family target the beautiful and the rich in a remote area of late eighteenth-century Gemany.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steel, Madeline Smith, Peter Cushing

Votes: 4,390

4. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)

PG | 101 min | Horror

In the 13th century there existed a legion of evil knights known as the Templars, who quested for eternal life by drinking human blood and committing sacrifices. Executed for their unholy ... See full summary »

Director: Amando de Ossorio | Stars: Lone Fleming, César Burner, María Elena Arpón, José Thelman

Votes: 4,521

5. The Last House on the Left (1972)

R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller

68 Metascore

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred J. Lincoln

Votes: 27,940 | Gross: $3.10M

6. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

PG | 92 min | Horror

Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson, Geoffrey Bayldon

Votes: 7,552

7. Vampire Circus (1972)

PG | 84 min | Horror

As the plague sweeps the countryside, a quarantined village is visited by a mysterious traveling circus. Soon, young children begin to disappear, and the locals suspect the circus troupe might be hiding a horrifying secret.

Director: Robert Young | Stars: Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters, Anthony Higgins, John Moulder-Brown

Votes: 2,887

8. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1972)

PG | 87 min | Comedy, Horror

Six friends in a theatrical troupe dig up a corpse on an abandoned island to use in a mock Satanic ritual. It backfires with deadly consequences.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen, Anya Ormsby

Votes: 3,490

9. The Wicker Man (1973)

R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

87 Metascore

A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

Director: Robin Hardy | Stars: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland

Votes: 54,879 | Gross: $0.06M

10. Sisters (1972)

R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley

Votes: 12,209

11. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

82 Metascore

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 313,747 | Gross: $232.91M

12. The Crazies (1973)

R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

63 Metascore

The military attempts to contain a manmade combat virus that causes death and permanent insanity in those infected, as it overtakes a small Pennsylvania town.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Lane Carroll, Will MacMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar

Votes: 9,211 | Gross: $0.15M

13. Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother, whose corpse he keeps, among others, as his companion in a decaying farmhouse.

Directors: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby | Stars: Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson, Robert Warner

Votes: 3,709

14. It's Alive (1974)

PG | 91 min | Horror

The Davies expect a baby, which turns out to be a monster with a nasty habit of killing when it's scared. And it's easily scared.

Director: Larry Cohen | Stars: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan, Guy Stockwell

Votes: 5,692

15. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Not Rated | 83 min | Horror

75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 112,402 | Gross: $30.86M

16. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 479,486 | Gross: $260.00M

17. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 116,207 | Gross: $139.88M

18. Trilogy of Terror (1975 TV Movie)

Unrated | 72 min | Horror, Thriller

Three bizarre horror stories all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing tormented women.

Director: Dan Curtis | Stars: Karen Black, Robert Burton, John Karlen, George Gaynes

Votes: 4,469

19. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

85 Metascore

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 142,225 | Gross: $33.80M

20. The Omen (1976)

R | 111 min | Horror

62 Metascore

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner

Votes: 91,809 | Gross: $4.27M

21. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

R | 107 min | Horror, Thriller

52 Metascore

A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.

Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd, Emilie de Ravin

Votes: 143,067 | Gross: $41.78M

22. Suspiria (1977)

R | 92 min | Horror

79 Metascore

An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Votes: 55,467

23. Rabid (1977)

R | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A young woman develops a taste for human blood after undergoing experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into rabid, blood-thirsty zombies who proceed to infect others, which turns into a city-wide epidemic.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver, Howard Ryshpan

Votes: 12,230

24. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Votes: 98,896 | Gross: $5.10M

25. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

78 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 181,064 | Gross: $47.00M

26. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

19 Metascore

An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.

Director: Meir Zarchi | Stars: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols

Votes: 22,433

27. Martin (1978)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror

68 Metascore

A young man, who believes himself to be a vampire, goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town where he tries to redeem his blood-craving urges.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau

Votes: 8,359 | Gross: $0.10M

28. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

PG | 115 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 42,961 | Gross: $24.95M

29. Dracula (1979)

R | 109 min | Horror, Romance

In 1913, the charming, seductive and sinister vampire Count Dracula travels to England in search of an immortal bride.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan

Votes: 7,681 | Gross: $20.16M

30. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

PG | 107 min | Horror

Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor

Votes: 26,889

31. The Brood (1979)

R | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Henry Beckman

Votes: 20,983

32. Alien (1979)

R | 116 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

83 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 668,147 | Gross: $78.90M

33. Phantasm (1979)

R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.

Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester

Votes: 26,507 | Gross: $11.99M

34. Tourist Trap (1979)

PG | 90 min | Horror

A group of young friends stranded at a secluded roadside museum are stalked by a masked assailant who uses his telekenetic powers to control the attraction's mannequins.

Director: David Schmoeller | Stars: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Robin Sherwood

Votes: 5,740

35. When a Stranger Calls (1979)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

58 Metascore

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

Director: Fred Walton | Stars: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Rutanya Alda, Carmen Argenziano

Votes: 7,726 | Gross: $21.41M

36. The Amityville Horror (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror

32 Metascore

Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud

Votes: 30,675 | Gross: $86.43M

37. Zombie (1979)

R | 91 min | Horror

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver

Votes: 21,984

38. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Unrated | 95 min | Adventure, Horror

22 Metascore

During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.

Director: Ruggero Deodato | Stars: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi

Votes: 43,822