Something about scary and disturbing movies makes people flock to the theaters it would seem. Serial killer movies now and back in the 70s are quite different since the idea of people getting away with this kind of behavior back then as opposed to now has changed quite a bit. Law enforcement has changed, the technology has changed, and the stakes have been raised in the movies to such a degree that serial killers kind of have to be wizards at their craft to get away with even one murder unless they’re located in some backwoods location where the law are a bunch of overweight, middle-aged individuals that think a traffic stop is big news. But back in the 70s it seems that things were still low-key enough that serial killers in the movies could get away with just about anything so long as they didn’t make a big spectacle of themselves. This is after all how we managed to get some of the best movies that scared the living daylights out of us.
Here are some of the best serial killer movies from the 70s.
5. The Zodiac Killer
This is a terrifying story largely because it was based off of a true case that was never solved. That’s right, the real Zodiac killer was never caught and if still alive however would be an old man at this point. But the whole idea of why he was so scary was that he simply never surfaced in a way that people could identify and was able to elude law enforcement as though it was a thing of ease. The movie takes a great many liberties with the story as can be seen but throughout history this has been one of the most vexing tales that has yet to be solved. Some monsters are a little smarter than others it seems.
4. The Hills Have Eyes
Ever notice in a horror movie that an individual or a family always disregards any and all warnings and goes their own way? That usually leads to disaster as the Carters find out very quickly as they’re set upon by Papa Jupiter and his deranged family. The family are cannibals that have been waylaying anyone foolish enough to come across their path for some time. When the Carter family is attacked and several of them are killed it falls to the remaining few to first retrieve the baby the family stole and get a measure of payback on the cannibals for what they’ve done. It’s a bloodfest that was remade some time ago, but with little success.
3. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Some of the scariest stories are those that are never solved and this one fits that category. There was never any rhyme or reason for the Phantom’s attacks either since it would seem that he went after random people and switched up his M.O. more than once in order to meet his sadistic tendencies. Plus, since no one knew who he was the guy could blend in anywhere and be listening in on any conversation that had to do with him, thereby fueling his drive to be as ruthless and as cunning as possible. This is the kind of killer that you really never see coming despite the fact that he might be in front of you the whole time.
This is where the real legends begin as Michael Myers is one of the most notorious movie villains of all time and one of the most vicious despite the fact that he never speaks and is simply a silent agent of death that doesn’t stop. Starting out his reign of terror as a child Michael escapes from a sanitarium 15 years later to terrorize the same neighborhood where he grew up, showing up multiple times before finally taking the lives of a few young folks that happened to catch his eye. And then, oh yes, and then his feud with Jamie Lee Curtis began, and it’s been ongoing now for a long time.
1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Another movie that was destined to become a legend, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one that brought Leatherface to the forefront of horror and created an iconic move franchise that has had its ups and downs but has still been held in high regard since it’s one of the most gruesome and outright disturbing stories ever told. Leatherface is obviously human and can be stopped, but the act of wearing a human face over his own has still made him something of a legend that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. Yet for all that they still come to watch and marvel at the ferocity and brutality these movies have displayed.
Serial killer movies are disturbing for a reason, as those that have committed such acts in real life are unhinged in a way that the movies just barely touch upon.