I’ve said that different eras of horror movies have utilized different styles of terror and in the 70s it really seems that the style was moving from cerebral to visceral in a big way since the gore was becoming more acceptable and definitely more prominent. Some may want to argue the point that the gore factor in horror movies has always been up with the times but in truth when you look at the effects back in the day as compared to now, there’s no denying that back then it was more of an implied horror with the gore coming into play only when it came to the more underrated movies that weren’t considered quite as popular. By this decade the gore factor was starting to increase as more and more movies were starting to employ the kind of effects that would actually make people physically ill since they weren’t used to them and couldn’t handle the big screen experience. Not surprisingly a lot of movies that were underrated during this decade used a pretty fair amount of gory special effects.
Here are five of the most underrated horror movies of the 70s.
Ryan Lamble from Den of Geek! puts it mildly when he describes the carnage in this movie but he definitely nails the idea of it since the parasite that’s the sole problem in this movie is stranger than most. It not only infects its host but for some reason turns them into amorous, orgy-seeking individuals that are basically zombies with a massive sex drive whose only goal is to infect as many other people as they can. The movie was known by a couple of different names and it was even used as the basis for a couple of movies throughout the years, one of those being the James Gunn-driven Slither.
So obviously this isn’t the super piranha that we’ve seen in recent years since the technology wasn’t there, but it was certainly a swarm effect that was the most terrifying part of this movie since the idea of something under the water that attacks without mercy is bad enough. Jaws and every alligator and crocodile movie was enough to make it clear that humans aren’t worth much under the surface. But a swarm of smaller, rapacious fish that swarm like bees and have been rumored to reduce a living creature to bones when agitated is enough to terrify some folks and make others just roll their eyes before reading a book on how piranha’s actually feed.
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
David Weiner of The Hollywood Reporter just HAD to bring Trump into this one thanks to the final scene when Donald Sutherland points his finger and screeches in the same manner as the other pod people when they’ve discovered a real human. Be that as it may the terror of this movie was way underrated and considered more laughable since the idea of being someone that’s devoid of feeling, emotion, or anything else that makes us human is too close of a parallel to what people say about each other today. So in truth you can possibly see where David was coming from when mentioning the remark, but in all honesty both political sides could say this about each other.
2. The Legend of Hell House
Anytime you’re dealing with spirits in a house that’s reportedly haunted you simply know that things are going to happen since that’s the whole name of the game. The more haunted the house is and the more disturbing its reputation becomes, the more stuff is bound to happen and the more violent it’s going to be. The spirits in this movie aren’t exactly the type that anyone would want to mess with since they tend to have a nasty disposition and don’t seem to get along too well with the living. But in the history of haunted houses and spirits this one seems to have been almost forgotten by a lot of people.
1. The Hills Have Eyes
The fact that Matthew Jackson of Mental Floss reminds us that The Hills Have Eyes was based on a true story is almost secondary since this was without a doubt one of the scariest movies to ever terrorize an audience given that a lot of people started believing it could really happen. This is the kind of tale you tell around the campfire at night when everyone is gathered close in order to give them a good scare, but in many ways it’s something you don’t joke about when you’re out in the middle of nowhere since, well, human superstition is kind of hard to escape when you think about everything that could happen. That being the case though the original was still better than the remake.
It’s amazing how many movies get looked over as time moves on.