Iconic Horror Movies of the 1970s That Have Inspired Generations of Horror Films for Decades
November 10, 2017 By Cait Russell
After "The Amityville Horror", the so-called "Amityville Horror House" became a horror icon, in no small part because of its unique, highly recognizable architecture.
Photo by: Seulatr, via WikiCommons.
Ah, horror movies. It seems like once you've watched one, you simply can't get enough, right? Although many consider the 1980s to be the pinnacle of Horror Movie creation, many of the now-iconic horror franchises actually began in the 1970s, or were inspired by the horror pioneers of the 70s, back when horror movies were really coming into their own as a genre.
Almost fifty years later, these horror classics from the 70s have stood the test of time, and are sure to give you the creeps even to this day.
- Halloween (1978) - "Halloween" is by far one of the most iconic horror movies ever made, and Michael Myers, the murderous villain of the movie, has inspired not only numerous sequels, but spoofs, inspired fan art, and even indie films based on the character, who has become nothing short of a Horror Movie Icon. There's even a new "Halloween" movie coming out in 2018, the 40 year anniversary of this horror classic.
- The Exorcist (1973) - Another horror classic that's seemingly taken on a life of its own, "The Exorcist" focuses on a young girl, Regan, who starts "acting strange" - i.e. levitating, speaking in tongues, and generally being creepy, when her mother reaches out to a local priest for help. Realizing that the girl is clearly possessed, the local priest calls in the big guns, i.e. exorcism experts from the church, who come to help rid the little girl of demons. Whether or not you've seen the movie, I know you've seen the little girl spitting up the vile green pea soup demon juice - that's become such an iconic horror movie scene I can't even count the number of times it's been portrayed, parodies, and riffed off of in media over the decades.
- Carrie (1976) - Does anyone feel bad for any of Carrie's victims? I didn't think so. After being abused by her religious zealot mother, and bullied, tortured, and terrorized by her classmates, Ms. Carrie has absolutely had it, and unfortunately for her tormentors, the girl's got some seriously wild supernatural gifts. After cruelly tricking Carrie, and then dumping pig's blood on her at the prom, the poor girl has absolutely had enough, and uses her supernatural powers to exact revenge on all of those who have hurt her, and to be honest, we can't blame her. Sissy Spacek is totally believable as Carrie too, and her spot on performance really makes the movie what it is.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - It wouldn't be a proper 70s Horror Film Roundup without mentioning good ol' Leatherface, now would it? Leatherface is a cannibalistic psycho killer with a chain saw who wears a mask made out of (you guessed it) - human skin. Sally, her paraplegic brother Franklin, and their group of friends have to escape Leatherface and his band of murderous maniacs after they've made a wrong turn deep in the heart of what (we're hoping) is the most terrifying corner of Texas. With its low budget, extreme gore, and shocking horror scenes, it's no wonder this movie spawned an entire franchise.
- The Amityville Horror (1979) - Based on a true story, "The Amityville Horror" turned a regular old haunted house into a horror icon, with countless horror fanatics flocking to the private residence each year just to get a glimpse of the real Amityville Horror House. The movie focuses on a family who has just moved into the Amityville home, which was recently the scene of a mass murder, and was once owned by a satanist in the 18th century. Throughout the movie, the family is terrorized by supernatural beings, with the walls even bleeding and oozing at points. The film's tag line was "For God's sake, get out!" because yeah, the house is just THAT haunted. Despite lots of remakes and renditions of this classic, the 1979 version of "The Amityville Horror" remains a favorite to this day.
What's Your Favorite 1970s Horror Flick? Let Us Know in the Comments Below!