Horror was all the rage during the 1970s, and a lot of experimental films were released. Unfortunately, this also meant that some great movies were overshadowed by the likes of Jaws, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist. As we believe that these movies’ greatness should not remain unsung, ExploreTalent has put together a list of lesser-known horror movies released during the decade. Although not all of them thread toward paranormal themes, they are still classified under the said genre.
Check out the list below written in no definitive order.
5 Lesser-Known Horror Movies Released During the ’70s
1. The Hills Have Eyes (Wes Craven, 1977)
The newer generation may know this film by its 2006 remake, but the original was actually written by Wes Craven. For those of you who don’t know, The Hills Have Eyes centers around a family attacked by a group of bloodthirsty cannibals. The reason it is considered one of the lesser-known horror movies during the seventies is because it was overshadowed by another rural massacre movie, and yes, that is Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was released around the same time. Nonetheless, it still rose up to gain a loyal cult following as well as a pricey Hollywood remake years later.
2. Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
After the successful release of Jaws back in 1975, production studios were clamoring to release the next big monster-of-the-deep film. One of those films was the overlooked gem that was Piranha, which may not be on par with Steven Spielberg‘s masterpiece but it was just as entertaining. Bradford Dillman goes head to head with the killer fish in Piranha, which ultimately achieved cult status and a number of B-rated remakes.
3. Westworld (Michael Crichton, 1973)
Michael Crichton‘s Westworld was recently remade into a well-received HBO series of the same name. It tells the story of an adult theme park where guests could live out their fantasy in a historical period. Now if you’re wondering why this is classified as one of the lesser-known horror movies, it’s because Westworld does thread toward the horror genre at some point in the film. It also features a terrifying yet brilliant performance by Yul Brynner, who plays a charismatic villain in the movie.
4. Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
Don’t Look Now is one of the most visually stunning films of the ’70s, but it still happens to be one of the lesser-known horror movies ever released during the decade. While it may be hard to describe the film without spoiling it, the whole movie centers around a couple who find themselves in Venice after their daughter dies.
5. Salem’s Lot (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
The seventies and eighties were all about Stephen King adaptations, and Tobe Hooper‘s movie remake was one of them. For the record, Salem’s Lot happens to be one of King’s finest works, and so creating a film out of a masterpiece was quite the challenge. Hooper proved to be just the right man for the job as he crafted one of the most terrifying yet tragically lesser-known horror movies of the 1970s.