Your Guide to 70's Horror Films
A faceless, demented killer; the presence of the
demonic; nubile young things drenched in buckets
of blood — these are the hallmarks of 70's horror
films, the decade when the horror genre really came
into it's own both critically and commercially.
70s horror films marked a gradual departure from the more traditional gothic horror monsters such as Dracula and
Frankenstein that Universal had started in the 1930s (and Hammer resurrected in the 1950s). America's post-war nuclear
assortments of radiated insects and threatening aliens had also dwindled. By the mid seventies, these horror movies had
worn too thin. The public was desensitized to their effect. So what was the public doing with their spare time?
We know the box office takings were suffering at the continuing growth of television. The era of the main horror film companies of
Hammer and Amicus was over.
What replaced the old Gothic style in 70's horror films was a huge increase
in the production of gory, graphic horror films. Besides the reasons stated
above, this was also due to social, political and economic changes of the 1960's;
the sexual revolution, the loosening of censorship laws, and the creation of a
new film ratings system by the Motion Picture Association of America, which
included categories for films restricted to adults and graphic films (R and
X rated). The boundaries for 70's horror films could be pushed further.
In this new climate, filmmakers created horror films noteworthy for their
shocking expositions of body mutilation, bold use of color and electronic music,
everyday and isolated locations and the sexual exploitation of female victims ,
made all the more vivid by the turn to realism in films of that era in general.
There is a marked difference between 70's films, 80's films, and the more modern films (90's and onward). One dramatic difference between older horror films and the modern film is that some of the better films are based on books. Indeed, some of the best horror books have yielded the best horror films ever made (Stephen King's The Shining for example).
Elements of Horror
Horror can include many different genres, such as science fiction, fantasy (often dark fantasy), and mystery.
Relive the defining decade of 70's horror films by browsing our horror films a -z
Horror Book Recommendations
Want pure horror books recommendations from a variety of genres? Here's our collection of the best of the best when it comes to horror books by different subgenres.
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