Classic Horror Lovers discussion

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Movies and TV Talk > Horror Movies from the 70s & 80s (Not TV)

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message 1: by Steve (last edited Oct 16, 2010 03:50AM) (new)

Steve | 31 comments Well, not exactly "classic" in any purist sense, but these were a heck of a lot of fun. The MFTV thread got me to thinking that you all have some favorites to recommend. My initial contribution is Evilspeak. My wife and I watched this cheesy gem a few weeks back. This one has it all. Satan, an evil book, a naked virgin sacrifice, a possessed computer, pigs, and a bunch of teenagers that you want to die. If you're into this sort of thing, it's Gold. (Youtube movie trailer links, if you can find them, are welcome.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qb1gQ...#!


message 2: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
Thanks for starting this thread, Steve. I'd be interested in learning about some horror movies from the 70s-80s that are NOT slasher movies, but are supernatural horror.


message 3: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
How about Poltergeist? That one scared the you know what out of me. I still think it's a great movie. The sequels weren't so great, IMHO.


message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve | 31 comments Danielle, let me think on that. I would say right off the bat, Lets Scare Jessica to Death. Poltergeist (the original) definitely.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 212 comments Hi Steve. I mentioned "Lets Scare Jessica to Death" earlier. It was a "weird' movie. My wife and I sat up late one night and watched it and found it eerie and well done. We watched it a few years later and wondered what we'd seen in it before. i think a lot depends on the atmosphere etc. of when and where you watch it...and maybe your willingness to get into or something. We had that happen with a couple of movies.


message 6: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh (kurtreichenbaugh) | 54 comments One of my favorites from that period is Tourist Trap (1979). It isn't great art, it doesn't make cinematic history, it's probably mostly forgotten, but it has a scruffy charm to it that appeals to me for a "drive-in movie" style horror movie. Two words about it: screaming mannequins.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 212 comments Kurt, did you ever read Danse Macabre. In it King lists some of his favorite movies and he mentions Tourist Trap. i can't remember if he lists it as his "favorite" but he listed it quite highly. of course the book came out in '81 so I don't know how he feels now.

It was an interesting part for Chuck Connors I thought.


message 8: by Steve (new)

Steve | 31 comments Mike, my wife and I just saw it about a month ago. It was a strange movie, and not quite the 'formula" flick I thought it might be. I don't think I've seen Tourist Trap.


message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) Kurt wrote: "One of my favorites from that period is Tourist Trap (1979). It isn't great art, it doesn't make cinematic history, it's probably mostly forgotten, but it has a scruffy charm to it that appeals to ..."

That one scared the hell out of me as a kid another like it is Mothers Day which was Troma's first film. The bizarre stories and ends get you in both films


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 212 comments Tourist Trap isn't really to my taste that much, but it's an unusual film. And when it was made it was a little more unusual than it is now.

Did you see Frailty? It's another I'd call "interesting", but made more recently 2002.


message 11: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh (kurtreichenbaugh) | 54 comments I've heard of Let's Scare Jessica to Death and it's one I haven't seen, but probably should.

I do remember reading in Danse Macabre the King liked Tourist Trap. I just looked it up and he mentions it's more effective than Magic, which is another movie I really liked.

I love the early Troma movies. I used to have "Class of Nukem High" on VHS but it's long gone now.


message 12: by Zombette (new)

Zombette | 26 comments Get your hands on Race With The Devil. I simply adore it!


message 13: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh (kurtreichenbaugh) | 54 comments I like Race with the Devil a lot also. Now that Mike mentioned Danse Macabre I've been thumbing thru my old copy and looking at King's list of movies. Race with the Devil is one of them and so many others I'd forgotten about.


message 14: by Louisa (new)

Louisa I don't know if you'll be able to get it in the US, but there's a 3 part documentary series just started on the BBC it's called The History of Horror with Mark Gatiss. I've seen the first part, which was all about early horror (nothing about Nosferatu), the second part is about the Hammer films which is on tonight in the UK.


message 15: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
The History of Horror sounds like a good documentary to watch. I'll keep an eye on out for that, Louisa.


message 16: by Cathy (last edited Oct 18, 2010 11:58AM) (new)

Cathy | 164 comments There were some excellent (and some not-so-excellent but fun to watch) horrors in the '70s and '80s:

Fright Night (Vampire next door)
Vamps (vampire strippers! With Grace Jones!)
Count Yorga, Vampire (modern-day vampire, and for once the heroes aren't total idiots)
The Hunger (very stylish, very stupid vampire movie)
The Lost Boys (yes! vampires! And fun riff on Peter Pan, plus Jamie Gertz and Jason Patric were both dreamy)
The Changeling (very eerie ghost story -- a classic)
The Howling (werewolves, natch)
An American Werewolf in London (more werewolves)
Suspiria (Weird! Italian! Witchcraft!)
Night of the Demons (Weird! Italian! Demons invade a movie theater!)
Warlock (sadly underrated, witchcraft and time-travel, great fun)
Spellbinder (witchcraft, good flick, impossible to find)
Return of the Living Dead (zombie spoof)
Nightmare on Elm Street (supernatural AND slasher!)
House (weird haunted-house spoof kind of thing)
Hellraiser (S&M demons)
Q (giant flying monster movie -- or possibly elder god)

All those "don't play with ouija boards/don't play your records backward/don't be a freaky little kid" movies: Witchboard, 976-EVIL, Trick or Treat, The Gate, The Pit, I know there was another evil rock music one but I forget the title.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) Cathy wrote: "There were some excellent (and some not-so-excellent but fun to watch) horrors in the '70s and '80s:

Fright Night (Vampire next door)
Vamps (vampire strippers! With Grace Jones!)
Count Yorga, ..."


Love the 70s and 80s giallo and horror films! Argento, Mario Bava, Fulci whether it's the crazy zombie stuff like Beyond and Zombie or the more cerebral stuff like Suspiria and Phenomena I adore them!

Q scared me when I was tiny, think he was meant to be Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent.

The Gate really stuck with me as did most any horror film at the time really which had very vivid images. I'm still picking up movies that I realize I saw as a kid.

For instance I got a special edition of The Toxic Avenger and realized that the scene where they ran over the kid was one that had scared and horrified me when I was very small. Sort of a scar actually. So watching the scene again in the film with all the other parts of the movie included was surreal and sort of gave me flashbacks from when I saw it originally.

Anybody ever see The Curse or The Curse 2? The Curse was about a farm that's polluted with some horrible stuff that mutates the crops and the people except for the boy who refuses to drink the water. The Curse 2 was about two teens taking a shortcut through the desert and the boy getting bit by a radioactive snake. Shortly thereafter his arm mutates into a snake


message 18: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh (kurtreichenbaugh) | 54 comments Good list for the 70's/80's, especially the giallo nods.

Two more:
Phantasm (1979) - only the original, not the sequels.
Night of the Creeps (1986) I love this one because it's such a fun homage to the 50's drive-in classics. It's one of my favorites.

I've never seen The Curse or Curse 2, at least that I can remember. They sound interesting.


message 19: by Steve (new)

Steve Chaput (stevec50) Amanda wrote: "Kurt wrote: "One of my favorites from that period is Tourist Trap (1979). It isn't great art, it doesn't make cinematic history, it's probably mostly forgotten, but it has a scruffy charm to it tha..."

Even when he was the hero in THE RIFLEMAN, there was something intense about Connors. Not a great actor, but you could depend on him to deliver a solid performance even in some less than good films. Interesting how in later years he was almost always cast as the heavy.


message 20: by Steve (new)

Steve Chaput (stevec50) Cathy wrote: "There were some excellent (and some not-so-excellent but fun to watch) horrors in the '70s and '80s:

Fright Night (Vampire next door)
Vamps (vampire strippers! With Grace Jones!)
Count Yorga, ..."


The most frightening thing about your list, Cathy, is that I have seen almost every one of them. I think VAMP is the only one on which I draw a blank.


message 21: by Zombette (new)

Zombette | 26 comments Demons is the movie where they are in the theater. Night Of The Demons is the one where they throw a party at Hull House on Halloween.

Most of my favorite movies come from the 70's and 80's

My list would be completely out of control.


message 22: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 164 comments Oh, Vamp is fun! Well worth seeing.

And whoops, Zombette is right. I get confused.


message 23: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) I'm with you Zombette with the huge amount of great films in those decades its hard to list only a few.


message 24: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 34 comments Steve wrote: "Danielle, let me think on that. I would say right off the bat, Lets Scare Jessica to Death..."

a very interesting and unusual movie. i'd like to see it again. zohra lampert is a truly quirky actress. haven't seen her in anything else, except as george c scott's wife in Exorcist III - a nothing role that could have been played by literally anyone else.


message 25: by Steve (new)

Steve | 31 comments When we recently watched Jessica, my impression was that they did a great job w the dvd. Nice & clear. Warlock (I agree, really underrated) is available on streaming via Netflix. Night of the Demon, yeah, that was a good one. Suspiria!


message 26: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 325 comments Mod
The first 2 Hellraiser movies are favorites of mine, and I also loved The Lost Boys. Most of the others were either meh, or I disliked them. Let's Scare Jessica was pretty good, but not something I would watch again. I think I prefer my horror movies older for the most part.

Also, the Suspiria DVD I got from Netflix was poor in both sound and picture quality, and also no subtitles. I had to turn it off after 15 min or so, I had no idea what anyone was saying. :(


message 27: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments Mark wrote: "ohra lampert is a truly quirky actress. haven't seen her in anything else, except as george c scott's wife in Exorcist III - a nothing role that could have been played by literally anyone else."

People of a certain age will remember her as the "Goya Bean" lady on TV commercials - "Goya....oh, boya!" (she has a very distinctive smile)


message 28: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Oct 20, 2010 10:22PM) (new)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 212 comments I looked her up on IMDb and she has several credits, mostly on TV. She even had a part (before Jessica) on one of my old TV favorites The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 1965. They list Hungry Ghosts in 2009 (as "Ruth") and something titled Zenith in 2010 (as Ms. Minor). Didn't see either. Before that the last credit they list is 1999 in "The Eden Myth", another I "missed".

Oh, I guess she was best known for being in Splendor in the Grass in 1961.


message 29: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments Over a long weekend, re-watched:

SILENT RAGE (1982) - stupid action/horror hybrid that used to show on HBO all the time - Chuck Norris vs. Michael Myers, essentially (scientific, not supernatural, but still an unstoppable killer who never speaks - which means that the always uncharismatic Norris just has to KICKBOX HARDER!)

Also, my friend wanted to watch BURNT OFFERINGS, which I'd just watched about a month ago, so we did that (and GHOST RIDER, of all things) as well.

Movies I've gotten nostalgic for and would like to see again soon: THE LEGACY (1978) and THE EVIL (1978) - both popped into my mind recently and since I haven't seen either in 25 years at least, they're about due...


message 30: by Steve (last edited Oct 21, 2010 12:20AM) (new)

Steve | 31 comments Martha wrote: "The first 2 Hellraiser movies are favorites of mine, and I also loved The Lost Boys. Most of the others were either meh, or I disliked them. Let's Scare Jessica was pretty good, but not something I..."

Martha, re: Suspiria, maybe it was the disc? Or an older version. The disc we go was "remastered," and was unusually clear in picture and sound. The reason I bring it up is that it was so beyond the norm of what I get from Netflix, that it stuck in mind (and I'm not some video purist. I just want to watch the thing and that's about it.) Maybe try it again. It is a great movie. Well, the story line is as silly and incoherent as it gets, but the LOOK of thing is just amazing. But the way things are going, it could easily go streaming at any time.


message 31: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
Burnt Offerings was pretty scary to me when I watched it as a kid. Especially the part where the guy chokes on the chicken bone.


message 32: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments that scene with the chicken bone is, in fact, from THE LEGACY!


message 33: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 164 comments I was going to say -- I just watched Burnt Offerings, and I don't remember any chicken bone!


message 34: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (last edited Oct 21, 2010 10:42AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
You're right. I saw both of those movies, and they both creeped me out. Thanks. :)


message 35: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) Is the film of Burnt Offerings good? I read the book ages ago but never saw the movie.

Prom Night (the original of course) was a favorite of mine from the old days.

Anyone ever see those Critters movies? Lol loved those!


message 36: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
Amanda, I saw it when I was very young, so I can't comment except that it scared me.


message 37: by Zombette (new)

Zombette | 26 comments I like Burnt Offerings. That damn chauffeur is freaking creeeeeeepy!!


message 38: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 34 comments Shawn wrote: "that scene with the chicken bone is, in fact, from THE LEGACY!"

with sam elliott! and roger daltrey! mind-boggling, in retrospect. also the first place i saw charles gray, who should be in every english movie. and yet the main thing i remember from it is that chicken bone scene.


message 39: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Jamesian Enthusiast (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 1347 comments Mod
It was very memorable, wasn't it? :)


message 40: by mark (last edited Oct 22, 2010 01:49PM) (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 34 comments very memorable! i'm reminded of two other 70s (maybe 80s?) films in which i can sorta remember the plot but in which i mainly remember one striking scene in each: Alice Sweet Alice and The Sentinel.

in Alice Sweet Alice, it was the attack on the priest. so startling! i literally could not believe what i was seeing, i think my mind balked for a moment.

in The Sentinel, it was the heroine's terrified walk through a hallway full of demonic, shambling figures. watching it as a kid, i remember how much that scene upset me. i think it may have featured actors with actual disabilities, because i also remember my mom getting agitated and offended at their use and having some kind of conversation with people in the room about how "it just wasn't right".

its funny to think about the things we pull out of our memory!


message 41: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments Mark - you're right on about THE SENTINEL, and put a finger on why my opinion of it is always mentally asterixed - the "legions of hell" were played by real deformed people and I found that, and still find it, quite tasteless. Too bad because the rest of the film, basically a riff variant on ROSEMARY'S BABY, is pretty solid (look for Jeff Goldblum in an early role).


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 212 comments It was an idea taken from a much earlier horror film (probably one of the most "horrific" ever made in some ways). Freaks (based on the short story Freaks also frightening in it's own way. It used actual "side show performers" and was banned in some places. It was made in 1932 ans MGM actually did a "new ending" to it later to "soften" the original.


message 43: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments Personally, though, I feel there's a difference between framing physically deformed people as freaks in FREAKS and presenting them, flat out, a demonic beings in THE SENTINEL. It's just a personal thing, I guess.

I thought Browning's FREAKS was based on a short story called "Spurs"?


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 212 comments May have been, I'll check.....Yes you are correct. It's been a long time since I read it.

I wasn't commenting on it, I only mentioned the similarity. I suppose if the people playing the parts didn't mind I can live with it. Though I do find it unsettling in actual practice. I don't think there was any slur intended by the movie makers. "It" I suppose lies with individuals.


message 45: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikedecshop) | 30 comments Shawn wrote: "Mark - you're right on about THE SENTINEL, and put a finger on why my opinion of it is always mentally asterixed - the "legions of hell" were played by real deformed people and I found that, and st..."

Also Tom berringer in the final scene as the new tenant


message 46: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments SCARECROWS (1988) - I've always liked this little direct-to-video film. Oh yes, it's got some bad acting, a small budget, a bit too much "treading water" pacing, a too well-lit "dark forest at night" setting and an overuse of slow-motion. Heck, the basic set-up is one of the things I dislike most in modern horror films - action-horror involving military-esque guys with big guns blowing away the threat (ALIENS is the template for this approach - that was a fine film but I haven't found the myriad copies very good), and yet... In this case, bandits who've robbed an Army payroll (pre-opening) are flying out of the country when a member double crosses them and parachutes out with the cash. They follow him down to a strange, abandoned farmhouse and grounds populated with nothing but Scarecrows and so begins a game of hide and seek with more participants than the players realize. If you're in a forgiving mood, though, it's a film that you have to give credit for attempting (if not always succeeding at) some interesting atmosphere. Credit for never explicitly explaining what's going on, credit for the action taking place in an eerie "timeless zone", and credit for some good, creepy make-up effects and the occasional moment of gore. A movie that's more enjoyable for what its trying to be than what it is, but...


message 47: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments Two uneven but interesting films

THE LEGACY (1978) - Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott (looking a bit like Donald Sutherland at the time) are a couple invited to do an interior decorating job in England, only to be involved in a minor accident and invited to stay at the country estate of mega-rich Jason Mountolive. As Mountolive then retreats to an upstairs sickbed, the house hosts further wealthy and powerful guests - all of whom expected Ross to be there and all of whom owe their mysterious benefactor a debt. Then they all start dying one by one as rumors of black magic and Satanism abound. I wanted to see this again as I hadn't watched it since the early 1980s on HBO and wondered if it held up - it does, and it doesn't. There's lots of things to like - some of the deaths are inventive and beautifully staged in almost Dario Argento visual style (the death in the swimming pool and the exploding mirror being particular high-points) or just downright grisly (the fireplace immolation features a horrifically burnt, still twitching victim). It also features a scene I greatly enjoyed as a kid - Ross and Elliot try to escape by running away in their car, only to find that every road leads back to the mansion. The setting is quite nice and the acting all around solid. It's the tone that seems off, at times undermining what should have been an effective horror film by framing it (through nicely lit scenes and wistful, inappropriate music - the latter aspect a definite misstep) as more of a suspense thriller, yet still containing such grisly scenarios as those previously noted (and a failed tracheotomy). It seems to be grasping at both the Satanism-in-high-places and random inexplicable deaths structure of THE OMEN, but also looking to retain that film's glossy, big-budget sheen. I liked it (the ending is also nicely atypical for these type of things), but it seems to be missing something.

THE DEVIL'S RAIN (1975) is also a bit of a mixed bag. Directed by Robert Fuest (THE ABOMINABLE DOCTOR PHIBES) this has an interesting cast: Ernest Borgnine, William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert (and a small part by then unknown John Travolta). Fuest, eschewing the stagey, charming Edwardian feel of PHIBES, creates a nice tone with wide-open Southwestern desert vistas, windy mesas, dried out clapboard buildings and dusty ghost towns, contrasting them with shadowy church interiors, torchlit rituals in desert crags and a gloomy, rain-soaked opening and closing. Again, the acting is fairly solid all the way around (even Shatner) but the plot is oddly convoluted, as Borgnine chases after a book that lists all the souls he's brought to Satan over the last hundred-odd years, the cultists seemingly inhabiting blinded, waxen bodies (the actual "eyeless" face effect is pretty creepy). There's some definite missteps - Borgnine in Devil makeup as he invokes Satan is both a cool effects job and also silly-looking. The ending of the film is a spectacular, goopy effects extravaganza, followed by a coda which doesn't make much logical sense (given what parts of the muddled plot actually do make sense) but does capture an eerie feeling of hopeless despair - (SPOILERS) with the heroine pounding helplessly on the glass screen, trying to escape her damned state as cursed souls endlessly moan, interesting because she started the film by flashing forward psychically to this moment and claiming that it felt like she was trapped endlessly in a movie, which she kind of is!). A little more pulpy than RACE WITH THE DEVIL, say, but a fun movie to waste a late evening with.


message 48: by Mark (new)

Mark Laflamme (marklaflamme) | 2 comments Excellent reviews. The Legacy is one I have to see again. Like you, I was a kid when I first saw it. Loved it, but without much of a critical eye.
Remarkably, I haven't seen The Devil's Rain. That would be worth checking out for the cast alone. Really? Borgnine in a devil's suit? Ernest Borgnine only looks right in white, strappy t-shirts.
Race with the Devil is one I still watch once a year or so. I think it qualifies for the "good, but not" label. Some truly creepy scenes in there, but there's also a long shoot 'em up along the highway that makes you feel like the segment fell out of another movie. How come so many of these 'classics' seem to be 75 percent horror, 25 percent unintentional comedy?
Good stuff, Shawn. Thanks for the tips.

Mark LaFlamme
Author, "Box of Lies"


message 49: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 333 comments No problem - I like RACE WITH THE DEVIL as well, it's such an odd combination of two 1970's film tropes - "Satanists are everywhere" and "Action/Car Chase film" - it's like THE CANNONBALL RUN with Satanists!


message 50: by Mark (new)

Mark Laflamme (marklaflamme) | 2 comments And it's another one with an oddly star studded cast. Seems like Hollywood was unsure about the future of horror back then so everybody snatched up a role or two just in case.
Cannonball Run with satanists... They should have billed it that way. Although, I'm pretty sure it would be hard to take devil worshippers serious if Dom Deloise is around.


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