1970s Horror Films Blog Introduction

Welcome to this blog dedicated to horror films of the 1970s!

Asylum VHS tape
This is the box and videocassette for “Asylum” (1972)

My love for horror movies goes all the way back to 1972, when I was two years old. I vividly recall being in the back seat of my parents’ car at a Boston-area drive-in, watching the Amicus anthology film, “Asylum,” starring Peter Cushing and Herbert Lom. For years, mum and I couldn’t remember the name of the film, so we referred to it as, “Chopping Heads.” In the late 1990s, as a local video store was getting rid of VHS tapes in favor of DVDs, I discovered “Asylum” on sale for three bucks. I read the back and realized THIS was “Chopping Heads”!! My journey to rediscover and explore the past had truly begun then.

Back of Asylum VHS bos
Here is the back side of the VHS box.

My parents were always big fans of horror films – or as we called them, “spooky movies” – and that was passed down to me, although admittedly most of my horror movie watching during childhood was usually from under a blanket. As I got older, my love for horror broadened to various sub-genres, while my nostalgia of growing up in the 70s increased. Now, in my adult years, I’ve come to truly appreciate horror of the 1970s. The late 1960s was a transitional period for Hollywood and society, and cinema started pushing new boundaries of what could be shown. The violence and gore was amped up and would reach its nadir by the mid 1980s. And being a horror aficionado, I had erroneously assumed I’d pretty much seen everything. However, in working on my Facebook page, Retro TV Guide and Vintage Newspaper Movie Listings, I realized there were several if not hundreds of films that I’d never even heard of. This astonished me, and I started to delve into 1970s horror films, discovering many hidden gems.

Boston Globe Drive-In Ads from 1970
From Friday, November 17, 1970 – Horror movie newspaper ads.

Then, one day recently, a thought struck me like a thunderbolt: I would embark on a journey to literally watch all horror films from 1970 through 1979. This thought turned into an ambitious quest as I realized I needed to write about them in a blog, and here we are. I certainly don’t expect this to happen overnight, and the journey will be long, yet rewarding. I will review each film from the decade year by year, obviously starting with 1970 (also my birth year). I had a dilemma, though: should I do them alphabetically, randomly, or by release date? I pulled a list together and found that a handful of films that are listed for the year were either released in 1970 in a different country and then later in the US, or were created in the 1960s but for one reason or another came out in 1970. The first horror film released on January 1, 1970, was “An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe” in which horror legend Vincent Price reads several Poe stories on stage. While that sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to see it, it’s not a movie with a plot and special effects, which was something I wanted to start with. So I’ll be saving that for later viewing and review. I’ll be randomly moving around the films of that year, based on availability and my interest.

Horror Movie newspaper listings
From The Boston Globe, Friday November 17, 1970 – more movie newspaper ads.

In addition to this blog, I’m finally getting back to writing for my original one, “Then Is Now” – my musings on pop culture of the past – and am starting up another new one called “The Films of John Saxon.” Saxon has long been a favorite actor of mine, so I’ve decided to dedicate an entire blog to reviewing mainly his genre films. Hence, there will be some crossover between the blogs on occasion. But for now, get ready for my first post here as I look at the 1970s. Some posts may be about the changing times or technology of the era, in between film reviews, so that you the reader can have a frame of reference for when these movies were made. While my starting point to create the list of films is Wikipedia (aka encyclopedia by general consensus), I will also be using several books and other, more legitimate websites for my research.

Many exploitation films of the era were also horror themed, so there will definitely be some crossover there. If you would like to chime in about any aspect of 70s horror, make some requests for films to cover sooner rather than later, want to express your opinion, or anything else pertaining to horror from this groovy and bloody decade, please email me at havenpodcasts@gmail.com.

I’m glad you’ll be with me on this journey, so get ready as we dive into the horror films of the 1970s!!

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