Thoughts from the ledge: Five cool 1970s horror finds

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Horror at 37,000 Feet – William Shatner – Courtesy of CBS Television Network

The Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973)

This effort was your typical cast of thousands in the 70’s. Like the motion pictures The Inferno and Earthquake every available television series star was in this William Shatner movie from the CBS Network in 1973.

Chuck Connors (Tourist Trap), Buddy Ebsen (Barnaby Jones) and Russell Johnson (The Professor on Gilligan’s Island) were just a few of the headliners in this gem. At the time, I was very young when I saw this so it was quite terrifying.

An ancient cursed artifact is being transported on a plane in the cargo hold. Said piece happens to be an altar from an abbey. What the architect that purchased the item didn’t know is that an evil older than time, a demonic force was attached to it.

Now, this horror is unleashed upon the unsuspecting passengers. One by one they start dying off. Shatner plays an alcoholic ex-Priest who is the only one that can rescue the plane from certain disaster. Naturally, that would be the role he would be cast in!

I will admit to having a mad crush on William Shatner since I was 7, so the stakes were rather high for me when I watched this movie. If you want to know the outcome, I am not going to spoil it. This cheesy classic exists so if you want to have some fun, I highly suggest watching it.

The Dark Secret of Harvest Home – Bette Davis – Courtesy of Universal Television

The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978)

Bette Davis, a veteran actress of stage and screen found her way to horror in the 60’s with   Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. So, by the time 1978 rolled around, she was ready and willing to star in The Dark Secret of Harvest Home based on the 1971 bestseller by Thomas Tryon.

This was Children of the Corn before Children of the Corn. In this time period, mini-series were exceptionally big on network television. Home happened to be a two-part exercise. Ms. Davis played the Widow Fortune, the matriarch of this pleasant little town in New England.

On the outside, life though bucolic is rather peaceful in the burg until the city folk show up. The country ways are ancient and certain rituals must be performed to ensure that the harvest is bountiful. Let’s just say there is one horrific scene that I can still see in my mind today. All I will tell you is, “speak no evil.”

What exactly happens to ensure that the ground stays fertile so the crops will be abundant? You will have to find out by watching this classic.