Jaws and Trilogy of Terror are just two of the scariest films from the gritty 70’s to turn 45 this year. What other classics are in the mix?
Jaws is the quintessential summer monster movie. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this screamer still has a bite 45 years later. What elevated this tale of terror on the high seas above a B movie venture was the solid script and the exceptional talent.
Trilogy of Terror is another title that springs to mind when thinking of gritty, disturbing releases from 1975. A horrifying TV anthology from the mind of Dan Curtis, this suspenseful thriller starred the ever-versatile Karen Black in several roles.
These two films aren’t the only memorable ones from that era. Here are eight more for horror fans to add to their must-see lists.
Who would have thought that Steven Spielberg would have went back to his horror roots to make one of the top grossing movies of all time? Not to mention the fact that this particular shark tale attracted the likes of veteran actor Robert Shaw, who starred in the Academy Award winning films, A Man for All Seasons and The Sting, Roy Scheider who was nominated for an Oscar for The French Connection and Richard Dreyfuss who was an Academy Award nominee for American Graffiti and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.
With that kind of talent and a spine-tingling story line about a Great White shark that goes on a murderous rampage, Jaws was tailor made for success.
45 years later, Quint’s (Shaw) Indianapolis speech is still heart breaking and powerful. It is that caliber of writing, acting and directing that transcends this effort to greatness because in the wrong hands, it could have been a schlocky movie.
You can stream Jaws on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO.
Trilogy of Terror
This made for television movie was so disturbing that I remember it in vivid detail over four decades later. Karen Black’s tour de force performances in several roles within this horror anthology was simply amazing. Mostly in part because she had a terrific script penned by genre legend, Richard Matheson.
Of course, when anyone thinks of this Dan Curtis helmed effort, they immediately go to the last story in the trilogy, “Amelia.” Black purchases a rare Zuni doll for her scholar boyfriend. This particular item has specific instructions. One of which is to make sure that the gold chain on the doll needs to stay intact.
Well, that doesn’t happen and the night of terror begins when the Zuni warrior comes to life and starts chasing Black around her apartment with a knife.
Trilogy of Terror is bloody and relentless but definitely worth the watch and can be found on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The Devil’s Rain
Ernest Borgnine, Tom Skerritt, William Shatner and John Travolta together in one movie? Yes, please! Where do I sign up?
McHale from McHale’s Navy (Borgnine) plays the leader of a Satanic cult. Once again, the search is on for a “Book” that will help Borgnine’s character, Jonathan Corbis enslave his congregation. Guess who is standing in his way?
William Shatner, that’s who. However, he is no match for the nefarious Corbis who submits him to torture and turns him into a blind follower. It’s up to his brother, Tom (played by Tom Skerritt of Alien) to rescue him and ensure that the tome doesn’t end up in Corbis’ hands.
John Travolta plays one of the cult members named Danny. He is featured in a “blink and you’ll miss it” scene, so keep your eyes peeled for his cameo.
Check out this flick on Amazon Prime, Shudder, Tubi and Xfinity Stream.
David Cronenberg is a very interesting filmmaker who has given us quite a few horror classics over the decades like Rabid, Dead Ringers and The Fly. He takes no prisoners in this off-the-wall production.
When a scientist kills a young girl that he was experimenting on, things start to go awry in the apartment building where he lives. He genetically engineers parasites to act as organ transplants. What could possibly go wrong?
Evidently, a lot when the parasites start spreading and infecting the residents of the apartment complex. Guess how they transmit the vermin? Through sexual contact which means everyone is going to become nymphomaniacs if they don’t find a way to stop them from multiplying.
Shivers can be found on Amazon Prime, Shudder and Tubi.
When an earthquake strikes, mutant cockroaches emerge from deep within the earth to wreak havoc on a college town. However, these aren’t ordinary bugs. They can create fires.
In the quest to save his burg from this particular plague, scientist James Parmiter (Bradford Dillman) attempts to destroy them. However, this action results in the cockroaches acquiring a taste for human flesh. If you are a fan of body horror, this is one of those efforts that will haunt your dreams.
Bug can be streamed on Amazon Prime, Hulu and EPIX.
Other flicks turning 45 and where you can find them:
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Amazon Prime, iTunes, VUDU, YouTube, Google Play and Microsoft
- The Stepford Wives: Amazon Prime, PopcornFlix and Tubi
- Don’t Open the Door!: Amazon Prime and Vimeo
- Race with the Devil: Amazon Prime and Shudder
- Psychic Killer: Amazon Prime
What is your favorite film from 1975? Let us know in the comments.