When you consider that the 1970s gave us unforgettable films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, Jaws, Halloween, Carrie, and Trilogy of Terror, it’s hard to believe how much bad crap was being made at the same time. Like this motley crew.
NIGHT OF BLOODY HORROR (1969)
Night of Bloody Horror is one psychedelic drug-trippy horror flick. Fricking Major Dad Gerald McRaney lives with his weird, overbearing mother, messed up by the death of her other son years before.
Now, women who come in contact with Major Dad are being murdered. And there are some gory good kills. And it appears Major Dad is having these pinwheel dream sequences of the murders happening…I think. I’m telling you, it’s a trip.
The police suspect Major Dad is probably a fag/fruit and therefore has a motivation to kill women (sigh), but they have no evidence to arrested him. So the murders continue. And we get a psychedelic rock band video montage at a dance club.
Eventually, Major Dad’s lady friend crashes a corpse party in his house and faces off against the killer (you’ll never guess who it is).
HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB (1973)
Horror Rises from the Tomb is one macabre, gothic hoot. This hot campy mess has it all, starting with the execution of a warlock and his wife in medieval times (I think—I call period pieces either Colonial or medieval based on the clothes because those are the only two time periods I remember from social studies).
Fast forward to modern times (my favorite time period) and this group of friends traveling to a house runs into a gang of crazy guys on the rode who hang some dude from a tree. But that doesn’t stop the group from continuing on their journey. At the house, they search for buried treasure. One chick is named Elvira (awesome). There’s loads of eerie organ music. There are these catacombs where the warlock’s head resides. The warlock is resurrected.
He creeps around the house in a cape and appears in people’s bedrooms like Dracula. I think he possesses them to kill each other. There’s murder, mayhem, and sacrificial rituals.
But my favorite part is the brief but effective invasion of the house by zombies! WTF?
This movie is the perfect disaster. And there was even a sequel made like a decade later called Panic Beats.
DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (aka: The Forgotten) (1973)
I guess this one was renamed to cash in on the whole “Don’t” craze. Don’t Look in the Basement, about a bunch of crazies in a mental home, has a pretty disturbing premise, but it fails to deliver any thrills until the very end. After a doctor who uses axe therapy (WTF?) is killed by a patient with an axe (duh!), a new nurse comes on staff.
For about an hour, we watch her being freaked out by the behaviors of all the nuts in the house. And it’s all silly and bland lunacy. Just when we feel like we’re cracking as much as she is, the pretty entertaining twist is revealed. The only really memorable moment of the film is when all the crazies turn on one victim with their sharp tools.
Also notable is that it’s an African-American crazy who saves the day. Although, chances are he would get blamed for all the murders once the authorities arrived.
IT HAPPENED AT NIGHTMARE INN (1973)
Another movie that can’t really sustain itself, even though it lasts just over an hour long. A woman comes to a little inn run by two religious nut sisters. Soon, the sisters are playing the moral police and killing any old slut who comes to stay there. The kills are short and quick and the hokey 1970s musical score doesn’t help matters. The last few minutes of the movie featuring the main girl being stalked through the inn by the sisters is the most exciting part.
TOXIC ZOMBIES (1980)
If only Toxic Zombies had established its main characters better and earlier in the film, it would have been a stronger entry in the zombie genre, because I felt pangs of caring about them at the last minute.
A bunch of hippies who grow marijuana in the woods is crop dusted with poison, which turns them into crazed flesh eaters. Honestly, there are only about ten zombies in total roaming the woods.
Finally, a young couple comes camping and finds two “kids” (who totally look like adults) who have been separated from their parents. As the foursome searches for the parents, they find the zombies instead.
This is where the fun really begins. The survivors barricade themselves into a house…so the zombies arrive with torches to burn it down! Awesome. The zombies definitely look their creepiest in the light of the flames. But the final battles with the zombies are cheesy, laughable, and ridiculous. I was seriously laughing out loud.