Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1972

1972 is yet another year of the decade that was heavy with Italian choices. The year is jammed packed with tons of my favourite Giallo. Two of the years better known flicks didn’t actually make my list. George Romero’s housewife horror, Season of The Witch is an interesting film but the execution is less than perfect. Wes Craven’s The Last House On The Left may be an influential and effective horror film, but this isn’t a list of the most influential or effective horror films of 1972, it is a list of my personal favourites. The first half of The Last House On The Left is brutal, intense and frightening, but it doesn’t maintain this mood and the second half leaves me unsatisfied. There were a few films from 1972 I am anxious to see but have yet to check out which include three hammer films; Vampire Circus, Straight On Til Morning and Demons Of The Mind as well as the Giallo’s Seven Shawls of Yellow Silk and My Dear Killer.

Here’s what didn’t make the top ten: The Last House On The Left, Season Of The Witch, Tales From The Crypt, The Other, Blacula, Delirium, Asylum, Images, What The Peeper Saw, The Gore Gore Girls, The Torture Chamber Of Baron Blood, Godzilla Vs. Gigan, Blood Spattered Bride, French Sex Murders, The Flesh And Blood Show, Dr Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo, Death Walks At Midnight.

Directed By: Aldo Lado

Who Saw Her Die is a whodunit with tons of style that doesn’t rely on a body count and graphic violence. The Venice location is excellent and director Aldo Lado makes the beautiful and historical city feel like a dark decaying cesspool full of ugliness and deceit. The performances are strong from both George Lazenby and Anita Strindberg as the grieving parents. An excellent atmosphere and mood that requires a little more emotional involvement than your typical Giallo.

Directed By: Massimo Dallamano

What Have You Done To Solange, is one of several solid Giallo released in 1972. The plot is full of interesting twists and turns, there are some genuinely surprising moments throughout and an absolutely wicked ending. The film quality is excellent. The cinematographer is Joe D’amato who directed the infamous (although seriously over hyped) “Antropophagus”. D’amato’s work in this film is quite impressive. The great Italian composer, Ennio Morricone does the score for this film and adds a perfect moody tension. An intriguing mystery well worth the price of admission.

Directed By: Umberto Lenzi

Seven Blood Stained Orchids follows the classic Giallo formula with a string of suspicious characters and inept cops and a glove wearing killer who leaves a signature at the crime scenes. Although Lenzi doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, his film definitely leaves a lasting impression. He offers up a couple pretty brilliant death scenes. There is one particularly lovely scene when an artist is killed and her blood mixes with some paint. Very nice! The violence, gore and nudity are nicely delivered with some imaginative filming style and above average performances from the actors. As mentioned, there is some serious kick ass imagery here that is not to be missed. A bizarre and brilliant soundtrack compliments it all quite nicely. Thrills, chills and kills not to be missed!

Directed By: Giuliano Carnimeo

The Case Of The Bloody Iris has the regular multitude of red herrings but the peculiar bunch of oddball characters adds a wackiness that also gives me a wee bit of a chuckle. This is one of three films on the list starring the fabulous Edwige Fenech and as always, she is captivating. Finding out how the wackadoodle characters fit into the puzzle is loads of fun! Nice camera work, excellent suspense, and a great score makes this stylish and quirky Giallo a winner.

Directed By: Robert Fuest

Dr Phibes Rises Again ranks high in the world of sequels. A follow up that is as fun as the original is a rare thing. I liked Virginia North’s Vulvania better, but Valli Kemp does do an admirable job. This one is goofier and faster paced than the first and is sheer fantastical entertainment. Like the first film the deaths are imaginative and the humour is a delight. Bring on the plague of darkness!

Directed By: Sergio Martino

All The Colors Of The Dark is one of two favourite films from 1972 that was directed by Sergio Martino. This also stars Edwige Fenech who stars in three films on this list. The film employs some of the classic Giallo techniques but the killer is revealed from the get go. Instead of guessing who the killer might be we are asked to solve a different sort of puzzle. A character driven film with an occult theme is quite subdued in comparison to its peers. There is very little graphic violence, sex or nudity and what is included is actually pretty tasteful. Answers are forthcoming in the films final act but I love the hint of ambiguity left at the end. A satisfying and classy Giallo that doesn’t follow the rules.

Directed By: Sergio Martino

Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key is a well-paced, moody, psychological head trip with a great score from Bruno Nicolai. The dialog is smart, biting and occasionally humorous and the outstanding character development really elevates this one! Anita Strindberg and Luigi Pistilli are both excellent but once again Edwige Fenech steals the show. Your vice is my favourite Fenech performance. She plays niece Floriana who invites herself to stay with a hateful and unhappy couple and seduces both and plays them against each other. This sassy little minx owns the Floriana character and pulls off one of her most memorable performances.

Directed By: Emilio Miraglia

Red Queen Kills Seven Times is one of the liveliest Giallo I have ever seen. It is fast paced, outrageous fun! An old supernatural family curse about a red queen motivates the action which is plentiful and fantastic! The kills in this one are a creative delight and the queen herself is a fantastic character! It’s sexy, suspenseful, frantic and violent. I’ve never seen so many women that look so bloody much alike!! Everything about this film is just grand, like some wonderfully demented adult fairy tale.

Directed By: Eugenio Martín

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing appeared in several films together and Horror Express was one of the last, and in my opinion, one of the best. Most of the emphasis is on the two icons that make the most of their roles. Horror Express has an excellent setting and director Eugenio Martin makes outstanding use of it. Horror Express is fast-paced fun with a great story, thrill, chills and a little humor not to mention an exciting, and satisfying finale.

Directed By: Lucio Fulci

Don’t Torture A Duckling has an exceptional storyline with a parade of bizarre individuals offering a million suspects that never pan out. There are many twist and turns and even a couple shocks. The visuals are fantastic! The small town is nicely presented as eerie and claustrophobic and there is an amazing mob scene that left me in awe. The performances are decent and at times downright brilliant. One of Fulci’s best and classic Giallo that should not be missed!

9 Responses to “Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1972”

  1. The Horror Express is a film I should have seen based on the cast – this one I will be checking out. I’ve also got to seek out Fulci’s Don’t Torture A Duckling, which has a great title but I’m more inclined to want to see when I think about its alternative name The Long Night of Exorcism.

    The fact I also want to see What Have You Done To Solange has nothing to do with the breasts!

    Great list goregirl!

    • I’ve loved Horror Express since I was a kid! I am sure I’ve seen this movie 20 times over the years! You should enjoy this one Dan!

      The Long Night of Exorcism is a little misleading. These Italian flicks have lots of “alternative names”. This could be a tall tale, but apparently the original title was Don’t Torture Donald Duck, which the Disney Company insisted Fulci change. Don’t Torture A Duckling sounds much better anyway! Evidently, a stuffed duck is one of the films clues.

  2. I liked Vampire Circus (in fact, http://forcedviewing.com/2011/01/20/vampire-circus-reviewed-by-lackey/). The costume design is a bit too glam-rocky and the heroes’ acting is a bit bland, but overall I thought it was a lot of fun.

    • I figured I had seen most of Hammer’s horror library. Doing these 70’s lists however made me realize how many of the studio’s films I haven’t seen from this decade. I’ll definitely be checking out Vampire Circus. How wrong can you really go with a vampire circus theme?!

  3. bizarre_eye Says:

    Some more great choices GG – I’m surprised you placed Iris above Orchids, but they are both great gialli. Plus, add me as another one who is a huge fan of Horror Express.

    Can’t believe you didn’t include Dracula A.D. 1972 though! 😉

    • The #7 to #10 spots were all films I rated identically. I am a little fixated on Fenech but I really do enjoy Iris and Orchids equally.

      I don’t dislike Dracula A.D. 1972 but it is probably my least favourite of Lee’s Dracula/Hammer films. Lee isn’t in it nearly often enough! The scene I remember the most is where Professor Van Helsing figures out that Alucard was Dracula spelled backwards. A few too many unintentional laughs, but it does have its charm.

  4. bizarre_eye Says:

    It does have its charm, and I have to say it’s one of my favourite Hammer Dracula movies along with Dracula: Prince of Darkness and the criminally underated Brides of Dracula, which is completely Lee-less but excellent all the same.

    Looking forward to you posting 1973: I’m hoping that one of my all-time favourite films (which also stars Lee) makes your top spot! 🙂

    • I’ve got my 10 picks, just have to write ’em up now.
      But there be no Lee, I thinkinth I’ll be disappointing ye.

  5. Did I recommend Who Saw Her Die to You (says he conceitedly). Until recently, that was easily the best of the Shameless films that I’d seen. Top marks to the score in this one.

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