Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1975

My one rule with this project is the film must be listed as horror on IMDB. There are two outstanding films from the year I wanted to recognize that lean towards horror but are not classified as such. The Stepford Wives is listed as mystery, sci-fi, thriller. The Stepford Wives is an excellent, commentary-laden film with great performances, but I have to agree with its classification. This also gives me a chance to rag on Frank Oz’s “comedic” remake Of The Stepford Wives which is a shameful piece of unfunny garbage. Jaws is listed as thriller and I think that is definitely a fair classification. It starts out like a horror but most of the film is a straight-up action-thriller. Jaws definitely deserves a nod for being a kick-ass piece of cinema, but I can’t put it on the list. This was a bit of an oddball year. I hadn’t seen nearly as many films as I had from the previous years. The Italians made a major comeback in 1975 with five titles. Rounding out the list is one film each from Australian, France, UK, Canada and Spain. Strangely, not a single film from the U.S. made the list. Still to see from the year: Aldo Lado’s Night Train Murders, Donald M. Jones and Mikel Angel’s The Love Butcher, Duccio Tessari’s Man Without A Memory, Leonardo Favio’s The Nazarene Cross and the Wolf and Tano Cimarosa’s Vice Wears Black Hose.

Here’s what made the shortlist; The Ghoul, Race With The Devil, Legend Of The Werewolf, Poor Pretty Eddie, The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud, Forced Entry, Three On A Meathook, The Killer Is On The Phone, Psychic Killer, The Killer Snakes

Directed By: Amando de Ossorio

Night Of The Seagulls is the fourth and final film in Amando de Ossorio’s Blind Dead series. Tombs Of The Blind Dead is my favourite of the quartet but I wouldn’t put Night Of The Seagulls too far behind. There is an interesting twist for the Templar Knights and their costuming is improved. The sets are more elaborate and the cinematography is top notch. Sound is used to great effect and nicely compliments the visuals. Have I mentioned the virgin sacrifices? Although the films vary in quality, I rather enjoy this Spanish zombie quartet and Night Of The Seagulls is an entertaining finale for the series.

Directed By: Armando Crispino

Director Armando Crispino’s visuals are great. Autopsy’s scenery and sets are amazing and it moves along at a good pace. The footage of solar flares is a bit cheesy but I rather dug it. It features a brilliant soundtrack from Ennio Morricone and I loved the way a woman’s voice is used over the music. Autopsy is not without flaws, but interesting and lively characters, a good pace, mood and stylish photography make it well worth a look. To read the full review click here.

Directed By: Umberto Lenzi

Eyeball is style over substance but it doesn’t take away from the entertainment value any. First and foremost the killer’s modus operandi is plucking an eyeball from their victim! The aptly named Eyeball has lots of violence and nudity and a delightfully mad killer. Story is not its strong point but the visuals more than make up for it. Excellent cinematography courtesy of Antonio Millan and a great score from Bruno Nicolai make the sleazy fun that much more appealing. It’s not perfect but it sure is fun!

Directed By: Andrea Bianchi

Andrea Bianchi has directed some pretty entertaining but absurd and unintelligible films. Bianchi who wrote and directed Strip Nude For Your Killer puts together a decent little film with a plot that is actually coherent. Of course, it is also sleazy, cheesy and violent! You get nudity in the first scene and there’s a lot more where that came from. There is a significant body count and the violence is plentiful. It’s not as gory as Bianchi’s later films, but it is considerably bloody for the period. What it lacks in style it makes up for with an all you can eat buffet of what its title promises; nudity and death. To read the full review, click here.

Directed By: Jean Rollin

Lips Of Blood is one of my favourite Jean Rollin films. Sure, the vampire fangs are corny and the gore is little more than some fake blood on bite wounds, but there are plenty of other reasons to explore Rollin’s world. A castle in a photograph sparks a childhood memory of a beautiful girl. The search to seek out this castle leads to the awakening of four vampires. Lips Of Blood has a wonderfully haunting and deliciously sexy gothic vibe. It is dripping with atmosphere, well paced, features a great jazzy score and copious amounts of nudity. The cast are great, particularly gorgeous Annie Belle who plays Jennifer, the girl from the past and Jean-Loup Philippe is solid as the films central character Frederic. Fangtastic Fun!

Directed By: José Ramón Larraz

Sexy female vampire flicks were plentiful in the 1970’s. There is a bounty of bites, bush and boobs to be had but some of these films are much better than others. Vampyres ranks high among the best of them. Much of its appeal is thanks to the two lead actresses, Anulka and Marianne Morris. They are both beautiful women who give strong performances. Their looks compliment one another and the chemistry is electric. The atmosphere, sets and outstanding cinematography ensure its more than just tits and ass. The cinematographer on the film is Harry Waxman who worked on the outstanding The Wicker Man. Story takes a backseat but Vampyres style and sensuality are a thoroughly appealing and hypnotic trip.

Directed By: Peter Weir

Picnic At Hanging Rock has lightness and delicacy to its visuals that is like looking at a Victorian-era painting come to life. The stunning Australian landscape makes a suitable picnic spot for properly Victorian girls on a field trip with their teacher. Hanging Rock’s beauty embraces the girls with its swans and flowers and the contented women float amoung their environment until an afternoon nap. A peaceful afternoon is upset by the disappearance of three of the young women and their teacher. There are plenty of questions posed but no answers are forth coming. The viewer is left to come to their own conclusions. Sexual repression in the Victorian era may be the underlying theme but it is the films visuals that really stick with me. Picnic At Hanging Rock is a fascinating, haunting and beautiful film.

Directed By: Luigi Cozzi

Luigi Cozzi’s The Killer Must Kill Again is a clever and unique Giallo. We know who commits the crimes and what their motives are from the start. The film has great suspense, and several excellent twists that are brilliantly executed. Cozzi crafts a tight plot with creative visuals and casts Antoine St. John who is just fantastic as the sinister killer. This guy has a face you don’t soon forget! St. John gets some solid support from Cristina Galbo, Femi Benussi, Eduardo Fajardo and George Hilton. An outstanding and extremely satisfying Giallo!

Directed By: David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg has long been one of my favourite directors. Three of his films including Shivers are among my 100 Favourite Horror Films of All Time. Shivers is an intense, intelligent, claustrophobic tale full of sexuality and violence. The film opens with a middle-aged man grabbing, gagging and stripping a teenage girl. He continues his work by slicing open the young woman’s stomach, pouring acid inside and then slitting his own throat. Turns out the man was working on an experiment using parasites for organ transplant that had gone terribly wrong. The parasites are loose inside an antiseptic and claustrophobic building and soon begin infecting the tenants. The parade of violent and deviant scenes to follow are unique and effective. I’m not sure Cronenberg is necessarily breaking taboos at this point of the 70’s but he certainly throws it all into the mix including sex, nudity, incest and cannibalism. The cute, feline-esque Lynn Lowry who plays Nurse Forsythe has a great little speech where she speaks of a dream she had. In her dream, she is having sex with an old man who is dying and smells bad. The man tells her that “old flesh is erotic flesh” and “disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other” and “that even dying is an act of eroticism”, with these words she is able to enjoy sex with this man she finds repulsive. Cronenberg creates an excellent mood of paranoia and includes plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle commentary on contemporary 70’s culture. Shivers is a fantastic horror film and one of the reasons I worship at the altar of Cronenberg!

Directed By: Dario Argento

Deep Red is one of the first Italian horror films I can remember seeing and it is still one of my favourites. I love Dario Argento’s stylish filming. Long shots of inanimate objects, shots around corners, down hallways and up walls go a long way to helping create a mood. Great sets and cool props are par for the course in an Argento film. The music in Deep Red is fantastic and bounces around my head for days after a viewing. David Hemmings plays a pianist who lives below the films first victim and witnesses her death. Hemmings is perfectly cast as the pianist. He is not a detective, he’s a musician, and he charmingly trips, falls and bumbles his way through to the films conclusion. Daria Nicoldi does a solid job as an aggressive liberated journalist/reporter who works with Hemmings to solve the mystery. Argento offers plenty of variety with his death scenes and dispatches his characters with creativity and panache. The ending is perfect. In fact, if you ask me, everything about Deep Red is perfect. Deep Red is one of the finest Giallo’s ever made.

11 Responses to “Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1975”

  1. bizarre_eye Says:

    Firstly, it’s great to see Night of the Seagulls get a mention as it is (unashamedly) my favourite of the Blind Dead series!

    I’m surprised to see Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock feature, as I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a Horror film. However, it seems to fit perfectly within your list, so who am I to argue? It is a beautiful and dream-like film, and I’d definitely urge you to check out Weir’s The Cars That Ate Paris (if you haven’t already) for another masterful film – which probably would have made my top 10 list for 1974.

    Good to see Shivers get a high placing (one of my favourite Cronenberg films), and I don’t think many will argue with Deep Red coming in at number one – except for fans of Jaws, perhaps! (although, I suppose you could argue that it is more of an action-thriller than a horror film)

    Even though I’m a giallo nut (as I’ve gradually realised that you are too!), I’ve never taken to Crispino’s Autopsy. I’ve always found it rather plodding, although now you’ve placed it in your top 10 I may have to give it a rewatch.

    • I have seen The Cars That Ate Paris and enjoyed it, but it was not top 10 material for me.

      IMDB has been a major and seemingly accurate source of film information for me so despite some questionable genre classifications I’m sticking with the plan. I was surprised THE DEVILS (1971) wasn’t listed as horror though! Granted, it seems odd to have Picnic At Hanging Rock on the list after my comments about Jaws. Jaws is so much more exciting and action-packed! But what can I say? I like dreamy, haunting films, and really the horror is whatever you make it, as Picnic never gives answers. Once Scheider, Dreyfuss and Shaw get on that boat it is pure action thriller no two ways about it in my opinion. I agree, genre is subjective, but to be honest, even without IMDB I STILL would argue for Jaws “thriller” placing.

  2. bizarre_eye Says:

    I’ve just seen your comment re: Jaws – IMDB can be a bit funny sometimes when it comes to genre, so I tend not to trust them! Mainly because genre is such a subjective thing.

    Also, I hope you enjoy Night Train Murders – it’s definitely one of the more successful takes on Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, coming hot on the heels of Craven’s Last House on the Left. I actually massively prefer it to Craven’s film, which I’m not a huge fan of. Night Train Murders would have definitely made my top 10 for 1975.

  3. I have a ton of work to do off of this list (including the shortlist). The only one I’ve seen is ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. It makes me happy to see Jean Rollin getting a little love on the list, though I’ve only seen a handful of his films (and that doesn’t include ‘Lips of Blood’).

    How are you doing these? Are you watching them all at once or is this more of a cumulative type of thing, where you’ve seen all of these over the course of a handful of years?

    • Lips Of Blood is one of my favourite Rollin films along with Living Dead Girl and Grapes Of Death (which I just seen last week and I loved it!)

      I’ve been keeping rated lists of every film I’ve seen for years and years. I knew this useless information might be useful some day! I only rewatch the ones I haven’t seen recently (within the last 5 years). Unfortunately, I only started putting the year on these lists a couple years ago. It was pretty easy to extract the ones that were 70’s flicks but I had no idea what year they were for. I then plug the names into IMDB for the year (or to confirm the year) and that it is listed as “horror” and then I make a pick from “X” amount of films I shortlisted. It was pretty easy this year, as it was my shortest list of the decade. A couple of these lists had an insane amount of titles that took forever to troll through! I was shocked at how many films I have seen from the 70’s. I thought my 80’s list was huge, but the 70’s exceeds it by nearly 200 films! I am not looking forward to making my picks for 77-79, those are going to be bloody tough!

  4. Wow, was not expecting to see a Peter Weir film on this list. Always heard great things about that movie, never actually knew that’s what it was about though. Will definitely be checking that out.

    • Picnic is awesome! If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend Weir’s The Last Wave also. Weir is an interesting director. He has hits and misses, but when he gets it right he really gets it right!

  5. Strip Nude is geeat fun- even if the main character is a misogynistic dick. My only real complaint is that Carlo is such a tool that the film feels mean spirited on occasion.

    Surprised that IMDB doesn’t list Jaws as horror

  6. The feminist writers must have had a field day with Strip Nude For Your Killer.

    Lots of films for me to see here. Can’t argue with your number one choice though! Deep Red is great fun.

    I’ve preferred other Cronenberg films but Shivers still features some great ideas.

    As I’m squirmish about violence involving eyes I think I’ll have to avoid Eyeball! I find it hard to even look at that pic.

    • I suspect Strip Nude For Your Killer probably flew under the radar of your average feminist. They were all probably busy writing thesis on The Stepford Wives anyway.

      I LOVE early Argento, Deep Red has long been a favourite…Suspiria…Inferno…Tenebre all fantastic!

      You probably want to avoid Eyeball then! You may also want to avoid Lucio Fulci films….that guy loves his eye violence!

  7. cherry blossom tree…

    […]Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1975 « GOREGIRL'S DUNGEON[…]…

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