THE 1970’S…A DECADE IN REVIEW


The 70s may have ended 32 years ago but they are alive and well in the Dungeon! With the top 10 lists for each year of the 70s complete I thought I would summarize my findings. Evidently, I threw something up in my sidebar for easy future reference. Let’s start with rankings. My boring old “out-of-five” rating system does make for some easy mathematics when adding my total ratings. Ranking by year however definitely has its problems. The top 10 lists for each year aren’t really representative of the decade as a whole. Some years I had to reach and include films I rated 3 and 3.5/5 while other years I had to dump films I rated 4/5. The year that ranked highest was 1973 which featured a top five I rated 5/5 and included The Exorcist, Don’t Look Now, The Wicker Man, The Legend Of Hell House and Lemora: A Child’s Tale Of The Supernatural. Here is how the lists broke down (click the year to go to the original list)…

1973 = 45.5
1971 = 45
1978 = 44
1977 = 43
1979 = 42.5
1972 = 42.5
1975 = 41
1974 = 40
1970 = 40
1976 = 38.5

If you watched only films from the U.S.A. and The U.K. you could see the films getting more violent and the subjects more taboo as the decade progressed. Italy however came screaming into the decade with their arms a-flailing! Incest, rape, abortion, pedophilia and other such topics were thrown into the mix along with a significant bodycount and plenty of naked flesh. Crazy convoluted plots, black-gloved killers and elaborate and stylish Grand Guignol death sequences are just a few reasons I love Italian horror. Not surprisingly there are more Italian films on my lists than any other country. In fairness though, Italy only beat out the U.S.A. by a single entry! The Italians had a strong presence early in the decade along with the U.K. while the U.S.A. kicked some ass in the latter half of the decade. Here is how the list broke down by country…

ITALY =32
USA =31
UK =17
CANADA =5
SPAIN =5
FRANCE =2
AUSTRALIA =2
GERMANY =2
MEXICO, JAPAN, BELGIUM, CZECH REPUBLIC =1


In keeping with my on-going theme the director with the most entries was Italian great Sergio Martino. As a matter of fact, four of five of the top directors hailed from Italy! The odd man out was Canadian David Cronenberg who had three films on the lists (Cronenberg only directed three horror films during the decade!). Some of the directors that made the lists would go on to create brilliant films in the 80s like the aforementioned Mr. Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci among others (check out my top 10 favourite lists for the 80s by clicking here). Here are the directors with multiple entries…

SERGIO MARTINO 5
LUCIO FULCI 4
DAVID CRONENBERG 3
UMBERTO LENZI 3
DARIO ARGENTO 3
ROY WARD BAKER 2
WERNER HERZOG 2
MARIO BAVA 2
PETE WALKER 2
GEORGE ROMERO 2
ROBERT FUEST 2
AMANDO DE OSSORIO 2
ALDO LADO 2
BRIAN DEPALMA 2
MASSIMO DALLAMANO 2
TOBE HOOPER 2
BOB CLARK 2
LARRY COHEN 2
JEAN ROLLIN 2


The horror films of the 70s and 80s are what I grew up with and what I know best. I don’t claim to have seen every film from the 70s and 80s but I’ve seen an impressive number of them. I look forward to discovering a gem among some of those I have yet to see. The seventies hold a special place in my heart, not only for the films but the fashion and music from the decade. Particularly appealing to me are the soundtracks, which I make a point of mentioning throughout my ramblings. Some of the outstanding soundtracks from the decade were Fabio Frizzi’s Zombi 2, Goblin’s Suspiria, Dawn Of The Dead and Deep Red (along with Giorgio Gaslini), John Carpenter’s Halloween, Ennio Morricone’s What Have You Done To Solange and The Fifth Cord and Bruno Nicolai’s The Case Of The Scorpion’s Tail. I was going to break down all the films by sub-genre but frankly too many of them fit in multiple categories. I can tell you that 13 Vampire films made the list and 7 zombie films. In summary, the seventies rock! Now I’m going to watch a couple newish horror films which will probably make me appreciate the awesome films of the seventies that much more.

One Response to “THE 1970’S…A DECADE IN REVIEW”

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