The Black Saint and Doc Rotten are celebrating two years of recording the DECADES OF HORROR 1970s podcast, roughly one per month landing at 28 episodes strong. The show features a variety of films from this wondrous, groovy, gory and influential decade between the years 1970 and 1979, beginning with episode 1 recorded February 2014 featuring THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (1977). DoH often includes knowledgeable guest hosts such as Bill Mulligan, Ormon Grimsby and many members of the Horror News Radio grue-crew.
Over the next few months, we are looking to see what films you – listeners and fans of the show – would like to see Decades of Horror cover in future episodes. Episode 29 is set to cover Don Coscarelli’s nightmarish cult classic PHANTASM (1979). The next one is up to you!
Here are the films we are currently considering, in alphabetical order (dates are provided by IMDb):
GRIZZLY (1976) – d. William Girdler
Following the success of JAWS (1975) other studios attempted to replicate the formula. They gave horror fans Orca (1975), Piranha (1978) and Great White (The Last Shark) (1981). But, William Girdler and Film Ventures International had the idea of applying the formula to…a giant killer grizzly. “18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!” the tag-line promised. The film features Christopher George, Andrew Prine and Richard Jaeckle in the lead roles.
LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (1971) – d. John D. Hancock
A creepy horror flick featuring Zohra Lambert (The Exorcist III) as a woman facing insanity while living in a haunted house. Great atmosphere and a deliberate pace highlight this effective horror film from 1971. The is remembered fondly by horror fans and critics, in 2006, the Chicago Film Critics Association listed it in the top 100 scariest films even made and Stephen King has listed it in his favorite horror films. “Something is after Jessica. Something very cold, very wet… and very dead…” goes the tag-line.
THE OMEN (1976) – d. Richard Donner
“It’s all for you, Damian,” cries out Damien Thorn’s nanny just before she leaps to her death, hanging from a second story window. Richard Donner’s horror classic, The Omen, scared audiences with the idea that the Antichrist is being raised by an American diplomat in England, the legendary Gregory Peck as Robert Thorn. David Seltzer’s script never lets up, introducing Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw), impaling a troubled Catholic priest, Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) and decapitating photographer Keith Jennings (David Warner). A true horror classic. The event of the Damien TV series on A&E this spring ensures we will cover The Omen at some point this year.
SHOCK (1977) – d. Mario Bava (also known as BEYOND THE DOOR II)
Suggested by frequent guest-host, Bill Mulligan, Shock is one of many Mario Bava films from the Seventies that tends to get lost in the crowd. The film is known under is State-side release as Beyond the Door II even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the Juliet Mills / Ovidio G. Assonitis film from 1974 (it also known as Chi sei?) except maybe the common theme of a young boy possessed. See, it is already getting confusing. This is also Mario Bava’s last theatrical film before his death in 1980. It also one of the few Bava films to appear in the U.S. generally intact.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) – d. Tobe Hooper
Suggested by listener Mike Hatfield, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the genre defining classics of the Seventies, introducing the world to Leatherface, the chainsaw wielding maniac chasing after Marilyn Burns. The images of Leatherface wildly swinging his chainsaw toward the end or slamming the large metal door shut (and many more) are icon horror scenes. Tobe Hooper manages to capture that raw terror, that air of authenticity, that keeps the film in the forefront of cherished horror classics and in the nightmares of horror fans.
TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1972) – d. Amando de Ossorio
“SCREAM So They Can Find You!!!” – the tag-line teases its audience. The Spanish horror film from Amando de Ossorio, La Noche Del Terror Ciego is better known to U.S. audiences as Tombs of the Blind dead. The film introduces the zombie-like Knights Templar and spawns three sequels, Return of the Evil Dead (1973), Horror of the Zombies (1974) and Night of the Seagulls (1975). The imagery of the “Knights of the East” (as they are called in the film) is particularly effective and haunting and the film contains some genuine chilling and atmospheric scenes of horror.