70S Movies The Best '70s Exploitation Movies  

Ranker Film
1k votes 214 voters 10k views 44 items

List Rules Vote up the most interesting exploitation films that were released in the 1970s.

The best ‘70s exploitation movies are a dizzying blend of graphic sex, sensational violence, and a dash of kitsch. Nazis, fast cars, zombies, bikers - you name it, they are all featured prominently in this 1970s exploitation film list. These films were made with a lower budget, and aimed to produce pure, high-octane entertainment.   


What are the top ‘70s exploitation movies? This list runs the gamut from grindhouse classics, like Death Race 2000, to genre-defining horror flicks like The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by a young Tobe Hooper. Gory slasher movies constitute a number of the top ‘70s exploitation movies. Some films on this list transcended their B-movie status and became cultural touchstones. For example, the movie Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, is actually banned in several countries due to its highly controversial subject matter, and is regarded as one of the most shocking films ever made. 
 

Here, you’ll also find Assault on Precinct 13, originally released in 1976, and remade in 2005 starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne. You won’t find any arthouse flicks here, but you will find some salacious cult classics.Vote up the best '70s exploitation films, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim ...more

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Dawn of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Dawn of the Dead Tom Savini, Ken Foree, James A. Baffico Dawn of the Dead is a 1978 Italian-American horror drama film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero's Living Dead series, but contains no characters or ...more

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Coffy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Coffy Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Gail Davis Coffy is a 1973 blaxploitation film written and directed by American filmmaker Jack Hill. The story is about a black female vigilante played by Pam Grier. The film's tagline in advertising was ...more

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Death Race 2000 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Death Race 2000 Sylvester Stallone, David Carradine, Mary Woronov Death Race 2000 is a 1975 cult action film directed by Paul Bartel, and starring David Carradine, Simone Griffeth and Sylvester Stallone. The film takes place in a dystopian American society in ...more

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The Last House on the Left is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
The Last House on the Left Martin Kove, Steve Miner, Fred J. Lincoln The Last House on the Left is a 1972 American exploitation-horror film written, edited, and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish ...more

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Foxy Brown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Foxy Brown Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Peter Brown Foxy Brown is a 1974 American blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars Pam Grier as the title character, described by one character as "a whole lot of woman" who ...more

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The Hills Have Eyes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
The Hills Have Eyes Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, John Steadman The Hills Have Eyes is a 1977 American exploitation-horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. It is about a suburan family on a ...more

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Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Pam Grier, Charles Napier, Cynthia Myers Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a 1970 American satirical musical melodrama film starring Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John LaZar, Michael Blodgett and David Gurian. The cult ...more

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Assault on Precinct 13 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Assault on Precinct 13 Austin Stoker, Charles Cyphers, Tony Burton Assault on Precinct 13 is a 1976 American action thriller film written, directed, scored and edited by John Carpenter. It stars Austin Stoker as a police officer who defends a defunct precinct ...more

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I Spit on Your Grave is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
I Spit on Your Grave Camille Keaton, Richard Pace, Gunter Kleeman Day of the Woman is a controversial 1978 cult classic rape and revenge film. The film received a limited release, with a wider release in 1980. Prominent film critics condemned the film for its ...more

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Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS George Buck Flower, Richard Kennedy, Dyanne Thorne Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is a 1975 American Nazi exploitation film produced in the USA. The film was directed by Don Edmonds, produced by David F. Friedman and written by Jonah Royston.

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Pink Flamingos is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Pink Flamingos John Waters, Divine, Mink Stole Pink Flamingos is a 1972 American transgressive black comedy exploitation film written, produced, scored, shot, edited, narrated, and directed by John Waters. When the film was initially ...more

The Best '70s Horror Movies

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Piranha is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Piranha Keenan Wynn, John Sayles, Barbara Steele Piranha is a 1978 American B movie about a swarm of killer piranhas. It was directed and co-edited by Joe Dante and starred Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, ...more

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Shaft is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Shaft Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Lawrence Pressman Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a private detective, ...more

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Master of the Flying Guillotin... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Master of the Flying Guillotine Philip Kwok, Lau Kar-wing, Kang Chin Master of the Flying Guillotine is a 1976 Taiwanese wuxia film starring Jimmy Wang Yu, who also wrote and directed the film. It is a sequel to Wang's 1971 film One Armed Boxer, and thus the film ...more

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Thriller: A Cruel Picture is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Thriller: A Cruel Picture Christina Lindberg, Per-Axel Arosenius, Bo Arne Vibenius Thriller – A Cruel Picture is a 1973 Swedish exploitation film in the "rape and revenge" genre written and directed by Bo Arne Vibenius under the name Alex Fridolinski. It tells the ...more

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Vampyros Lesbos is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Vampyros Lesbos Dennis Price, Soledad Miranda, Paul Muller Vampyros Lesbos is a 1971 West German-Spanish horror film directed and co-written by Jesús Franco. The film stars Ewa Stroemberg as Linda Westinghouse, an American who works in a Turkish ...more

The Best Horror Movie Remakes

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Car Wash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Car Wash Danny DeVito, Richard Pryor, George Carlin Car Wash is a 1976 American comedy film released by Universal Pictures. The Art Linson Production was directed by Michael Schultz from a screenplay by Joel Schumacher. Starring Franklyn Ajaye, ...more

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The Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
The Street Fighter Sonny Chiba, Yutaka Nakajima, Tony Cetera The Street Fighter, literally Clash, Killer Fist!, is a Japanese martial arts film released in 1974 and produced by Toei Company Ltd. It was released in the US by New Line Cinema and became one ...more

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Scream Blacula Scream is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Scream Blacula Scream Pam Grier, Craig T. Nelson, Michael Conrad Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Scream Blacula Scream is a 1973 blaxploitation horror film, made under the working titles Blacula Is Beautiful and Blacula Lives Again!. This is the only sequel to the 1972 film Blacula. The ...more

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Female Trouble is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Female Trouble Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey Female Trouble is a 1974 dark comedy film co-composed, filmed, co-edited, written, produced, and directed by John Waters starring Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Edith ...more

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I Drink Your Blood is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
I Drink Your Blood Bhaskar, Jadine Wong, Lynn Lowry I Drink Your Blood is a cult horror film originally released in 1970. The film was written and directed by David E. Durston, produced by Jerry Gross, and starred Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury and Lynn ...more

The Best G-Rated Music Movies

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Vanishing Point is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Vanishing Point Charlotte Rampling, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger Vanishing Point is a 1971 American action road movie directed by Richard C. Sarafian and starring Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, and Dean Jagger. The film is notable for its scenic film locations ...more

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Super Fly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Super Fly Curtis Mayfield, Julius Harris, Ron O'Neal Super Fly is a 1972 blaxploitation, crime drama film directed by Gordon Parks, Jr., starring Ron O'Neal as Youngblood Priest, an African American cocaine dealer who is trying to quit the ...more

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Blacula is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Blacula Vonetta McGee, Elisha Cook, Jr. Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Blacula is a 1972 American blaxploitation horror film produced for American International Pictures. It was directed by William Crain and stars William Marshall in the title role about an ...more

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Blood for Dracula is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Blood for Dracula Roman Polanski, Vittorio De Sica, Udo Kier Blood for Dracula is a 1974 Italian-French horror film written and directed by Paul Morrissey and produced by Andy Warhol, Andrew Braunsberg, and Jean Yanne. It stars Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, ...more

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Switchblade Sisters is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Switchblade Sisters Robert Lee Minor, Don Stark, Janice Karman Switchblade Sisters is a 1975 action and exploitation film detailing the lives of high school-aged female gang members. It was directed by Jack Hill and stars Joanne Nail, Robbie Lee and Monica ...more

15 Amazing Roles Almost Played by Nicolas Cage

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Eyes Without a Face is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
ishallbesuccessful added Eyes Without a Face Alida Valli, Pierre Brasseur, Édith Scob Eyes Without a Face is a 1960 French-Italian horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's novel, directed by Georges Franju, and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. During the film's production, ...more

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Sugar Hill is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Sugar Hill Charles Robinson, Richard Lawson, Ed Geldart Sugar Hill is a 1974 horror blaxploitation zombie film released by AIP. It starred Marki Bey as the title character who uses voodoo to get revenge on the people responsible for her boyfriend's ...more

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Lady Snowblood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
ReeceAllingham added Lady Snowblood Meiko Kaji, Kō Nishimura, Miyoko Akaza Lady Snowblood is a 1973 Japanese film directed by Toshiya Fujita and starring Meiko Kaji. It is based on a manga called Shurayukihime. It is the story of Yuki, a woman who seeks vengeance upon ...more

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Boss Nigger is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
ishallbesuccessful added Boss Nigger Fred Williamson, William Smith, R. G. Armstrong Boss Nigger is a 1975 cult classic Western film directed by Jack Arnold. It stars former football player Fred Williamson, who both wrote and co-produced the film. Boss Nigger is the first film ...more

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Truck Turner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Truck Turner Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Nichelle Nichols Truck Turner is a 1974 blaxploitation film, starring Isaac Hayes and Yaphet Kotto, and directed by Jonathan Kaplan. The screenplay was written by Michael Allin, Jerry Wilkes and Oscar Williams. ...more

Waffle House Recipes

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Vigilante is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
ishallbesuccessful added Vigilante Carol Lynley, Fred Williamson, Woody Strode Vigilante is a 1983 American vigilante film directed by William Lustig. It stars Robert Forster and Fred Williamson.

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Black Caesar is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Black Caesar Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry, William Wellman Jr. Black Caesar, released theatrically in the UK as Godfather of Harlem, is a 1973 American blaxploitation, crime drama film, starring Fred Williamson and Gloria Hendry. The film was written and ...more

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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom Paolo Bonacelli, Caterina Boratto, Hélène Surgère Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, commonly referred to as simply Salò, is a 1975 Italian-French art film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, with uncredited writing ...more

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Battles Without Honor and Huma... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
ReeceAllingham added Battles Without Honor and Humanity Bunta Sugawara, Kunie Tanaka, Hiroki Matsukata Battles Without Honor and Humanity is a 1973 Japanese yakuza film directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The screenplay by Kazuo Kasahara adapts a series of newspaper articles by journalist Kōichi Iiboshi, ...more

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Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
ReeceAllingham added Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion Meiko Kaji, Isao Natsuyagi, Akemi Negishi Female Convict 701: Scorpion is a film made by Toei Company in 1972. It stars Meiko Kaji and was Shunya Itō's first film as a director. The film is based on a comic by Tōru Shinohara. It is a ...more

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The Sinful Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
The Sinful Dwarf Gerda Madsen, Torben Bille, Lisbeth Olsen The Sinful Dwarf is a 1973 Danish film by Vidal Raski.

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Return of the Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Return of the Street Fighter Sonny Chiba, Shingo Yamashiro, Masafumi Suzuki Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Return of the Street Fighter is a 1974 martial arts film and the second in a series starting with The Street Fighter starring Sonny Chiba. In this sequel, Martial artist Takuma Tsurugi returns ...more

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Desperate Living is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Desperate Living Mink Stole, Edith Massey, Mary Vivian Pearce Desperate Living is a 1977 American comedy film directed, produced, and written by John Waters. The film stars Liz Renay, Jean Hill, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and Mary Vivian Pearce.

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Across 110th Street is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Across 110th Street Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Burt Young Across 110th Street is a 1972 American crime drama film starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, and Anthony Franciosa, and directed by Barry Shear. Commonly associated with the blaxploitation ...more

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Eaten Alive is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Eaten Alive Kyle Richards, Robert Englund, Carolyn Jones Eaten Alive is an American horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper and released in May 1977. It was written by Kim Henkel, Alvin L. Fast and Mardi Rustam and produced by Fast, Larry Huly, Robert ...more

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Wake in Fright is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Wake in Fright Donald Pleasence, Jack Thompson, John Meillon Wake in Fright is a 1971 Australian-American thriller film directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence and Chips Rafferty. The screenplay was written by Evan Jones, based ...more

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Long Weekend is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '70s Exploitation Movies
Long Weekend Briony Behets, John Hargreaves, Michael Aitkens Long Weekend is an Australian horror film shot in 1977 and first shown in 1978. The film was directed by Colin Eggleston and stars John Hargreaves and Briony Behets.