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The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 335 voters 16.6k 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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26
Lady Snowblood is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
ReeceAllingham added 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
27
Black Caesar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
28
Female Trouble is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
29
Blood for Dracula is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
30
I Drink Your Blood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
31
Sugar Hill is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
32
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
33
Truck Turner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
34
Vigilante is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
ishallbesuccessful added Carol Lynley, Fred Williamson, Woody Strode
Vigilante is a 1983 American vigilante film directed by William Lustig. It stars Robert Forster and Fred Williamson.
35
Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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.
36
Eaten Alive is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
37
Across 110th Street is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
38
Battles Without Honor and Huma... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
ReeceAllingham added 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
39
The Sinful Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
The Sinful Dwarf Gerda Madsen, Torben Bille, Lisbeth Olsen
The Sinful Dwarf is a 1973 Danish film by Vidal Raski.
40
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
ReeceAllingham added 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
41
Return of the Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
42
Wake in Fright is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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
43
Desperate Living is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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.
44
Long Weekend is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies of the 1970s
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.