Entertainment

The Best '70s Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
Originally by
48.4k votes 3.1k voters 78.7k views 127 items

List Rules Only horror films released between 1970 and 1979

List of the best '70s horror movies, ranked by horror buffs, film buffs, and Ranker buffs. President Richard Nixon’s resignation, the age of disco, the end of the Vietnam War, the oil crisis, the Camp David Accords – for most, these are the highlights of the 1970s decade. For others, it was The Exorcist, Halloween, and Dawn of the Dead. What were the best horror films of the '70s?

Let’s face it: some of the movies from this decade were just, well, cheesy. Fortunately, others have stood the test of time as being some of the greatest horror movies of all time. Whether you’re in the mood for more of a realistic thriller, a cheesy girl’s night kind of flickm or a old scary movie that was based on actual events, there’s a horror movie on this list that will make your night.

This list discusses the best horror movies of the '70s, including: Alien, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Wicker Man. Vote for your favorite 1970s horror movies, and please add any that we missed.

list ordered by
back to page 1
26
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Meat Loaf
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical horror comedy film directed by Jim Sharman, based on the 1973 musical stage play by Richard O'Brien. A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an ...more
27
Ranker Video
JamesArmstrong added Isabelle Adjani, Klaus Kinski, Bruno Ganz
Nosferatu the Vampyre is a 1979 West German art house vampire film written and directed by Werner Herzog. Its original German title is Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. The film is set primarily in ...more
28
Ranker Video
Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Leopoldo Trieste
Don't Look Now is a 1973 independent British-Italian film directed by Nicolas Roeg. It is a thriller adapted from the short story by Daphne du Maurier. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland star ...more
29
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added Tina Louise, Mary Stuart Masterson, Katharine Ross
The Stepford Wives is a 1975 science fiction–thriller film based on the 1972 Ira Levin novel of the same name. It was directed by Bryan Forbes with a screenplay by William Goldman, and stars ...more
30
Ranker Video
David Mase added Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Lou Frizzell
Duel is a 1971 television thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Richard Matheson, based on Matheson's short story of the same name. It stars Dennis Weaver as a terrified ...more
31
Magic is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
newworkera added Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith
Magic is a 1978 American psychological horror film directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, and Burgess Meredith. The screenplay was by William Goldman, who ...more
32
Ranker Video
CraigAlarm added Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk
Eraserhead is a 1977 American experimental body horror film directed by David Lynch. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend (Charlotte ...more
33
Ranker Video
dee123 added Zohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Alan Manson
Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a 1971 American horror film, directed by John D. Hancock and starring Zohra Lampert as Jessica. It depicts the nightmarish experiences of a psychologically ...more
34
Ranker Video
JamesArmstrong added Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Harry Andrews
Theater of Blood is a 1973 horror film starring Vincent Price as vengeful actor Edward Lionheart and Diana Rigg as his daughter Edwina. The cast includes such distinguished actors as Harry ...more
35
Ranker Video
CraigAlarm added Laurence Olivier, Frank Langella, Donald Pleasence
Dracula is a 1979 American/British horror film starring Frank Langella as Count Dracula, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The film was directed by John Badham and the cinematography ...more
36
Ranker Video
dee123 added Dario Argento, David Hemmings, Gabriele Lavia
Deep Red is a 1975 Italian giallo film, directed by Dario Argento and co-written by Argento and Bernardino Zapponi. It was released on 7 March 1975. It was produced by Claudio and Salvatore ...more
37
Alice, Sweet Alice is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
Brooke Shields, Lillian Roth, Linda Miller
Alice, Sweet Alice is a 1976 American slasher film co-written and directed by Alfred Sole, and starring Linda Miller, Paula Sheppard, and Brooke Shields in her film debut. The narrative focuses ...more
38
Ranker Video
Dawn Wells, Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine
The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a 1976 American horror film by producer and director Charles B. Pierce who also co-stars as a bumbling police officer named A.C. Benson, also known as ...more
39
Ranker Video
JohnPlanthaber added Tanya Roberts, Chuck Connors, Keith McDermott
Tourist Trap is a 1979 American horror film directed by David Schmoeller, and starring Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Robin Sherwood, and Tanya Roberts. The film revolves around a group of ...more
40
Ranker Video
dee123 added Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle
The Brood is a 1979 Canadian science fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, and Art Hindle. The film depicts a series of events ...more
41
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added 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
42
Shivers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '70s Horror Movies
MichaelCoughlin added Shivers Barbara Steele, Joe Silver, Vlasta Vrána
Shivers is a 1975 Canadian science fiction body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg.
43
Ranker Video
dee123 added Lynn Lowry, Harry Spillman, Richard Liberty
The Crazies is a 1973 American science fiction horror-action film about the effects of the accidental release of a military biological weapon upon the inhabitants of a small American town. The ...more
44
Ranker Video
daniel-claeys added Michael Ansara, William Wellman Jr., John P. Ryan
It's Alive is a 1974 American horror film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen. In the movie, a couple's infant child turns out to be a vicious mutant monster that kills when ...more
45
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added Roman Polanski, Shelley Winters, Isabelle Adjani
The Tenant is a 1976 psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski, starring Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, and Shelley Winters. It is based upon the 1964 novel Le locataire ...more
46
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added Alfred Hitchcock, Anna Massey, Bernard Cribbins
Frenzy is a 1972 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by Anthony Shaffer was based on the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Bern. The ...more
47
Ranker Video
Muttley Dastardly added Marilyn Chambers, Joe Silver, Susan Roman
Rabid is a 1977 Canadian drama horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. It features Marilyn Chambers in the lead role, supported by Howard Ryshpan, Joe Silver and Robert A. ...more
48
Ranker Video
JamesArmstrong added Ernest Borgnine, Elsa Lanchester, Bruce Davison
Willard is a 1971 horror film starring Bruce Davison and Ernest Borgnine, directed by Daniel Mann. The movie is based on the novel Ratman's Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert, and was nominated for an ...more
49
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a 1976 Canadian-French film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, and Scott Jacoby. It was ...more
50
Ranker Video
MichaelCoughlin added Roy Scheider, Murray Hamilton, Ann Dusenberry
Jaws 2 is a 1978 American horror thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws, and the second installment in the Jaws franchise, which was based on Peter Benchley's novel of the ...more