10 Best 70s Horror Movies on Shudder UK | TheReviewGeek Recommends


Shudder is the go-to streaming service for anybody with an interest in the darker side of cinema. But as there are a lot of horror movies to choose from on this platform, knowing what to watch can sometimes be a little tricky.

Well, fear not! If you’re a horror fan, The ReviewGeek regularly reviews movies that are on Shudder’s streaming platform, and we feature monthly previews that highlight the movies that we think are worth watching.

A short while ago, we also compiled a list of our personal picks for the 10 best movies on Shudder UK.

In this article, we pick out the 10 best Shudder movies from the 1970s. Do you agree with our picks? Or have you seen another ’70s movie on Shudder that you think is worthy of a mention? Let us know in the comments below.



The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The next time you’re thinking about taking a drive through Texas, don’t make the same mistake the people in this movie did. After stumbling across a sinister-looking house, a group of friends decide to step inside to take a closer look. You probably know what happens next!

Tobe Hooper’s movie, which introduced the world to the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface and his cannibalistic family, is unrelentingly grim and horrific. It’s not as violent as some movies made during this period, which is a surprise considering the movie’s title. However, it is one of the most terrifying – and exhausting – as the scares never let up once that chainsaw fires up and our young protagonists do everything they can to escape from the frightening-looking fellow in the mask made out of human skin!

A sequel followed in 1986 but it wasn’t a patch on the original due to its tendency to ladle on the gore instead of the scares. The 2003 remake was pretty good, however, even though it didn’t quite manage to recapture the sinister atmosphere of Hooper’s movie.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

George A Romero’s sequel to Night Of The Living Dead isn’t quite as scary as that horror masterpiece but it’s still earned a reputation as one of the best zombie movies ever made.

In the first movie, our unlucky protagonists were holed up in an old farmhouse where they tried to defend themselves from the freshly-risen zombies outside. There weren’t many zombies in the 1968 classic but in this follow-up movie, the undead have grown in number and have taken over most of America. A group of survivors manages to escape the carnage by taking refuge in a shopping mall where there are enough supplies to keep them going for years. But as the undead seem to retain some memory of their past lives, they are naturally drawn to the giant shopping complex that once gave them a lot of pleasure.

This movie has often been lauded as a clever satire on gratuitous consumerism due to the semi-comical scenes of zombies riding the escalators like a bunch of dull-witted bargain hunters. But as it has enough gruesome violence and gore to satisfy any fan of the undead, this is far more than just a simple critique of the shopping habits that were once a part of our pre-internet society.

Thirst (1979)

Australian vampire movie Thirst slipped under the radar in 1979 due to more prominent movies featuring the sharp-toothed bloodsuckers. We are specifically referring to the first adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, the remake of Nosferatu, and the Frank Langella-starring Dracula that was based on Bram Stoker’s classic work of horror fiction.

It’s a pity that Thirst isn’t more widely known as it’s a decent little horror piece that should satisfy most fans of the vampire genre. It’s set in the modern day and focuses on a career woman named Kate, a descendant of real-life blood drinker Elizabeth Bathory, who is abducted by a cult of vampires that run their own harvesting facility to process the blood of humans.

Don’t expect traditional vampires in this creepy terror tale. The monsters in this movie wear business suits instead of flowing black capes, and they are able to move around in daylight. They are no less scary than the vampires we know and…erm… love, however, as they are as sadistic as ever in their treatment of the poor unfortunates who are prisoners in their blood farm.

Horror Express (1972)

The Orient Express wasn’t the only train in the 1970s that ended up with casualties! But whereas that famed locomotive had Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) on board to find out whodunnit, this first-class horror piece has archaeologist Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) and scientist Professor Wells (Peter Cushing) teaming up to track down the killer that is bumping off the passengers aboard the Trans-Siberian train.

This time around, there is no twist reveal as it’s clear from the outset who the killer is. Saxton previously smuggled a long-frozen body onto the train that he had discovered in a cave. Unfortunately, for everybody on board, this primitive humanoid isn’t the ‘missing link’ that Saxton hoped it would be. It’s actually an alien creature that evolved on Earth and that has no trouble butchering the train’s passengers after waking up from its extended slumber.

Despite the presence of Lee and Cushing, this isn’t a movie from Hammer Studios. Horror Express is actually a Spanish/British co-production that also has Kojak actor Telly Savalas among the international cast. It’s based on a work of fiction that was the inspiration for Christian Nyby’s The Thing from Another World and the 1982 John Carpenter remake. This isn’t as good as either of those movies but it’s still a fun horror flick that is well worth your time.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Director Wes Craven is perhaps most famous for the Nightmare On Elm Street movies that proved to be a big hit in the 1980s. But before he dreamt up the claw-fingered killer that was Freddy Krueger, he directed a number of other horror films, including the infamous video nasty The Last House On The Left and this deranged cannibal tale.

The story is centred around a family who ends up in the middle of nowhere when their car breaks down in a desert area that is closed off to the public. But while there are no townsfolk to come to their aid, there are other people in the vicinity that take an interest in them. Unfortunately, the people in question are a clan of cannibalistic hillbillies that have never ventured into modern society. Guess who’s next on the dinner menu?

The Hills Have Eyes is one of Craven’s best-ever horror movies so is worth a look, even if you have seen the surprisingly decent 2006 remake. It’s technically superior to his earlier films and is arguably a lot scarier than the fright flicks he made later on in his career.

Willard (1971)

If you’re afraid of rats, you might want to steer clear of this early 70s movie starring a young Bruce Davison as the social misfit whose only friends are a group of rats that he uses to attack his bullying work colleagues.

Willard was a box office success and it inspired a number of animal-themed horrors in that decade, including Frogs and Rattlers (you can probably guess what those movies are about). Its success also paved the way for a sequel, 1972’s Ben, which focussed on the titular rat from the first movie and another young protagonist who befriended this less-than-cuddly critter. Willard is arguably the better movie but both are worth seeing if you don’t have rat phobia and if you take great pleasure in seeing bullies get what is coming to them.

You may remember the remake of Willard which was released in 2003. That one starred Back To The Future actor Crispin Glover in the role of the loner who commanded a rodent army. It’s actually a pretty good movie – the same can’t be said of many horror remakes (remember Nic Cage in that bear costume?) – but the superior 1971 original is still the one to watch if you are ever given a choice between the two.

Phantasm (1979)

There are a lot of bizarre movies on Shudder with Phantasm being one of them. It tells the tale of a teenage boy named Mike who, after visiting a local graveyard, runs afoul of The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). This grim-looking guy appears to be a mortician but in reality, he is an evil shape-shifting being from another dimension who has come to Earth to collect corpses. He then sends these dead bodies back to his home planet where they can be re-animated as slaves. Weird, right?

The movie incorporates disembodied fingers that turn into insects, creepy fortune tellers, malevolent dwarves, and some terrifying dream sequences within its hallucinatory story. Most memorable of all, however, is a flying silver ball that swoops down on anybody that gets in its way and drills out their brains with its sinister rotating blades.

In a decade where slasher pics and monster movies were depressingly common, Phantasm was a movie that wasn’t afraid to be different from the glut of cookie-cutter movies that were out there. Today, of course, weirdness is all the rage so Phantasm no longer has the surprise factor that it once did. But if you have never seen this movie before, we highly recommend this cult classic to you.

When A Stranger Calls (1979)

Years before the protagonists of the Scream movies were plagued by phone calls from a serial killer, came this now-classic horror movie about a babysitter named Jill (played by the young Carol Kane) who becomes increasingly unsettled after receiving numerous calls from somebody asking her if she has checked on the children. For some reason, she doesn’t check on the kids, despite these continued requests. But after getting sick and tired of who she assumes to be a prank caller, she calls the police to tell them about the harassment that she is receiving.

Shortly after, Jill is horrified to learn the calls are coming from a line inside the house. Who is this mysterious caller? And are the children okay? We aren’t going to reveal the movie’s plotline here but if you enjoy slasher movies, you will likely enjoy this one, especially the first 20 minutes that are particularly suspenseful.

As has been the case with a lot of horror greats from the 70s, Hollywood decided to give this classic thriller a remake in 2006. As can be expected, it was a pale imitation of the original, so isn’t worth bothering with unless you like tediously bad movies.


The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

Horror anthologies were very popular in the 1970s and The House That Dripped Blood is one of the strongest. A star-studded cast, including Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee, and Denholm Elliott, bring to life four chilling tales that revolve around a creepy old house in the UK.

The first story is reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Dark Half, as it tells the tale of a hack novelist who encounters a psychopathic strangler who seems to be the killer from one of his books. The second story involves some strange goings-on with a waxwork figure, the third is about a little girl who develops an interest in witchcraft, and the fourth (pictured above) stars Jon Pertwee as a veteran film actor who purchases a black cloak that gives him vampiric powers.

The stories in this anthology were originally written (and subsequently scripted) by Psycho author Robert Bloch which is partly the reason why this movie is markedly better than the similar titles that Amicus Productions turned out in the 1970s. Not every tale hits the mark but as is the case with the VHS and Creepshow movies and other anthologies like them, if you don’t like one story, you don’t have too long to wait before another arrives to potentially give you nightmares.


Rabid (1977)

Rabid is one of the earliest movies from director David Cronenberg and like the majority of his pictures, this is another unnerving tale that leans heavily into body horror. Adult film star Marilyn Chambers takes the lead role as a beautiful woman named Rose who develops a taste for human blood after receiving experimental plastic surgery following a horrific road accident that leaves her with severe burns.

As this is a Cronenberg movie, the surgery is not without consequences. For reasons far too bizarre to mention, Rose is left with a deadly parasite that lives within a vaginal opening in her armpit. This parasite gives her a taste for blood so after leaving the hospital, she is compelled to bite various strangers who then pay it forward and pass on her infection.

This isn’t your typical horror movie of course. This is as much about epidemics and society’s fear of disease as it is a creature feature and it’s as gory as you might expect from a director who loves nothing more than to shock with graphic images of body parts and the various fluids that spring forth from them. Rabid isn’t the director’s most polished work but if you’re a fan of his films (and if you have the stomach for them), you will likely appreciate this one.

There we have it, our list of the 10 best 70s horror movies on Shudder UK. What do you think of our picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.




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