The Satanic Seventies

Race With The Devil

Has there ever been a more devilish decade in cinema than the seventies?

It started off with howl as Linda Blair become the object of the devil’s desire in “The Exorcist.”

“The Exorcist” might be the singular most scary film I have ever seen, and to this day I will not watch it. The atmosphere of the film is chilling and the psychological cat and mouse game between the devil and Jason Miller’s character adds to the twisted macabre which feeds upon our sense of existential sense of doubt.

On the heels of “The Exorcist” there was the equally unnerving, “The Omen.” However, whereas “The Exorcist” fed on our fear of losing control of self and soul, “The Omen” was every parents worst nightmare, asking the question; “Did I give birth to the antichrist?” And as a current parent, when my child acts out, the thoughts of conceiving the little devil claw at the brain.

Those were the two headline horrors of the seventies, but there were others of lesser note, including the ridiculous, “Devils Rain” featuring a young, future scientologist named “Travolta” in his first feature role, “The Legend Of Hell House,” a decidedly creepy British flick where a house possessed by an evil spirit has it’s way with the members of the seance party, “The Manitou,” a bizarre twist on the possession theme as an evil, ancient, midget shaman grows out of tumor-like apendage on the back of Susan Strasberg. The manitou/midget does battle with Tony Curtis, a parapsychologist and Michael Ansara who plays “John Singing Rock,” the good shaman. Ansara utters one of my favorite lines of all filmdom; “Hope is for fools and saints. I’m just an indian from South Dakota with a bag of tricks.” Continue reading “The Satanic Seventies”