1970’s

[6] Hot off her Oscar win for Network, Faye Dunaway headlines this thriller about a controversial photographer whose focus on sex and violence makes her a sensation in New York’s advertising world. Dunaway’s title character begins having visions of murder — from the killer’s direct point-of-view. One by one, models and associates in her career begin dying, stabbed in the eyes by the mysterious killer. …

[9] Chinatown is the name of the movie, but only a short final scene takes place there. One could argue the film is a journey to its namesake, but even that’s not enough to explain the title. In a rare intimate scene in the film, Jack Nicholson tells Faye Dunaway about his time as a cop working in Chinatown. He tried to help a woman, …

[1] A patient escapes a mental institution and starts killing people on a nearby campus in this ultra-low-budget, supremely bad movie that has nothing to do with ‘Son of Sam’. The film is so poorly made that you’ll likely be shaking your head in confusion over the scripting, staging, and editing. The first few deaths in the movie happen when the killer puts his hand …

[3] An abominable snowman terrorizes a Montana ski resort in this made-for-TV movie from the late ’70s. Since Snowbeast was made for a television audience, you get no gore and very little in terms of viscera or genuine scares. The monster’s presence is mostly achieved through the old ‘point of view’ shot, which quickly gets tedious. When we do see the monster, it’s usually just …

[6] This movie has the distinction of being the first released film about the eponymous serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area in the late ’60s. While it has all the low production values you might expect from a 16mm low-budget drive-in flick, the screenplay is structurally sound and does an interesting job marrying fact with fiction. The Zodiac Killer starts off by …

[5] Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass are most famous for their holiday-themed animated television specials, like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But they also produced a few live-action efforts, including this strange, terrible yet unshakable TV movie from the late ’70s. Leigh McCloskey and Carl Weathers (Rocky) star as members of a oceanic expedition who encounter an alluring but dangerous sea …

[6] This faux-documentary about seven men who travel deep into the Pacific Northwest to find Bigfoot was one of the first movies I ever saw. So nostalgia no doubt colors my opinion of it. But re-watching it recently, I can honestly say it’s not without its merits — especially as a product of its time. Unlike the later Blair Witch Project, Sasquatch The Legend of …

[4] The owner of a failing summer camp invites past campers, now young adults, back for a nostalgic weekend in hopes of raising money to keep the camp going. Summer Camp features all the stereotypes and clichés you could imagine — the food fight, the toga party, the panty raid, the girls vs guys athletic competition, the slut, the virgin, etc. But to be fair, …

[7] In this TV movie co-written by Truman Capote, a prisoner (Alan Alda) and a guard (Clu Gulager) start life in prison on the same day and quickly learn what a dangerous and corrupt environment it is. Both men seek to shed light on the injustice, but will either of them survive to see the system reformed? Its production values are relatively unvarnished, but The …

[7] Two young couples rent a Winnebago for a cross-country road trip, but jealousy soon turns their romantic adventure into a nightmare. Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica) and Doug Chapin play the men, both recently discharged from service in Vietnam and anxious to begin new lives. Hatch plans to marry his fiancée (Susanne Benton), but Chapin tries to talk him out of it, fearing marriage will …

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