I love scary movies! Whether they are classic moody, atmospheric thrillers like “The Haunting” and “The Changeling”, or out-and-out shockers like “Halloween” and “Scream” – they all deliver – but perhaps none deliver like these three being profiled here…
I mean, who doesn’t know this shot as the scene when Father Karras arrives to begin his exorcism of little Regan? Or this shot from Carrie’s prom?
I mean, someone is going to pay for messing up Carrie White’s prom dress like that…and check out this image: tell me you wouldn’t be scared to death seeing this guy coming your way down a lonely country road…
These three classic 70’s horror films deserve to be applauded for using mood, atmosphere and shocking imagery to create real FEAR…
Carrie – 1976 – Directed by Brian DePalma
My all-time favorite horror film. Carrie White is a shy young girl who doesn’t make friends easily. And what a star turn for Sissy Spacek, perfectly capturing the loneliness of a girl who just happens to have special powers….
Oh, and did we mention that Carie’s Mom is a crazy religious fanatic?
The film opens as Carrie takes a shower after gym class, and the first shock occurs as her class mates taunt her about her horrified reaction to her unexpected first period…
Amy Irving co-stars as the schoolmate who takes pity on Carrie and gets Tommy Ross, her boyfriend and class hunk to invite Carrie to the senior prom.
Meanwhile another girl plans to embarrass Carrie in front of the whole school.
What she doesn’t realize is that Carrie is … gifted, and you really don’t want to get her angry.
Sissy Spacek wasn’t considered for the role of Carrie until her husband, art director Jack Fisk, convinced director Brian De Palma to allow her to audition.
Until that moment, De Palma was wedded to the idea of Amy Irving playing Carrie; when Spacek got the part instead, De Palma gave Irving the smaller role of Sue.
Piper Laurie is brilliant as Carrie’s demented mother, Margaret White: “They’re all gonna laugh at you!”
George Lucas and Brian De Palma held a joint audition to cast actors for both “Carrie” and “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” There is a long-standing rumor that originally, Sissy Spacek was cast as Princess Leia, and Carrie Fisher as Carrie, but when Fisher refused to appear in nude scenes and Spacek was willing to do them, they switched parts.
However, Fisher refuted this story in a Premiere magazine article called “The Force Wasn’t With Them,” about actors who auditioned unsuccessfully for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. That article quoted Fisher as saying, “Not only do I love being nude, I would’ve been nude then… But anyway, it’s total bullshit [that Fisher refused to play Carrie].”
Here is Piper Laurie’s terrific scene as she decides to sacrifice her own daughter…
Margaret White: “I should’ve killed myself when he put it in me. After the first time, before we were married, Ralph promised never again. He promised, and I believed him. But sin never dies. Sin never dies. At first, it was all right. We lived sinlessly. We slept in the same bed, but we never did it. And then, that night, I saw him looking down at me that way. We got down on our knees to pray for strength. I smelled the whiskey on his breath. Then he took me. He took me, with the stink of filthy roadhouse whiskey on his breath, and I liked it. I liked it! With all that dirty touching of his hands all over me. I should’ve given you to God when you were born, but I was weak and backsliding, and now the devil has come home. We’ll pray.”
Margaret White: “We’ll pray. We’ll pray. We’ll pray for the last time. We’ll pray.”
Again, a classic horror film! Speaking of classic, disturbing horror…
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 1974 – Directed by Tobe Hooper
One of the most iconic and disturbing horror films ever made. When it was first released, the film was so horrifying that people actually walked out on sneak previews for it.
Narrator: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
En route to visit their grandfather’s grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home… where they’re plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills…
The film’s shocks climax when Leatherface gives his Grandpa a hammer so he can “finish the job” on their guests…during this dinner scene towards the end of the film, when Leatherface cuts Sally’s finger, he actually does cut her finger because they couldn’t get the fake blood to come out of the tube behind the blade.
Leatherface became one of the most iconic horror characters of all time – and this is a very disturbing, shocking film…classic horror…
Which leads to the scariest film ever made…and a classic movie as well:
The Exorcist – 1973. Directed by William Friedkin
OK, we all know about the shocking sequences in the film – the buildup of dread that begins when young Regan starts to become – well, POSSESSED…
Director William Friedkin made this two years after he won the Oscar for Best Picture for “The French Connection”…
“The Exorcist” was also nominated for Best Picture of 1973 – one of the smartest decisions was casting acclaimed Actress Ellen Burstyn as Regan’s Mom:
And Linda Blair was perfect as the young, angelic Regan – which makes what happens in the film all the more shocking:
Equally smart was the decision to hire legendary Actor Max Von Sydow as Father Karras – who happens to know how to performs exorcisms…
Regan MacNeil: “My bed was shaking. I can’t get to sleep.”
A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. It leads to the ultimate confrontation between a frail, elderly priest and an old demonic enemy.
Demon: What an excellent day for an exorcism.
Father Damien Karras: You would like that?
Father Damien Karras: But wouldn’t that drive you out of Regan?
Demon: It would bring us together.
Father Damien Karras: You and Regan?
Demon: You and us.
The refrigerated bedroom set was cooled with four air conditioners and temperatures would plunge to around 30 to 40 below zero. It was so cold that perspiration would freeze on some of the cast and crew. On one occasion the air was saturated with moisture resulting in a thin layer of snow falling on the set before the crew arrived for filming.
Oh, and then it gets REALLY SCARY, as the demon begins to taunt Karras:
Demon: “Your mother sucks cocks in Hell, Karras, you faithless slime!”
Oh yeah, and then there is the “head turn” sequence! This film is so intense and scary that the original teaser trailer, which consisted of nothing but images of the white-faced demon quickly flashing in and out of darkness, was banned in many theaters, as it was deemed “too frightening”.
And then of course, there is the projectile vomiting scene!
The substance that the possessed Regan (Linda Blair) hurls at Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) is thick pea soup. Specifically, it’s Andersen’s brand pea soup. The crew tried Campbell’s but didn’t like the “effect.”
In a 2007 poll conducted by the UK’s The Times for the Top 50 Scariest Movie Moments, “The Exorcist” topped the list. It is, without a doubt, the scariest film of all time…enjoy!