Must-See 70s Classics For Film Fanatics – The Hippie Shake
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Must-See 70s Classics For Film Fanatics

31 Oct 2023
Words By Megan Earl

Wind down, grab a blanket, and curl up with a piping hot drink. Spooky season has arrived, and with Autumn in full swing, that can only mean one thing. It’s time to dust off a spell-binding, spine-tingling, fantastical film. But that can’t just be any old film; allow me to save you a time warp, and offer a selection of 70s classics that transcend the ordinary, and delve into the supernatural realm. Timeless classics that possess the power to pique the interest of even the faintest of hearts. Films that offer unique charm, eccentricity and unforgettable narratives. 

Am I enticing you yet? Without further ado, let's dive into three iconic films that have made an indelible mark on the world of cinema: 'Suspiria,' 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' and 'Carrie.' 

"Suspiria" - A sensory delight for a fright 

Dario Argento's "Suspiria" (1977) is a mesmerising piece of cinema that transcends conventional horror - a grand jeté above others of its time. The film offers a platter of striking visuals and sound design to satisfy audiences on the hunt for an elevated heart rate. 

Set in a prestigious dance academy where dark secrets lurk, "Suspiria" thrives on its vivid and often surreal colour palette. The use of primary colours, particularly red and blue, and the hauntingly beautiful score by Goblin make "Suspiria" a sensory delight…despite the dark deeds and disturbing disappearances audiences witness throughout. 

“A horror film brings to the surface some of the ancestral fears that we hide deep inside us, and Suspiria would not have had the same cathartic function if I had utilised the fullness and consolatory sweetness of the full colour spectrum. To immediately make Suspiria a total abstraction from what we call ‘everyday reality,’ I used the usually reassuring primary colours only in their purest essence, making them immediately, surprisingly violent and provocative. This brings the audience into the world of Suspiria.” - Luciano Tovoli, 2018 

Inspired by the tropes of German expressionism, director of photography, Luciano Tovoli, relies on chiaroscuro lighting to create stark contrasts between light and dark hues. Tovoli successfully crafts an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere that draws the audience into a nightmarish world, where the boundary between reality and the supernatural blurs. Highly artificial and stylised, "Suspiria" is a testament to the idea that a film's visuals can be just as essential to the storytelling as its plot and characters. For an experience that awakens all five senses, “Suspiria” is your haven. 

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" - A timeless cult phenomenon 

Released in 1975, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is a cult classic that defies categorisation. At its core, it's a musical, a science-fiction parody, and a gender-bending extravaganza rolled into one. This film has become famous for its midnight screenings where devoted fans act out scenes and sing along with the songs.

The enduring appeal of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" lies in its exploration of sexual liberation, identity, and acceptance. The character, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a self-proclaimed “Sweet Transvestite”, portrayed by Tim Curry, exudes non-conformity through his extravagant androgynous appearance, bold sexual expression, and unapologetic attitude. He challenges traditional gender roles and societal expectations with charismatic flair, a promising performance that will make you shiver with…ANTICIPATION!! 

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" has not only influenced countless films, but also created a unique and welcoming community of fans worldwide. And as you join that network and embark on your Rocky Horror journey, be warned: viewer discretion is not advised, fishnets are obligatory, and vocal cords must be suitably warmed up for the unconventional, yet extraordinary experience ahead. 

"Carrie" - A tale of horror and empowerment 

Stephen King's debut novel, "Carrie," was adapted for the screen by Brian De Palma in 1976, and it remains a powerful exploration of the supernatural and the human psyche. The film tells the story of Carrie White, a high school outcast with telekinetic powers, who seeks revenge on her tormentors. "Carrie" is more than just a horror film; it's a poignant exploration of the consequences of bullying and the empowerment of the marginalised. 

Sissy Spacek's portrayal of Carrie is a haunting blend of vulnerability and rage, while Piper Laurie's performance as her domineering mother is equally unforgettable. The iconic prom scene, drenched in blood, remains one of the most famous and parodied sequences in cinematic history. "Carrie" is a reflection of the struggles faced by those who are pushed to the brink. The transition from natural light, to the harsh, provocative tones of red, illustrates the abolition of Carrie’s innocence and transition into violence against her oppressors. “Carrie” serves as a demonstration of the power of feminine rage, breaking free from the constraints of societal expectation. 

"Suspiria," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and "Carrie" are more than just films; they are cultural touchstones, each with its own distinct appeal. "Suspiria" showcases the visual artistry of cinema, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is an enduring testament to the power of self-expression and community, and "Carrie" delves into the horrors of adolescence and the strength that can be found in adversity. 

These films have left a lasting legacy, captivating audiences with their unique stories, unforgettable characters, and the communities they have inspired. Their influence on cinema, pop culture, and our collective imagination is undeniable, making them true classics in every sense of the word.

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