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30 Worst Films of the 1970s

The Swarm

Many people have a fear of bees, so The Swarm could have been a hit. It’s about a swarm of African bees that targets and kills thousands of people. It even starred Michael Caine and Richard Widmark, but even they weren’t enough to save the movie. Its special effects weren't the best. The bees were just dark smudges on the screen, so your imagination has to do the heavy lifting. Not to mention the all-star cast couldn't do anything to make the writing any better.

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Viva Knievel!

In this film, someone planned to kill Evel Knievel and use his body to ship cocaine to the United States from Mexico. The writers turned Knievel into some sort of Elvis-Jesus character that can heal disabled children while everyone else around him are evil drug users or kingpins. Not even Gene Kelly, Leslie Nielsen, and Red Buttons could save this film. 

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Cocaine Cowboys

Cocaine Cowboys follows the leader of a rock band who has to juggle his cocaine smuggling ring while on the brink of stardom. Too bad it was directed by Ulli Lommel, the 1970s equivalent of Uwe Boll. As if that wasn’t enough, it features Andy Warhol who should stick to his day job. Somehow, he plays himself, but does it so poorly you’re unsure if it’s actually Warhol.

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The Shape of Things to Come

The human race has set up colonies on the moon, but a madman has decided to destroy them. Only three people and a robot dog can stop him. The movie came out two years after Star Wars, but that was the least of its worries. The dialogue was horrible, and the film score featured an overwrought synthesizer. Worst of all, the robots looked like old 1950s toys.  

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Ape (aka Super Kong)

Ape is a great example of how terrible a monster movie can be. It’s about a 36-foot tall gorilla that escaped from an island off the coast of Korea. I know what you’re thinking – King Kong. Not quite. This movie ripped off everything that was great about King Kong and made it campy. Sometimes the ape can be seen wearing shoes, other times the actor hits the camera, and he’s never a consistent size. 

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The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant

A wealthy scientist has the money and talent to fuse the head of his caretaker’s son and a psycho killer, so why not? Oh, because it will make a bad movie. While watching the film, you realize what else you could be doing with your time – like watching paint dry. The two-headed creature looked like two actors taped together, and it couldn’t do many things including running. It wasn’t scary. It was just bad.

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The Last Rebel

The Last Rebel is set during the Civil War but comes off as a Spaghetti Western with nothing more than an attractive leading man. The plot is incredibly thin and has some incredibly racist subject matter. In the 1970s, it was considered bad, and it certainly hasn’t aged well over the years.

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Drive In Massacre

Drive-in theaters began to decline in the 70s, so Stu Segall thought it would be a good idea to make a horror film about a murder at one to bring them back to life. Not a bad idea at first, but it came off incredibly cheesy. Calling it a B-movie would be a disrespect to all B-movies out there.

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Track of the Moon Beast

The moon can turn a young man into a hideous “moon beast” due to a meteor fragment – or at least that's what happens in this movie. The whole time you’re watching this film, you’re just waiting for something to happen. Then, all of a sudden, the credits begin to roll. It alludes to a lot, but nothing happens. The synopsis is the most exciting thing about Track of the Moon Beast

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Mitchell

Mitchell is a sleazy and incompetent detective, but he apparently believes that he can take down heroin dealers. The main character is so unlikeable that watching the movie feels like a punishment. In addition to this, there are so many bad guys that it’s hard to know who is who, so you lose track of the plot.  

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The Touch of Satan

The Touch of Satan is about a girl who is possessed by Satan, but no one believes it. Each scene seems longer than the last considering how much the plot drags. There are parts where the film just pauses for an uncomfortable amount of time, but it may be a relief from the underwhelming acting. At least the actors have shut up for a moment.

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Zaat

Zaat follows a mad scientist and former Nazi that turns himself into an evil “walking catfish.” He kidnaps women and has the plan to transform them to breed, which automatically sounds horrible. This film was so bad that it made it into a pretty entertaining Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, so at least it was useful in some way.  

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The Rabbit Test

The Rabbit Test is an absolute trainwreck. Even though star Joan Rivers can be considered funny, this movie is anything but. It’s literally about a man, played by Billy Crystal, who gets pregnant after a one-night stand on a pinball table. About halfway through the movie, you feel sorry for the actors, especially Michael Keaton since this was his first on-screen role.  

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Moment by Moment

In this film, starring Lily Tomlin and John Travolta, a lonely socialite and a young drifter enter into a romance. “Sleazy” doesn’t even begin to describe each scene. Travolta’s character is literally named “Strip,” and it’s all about the so-called chemistry between the two characters. Spoiler alert: there isn’t any.

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The Giant Spider Invasion

The title says it all: giant spiders come from another dimension. It’s your typical monster movie that belongs in the 1950s. There’s little else to say about this film other than the spiders are obviously puppets. It’s so bad it’s almost funny – almost. 

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Italian Stallion

The Italian Stallion is all about padding Sylvester Stallone’s ego. It shows how great he is in bed (supposedly) and his good looks. The only person that could bare this movie is Sylvester Stallone. There’s no real plot, lasts under 60 minutes, and is most definitely just a softcore porn. 

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Snuff

Snuff is about the exploits of a cult leader leading a gang of bikers. The film attempts to be a documentary to fool the audience into thinking that the killings were real, but the quality of the film is just too horrible. The acting is also so awful that there’s no way it could possibly be passed off as “real.” 

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The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher

Rather than monster vs. monster, this movie pits murderer against murderer. Other than that, there’s literally no plot. The movie follows the characters as they kill people without the scenes adding anything new. In fact, most of the scenes look the same, as if they used the same shot multiple times.  

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Blood Orgy of the She-Devils

After a couple participates in witchcraft, a series of murders begin to occur. Like many movies of the era, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils focuses on showing scantily-clad girls in the hope that would be enough to carry the film. Surprise – it wasn’t. It’s plagued by bad acting, a horrible plot that makes no sense, and laughable special effects. 

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The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington

With a name like “The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington", how can it be bad? It’s all about how Congress can’t get anything done, while showing an inordinate number of naked women. The characters are incredibly stereotypical, and the focus of the film was on the exploitation of women.  

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Up From the Depths

Up from the Depths is about a killer shark-like creature that preys on Hawaiian tourists. Like many movies of the time, this film attempted to bank off the success of Jaws. The issue is that it didn’t have a large enough budget and needed better actors. To make things worse, the monster looked like an inflatable rubber fish. 

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Goodbye, Norma Jean

Everyone knows Marilyn Monroe, but this movie explored Norma Jean Baker before she became Monroe. The only issue is that it’s painful to watch. In the film, Monroe is an airhead blonde that gets abused very frequently and graphically. It’s sad and makes you feel repulsed. 

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Laserblast

In this movie, a teenager finds an alien weapon that just so happens to turn him into a grotesque killer. Actors can redeem some scripts, but in this case, they’re both horrible. The movie wasn’t meant to be funny, but you’ll laugh your way through it. 

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Star Odyssey

Star Odyssey is about a villain attacking earth with his army of robots. By the cover, it’s obvious that the movie tried to bank off the success of Star Wars, which released two years prior. The only issue is that it didn’t have nearly the budget and it’s devoid of any substance.  

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Medusa

Set in Greece, a stewardess is murdered by a masked maniac, and you watch the investigation of the murderer. Sounds like a simple enough concept, right? Too bad it was ruined by horrible over-acting. Somehow, the plot also makes little sense, and the ending can be seen from a mile away. 

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The Doomsday Machine

This movie starts off as a typical end-of-the-world movie with a doomsday machine that can destroy the earth. The special effects are outdated by about a decade, which says a lot, since it had to compete with movies like Star Wars. To make it worse, the ending makes no sense and seems like a project that was pieced together using several varying ideas.

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Return to Boggy Creek

This movie is about two men that travel into the woods to find a Bigfoot-like creature dubbed “Big Bay-Ty.” The movie already sounds awful, but it gets worse. Apparently, three children follow and a hurricane is about to hit Boggy Creek. The actors seem to make up their lines throughout the entire movie, and the performances go beyond dull. 

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The Lucifer Complex

The best thing you can say about The Lucifer Complex is that it’s alright if you don’t go in with any expectations.  It’s about a United Nations employee that tries to convince authorities that Nazis are replacing world leaders with clones. Whether it’s the bad actors or the dumb plot, this movie didn’t go over well with audiences.

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The Naughty Stewardesses

Low-budget doesn’t even begin to describe this movie. It’s all about four flight attendants that become very involved with a wealthy womanizer. It stars Robert Livingston as the womanizer and encourages the exploitation of women, especially those in the service industry. 

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Blazing Stewardesses

How is it possible that Naughty Stewardesses got a sequel? I don’t know either. The original was terrible, and Blazing Stewardesses is just as bad. It has the same premise, but this time Robert Livingston plays a wealthy ranch owner. My eyes rolled back into my head.  

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