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Here is another Incredible Top 5 List from a great contributor, who needs no introduction, but will get one anyway.

My good (and reliable) friend, Blogger and Author, Michael Thomas-Knight, from the wicked Horror Site, “Parlor Of Horror” has answered, once again, my Call to Arms and delivered another killer Top 5 List for Vic’s Movie Den.

This time it is The Top 5 Must See Sci-Fi Films of that crazy and groovy decade, the 1970’s! I’m sure there are one or two on this list that you all would definitely want to check out!

Enjoy gang!

Vic

Top 5 Must See Sci-fi films of the 1970’s

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We all have seen Alien, Close Encounters and Star Wars, but I thought it was time to pay tribute to some of the other 70’s sci-fi films!

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5) Empire of the Ants (1977)

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This has the real feel of 1970s. Casual, laid back, a time meant to enjoy one’s self and maybe buy some ocean front property on a secluded island. Just don’t mind the giant ants. The film is loosely based on the H.G. Wells book. As giant ants ruin the land developer’s luncheon party on the beach, the real estate agent (Joan Collins), fights to make those last few sales. The group is corralled by the insects to the base of operations, a sugar cane plant, where the island folk are working diligently to process the sugar cane and feed the Queen ant.

The people are being controlled by mutated pheromones. It seems illegal dumping of radioactive waste has caused the anomaly that makes her able to control humans too. Now the Queen just has to get the humans to pass through a pheromone chamber to get them under complete control. The special effects are not so special and less than successful as the superimposed ants of various size, color and species seem to crawl in mid-air, walk sideways across the sky and pay no attention to humans poking spears at them.

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4) Logan’s Run (1976)

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Based on the novel by William F. Nolan, the film deals with a dystopian society in the near future where age is a deciding factor in life. In order to balance population, consumption, natural resources, pollution, and health, it is law that every citizen reports to the ‘Sleep Shop’ on their 30th birthday. There they will be sacrificed in order to preserve the world for younger generations. Logan 5, is a “Sandman,” a bounty hunter whose job it is to chase down any citizen that decides to run for freedom instead of report to the Sleep Shop.

He is thoroughly convinced this is the right thing to do for a strong society and for the earth’s preservation. That is, until his 30th birthday, when he makes a run for it, too! Logan meets Jessica 6 in the underground networks and they both struggle to escape the domed city. The movie has equal parts visual beauty and inept silliness, provides both wisdom and clichéd hokey-ness, but it’s worth watching and quite entertaining.

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3) Rollerball (1975)

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When I was young and saw this film, I thought it was about a sport – like a futuristic sport film. When I watched it recently, I realized the story behind the story – that the company you work for owns you and dictates your life; when you get up in the morning, when you go to bed, how much money you have, who your friends will be, if your children will have money to go to college, what doctors you will see, what kind of car you will drive (can afford), etc.

They drug test you and will fire you if you’re an alcoholic. In the end they tell you, “It’s time to retire,” and when they are done with you, they want you to shut-up and go away. Now I see what Charlie Sheehan was so pissed about – if he wanted to drink on the weekend, he felt it was no business of the network he was employed by. This film has the same basic under-story. Sure it’s about a futuristic sport but it’s also about one man who stands up to the company he works for and says, no, this is my life, I’ll live it the way I want.

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2) Westworld (1973)

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You all probably know how much I like this flick. Sure it’s slow, 70’s style slow – which makes it unwatchable to some of you young ‘uns, but I like 70’s films. They were about people, not gimmicks, effects or constant action. Real people’s lives are not that exciting for the most part. They don’t talk like gangsters, they’re not in a constant irreverent state, and they don’t act like they are on camera and having to prove something all the time (boy, do I miss the 1970s).

The characters here are looking for some excitement and head to a fantasy resort where they can experience another time, place and life. Medieval Times, The Future, The Old West. I’m sure when robots and computers go ‘AI‘ they will have no choice but to neutralize the humans. 

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1) The Omega Man (1971)

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Charlton Heston is the last person alive in the big city, not counting the zombie horde. But these aren’t your typical zombies. They speak. They call his name. They plot and scheme about how they are going to get into his shelter and make him join them. They only come out at night because they have a wicked bad reaction to light. I first saw this as a young lad. The first few attacks on Morgan’s protected domicile in this film nearly made me crap my pants.

It’s an updated  version of Richard Matheson’s, The Last Man on Earth, which was first made with Vincent Price (also an excellent version) but enough is changed in the script to feel like a completely separate film. Later if was remade as, I Am Legend, with Will Smith. I love the small details in this film. In one scene there’s a advertisement for a NEW 1973 Corvette, $3,000. I’ll take 2! 

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Honorable Mentions:

Death Race 2000 (1975) As weird as Willy Wonka crossed with The Wacky Racers cartoon, but deadlier…

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Shivers (They Came From Within) (1975) Cronenberg body horror, ‘nuff said.

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Soylent Green (1973) A little slow but the ending is a whopper!

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Flesh Gordon (1974) An amusing naked frolic through space and time…

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The Thing With Two Heads (1972) Funny stuff, sometimes not intentionally. The best bad movie from the 1970’s.

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