The Worst Movies of the 70s … Watch Them If You Dare!

The 1970s brought us some amazing movies that still resonate with audiences even decades later. But for every all-time classic, the Disco Decade delivered a real stinker — box office duds, critical crashes, or both. If you think you can handle all the badness, grab your Dramamine, and let’s dive into some of the absolute worst 70s movies to ever see the light of day.

The Island of Dr Moreau (1977)

This film stars Burt Lancaster, Michael York and a slew of other well-known actors. It tells the story of Dr Moreau who is experimenting on animals to create new forms of life to inhabit his island in an effort to isolate himself from mankind.

The film cost $20 million and had a budget for marketing at half that–a total waste. Critics hated it, the audience hated it and they all stayed away from theaters.

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

This is a classic case of “kids movie that adults can’t stand.” The film was based on kids books written by Texas Schramm and illustrated by Norman Rockwell; but with its over-the-top slapstick, juvenile humor and terrible acting it was a film that only kids could love.

Myra Breckinridge (1970)

Myra Breckinridge is a 1970 American comedy/drama film based on Gore Vidal’s 1968 novel of the same name. The movie tells about an unrepentant who sets out to turn Hollywood inside-out with her own reality show, “The Myra Breckinridge Show.” While some consider it to be groundbreaking for its sexual explicitness and feminism, it is generally regarded as a critical and commercial failure.

The movie starred Raquel Welch in the title role, John Huston as her transsexual director/producer Max Quilty, Mae West (her last film), Tab Hunter, Tony Curtis and Claudia Cardinale.

The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

The Exorcist II: The Heretic is a 1977 horror film directed by John Boorman. This sequel to William Friedkin’s 1973 blockbuster about the demonic possession of 12-year-old Regan MacNeil takes place ten years later, and stars Linda Blair as grown up Chris MacNeil, who has written two bestselling books on her experiences. Like its predecessor, it generated significant controversy upon release due to alleged blasphemous content — though a number of detractions were also centered around Linda Blair’s acting abilities

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls tells a story about three young women who leave their small town and head to LA where they get caught up in drugs, sex, rock-n-roll and murder. It’s an unusual mix for sure but it doesn’t make for a good movie!

Why this is bad: The main characters are awful people who do lots of really terrible things without seeming like they’re bothered by them at all. Plus there are more than 100 major continuity errors which means watching the film can be an extremely frustrating experience.

Swarm (1978)

Description: A sci-fi thriller that was utterly destroyed by critics, the movie features a helicopter being hunted down by deadly insects. The cast includes Michael Caine and Katharine Ross but they’re both mostly overshadowed by overuse of stock footage from previous movies.

The Swarm is one bad 1970s flick you should probably watch if only for sheer schadenfreude value. It’s also notable as one of director Irwin Allen’s final films before his death in 1991.

The Concord: Airport ‘79 (1979)

One of the worst films ever made, this disaster film from 1979 was a critical and commercial flop. It’s also one of the most expensive movies in history with an estimated budget of $15 million but it only took in about $14 million at theaters worldwide.

The cast includes Charlton Heston as well as George Kennedy reprising his role from Airport ’75 to play copilot Joe Patroni again – four years after he had died! The Concord is not just bad; it may be the worst “disaster” flick ever made.

Obsession (1976)

A thriller that got mixed reviews for its melodramatic plot twists, Obsession has been called Hitchcockian by some critics.

(Like Worst Movies of the 70s? Then you might like our article on Worst 80s Movies, click here.)

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