I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Unlike Last House on the Left, Cannibal Holocaust and several other early infamous shock films of its kind, I Spit has the smart sense to leave out the hokey, contradictory music and allow a challenging film to resonate effectively. This means that the precise revenge murders, each unique and somewhat elaborate, are much more powerful. Aside from the bloody mayhem, there is a great, simplified suspense scene where an uncivilized redneck is deciding whether or not to pick up a bag of groceries he’s asked to deliver to a woman he helped gang rape and leave for dead. But the victim is a strong woman and no one is going to stop her from writing her book as well as patiently slaying the depraved goons. We have a winner. [rating: $9] –Kenyon

Magic (1978)

Magic (1978) Ventriloquist dummies are creepy, and a young Anthony Hopkins and his dummy Fats more than fulfill that notion. Sort of a twist on Psycho and other movies with someone who has a split personality, Corky is a troubled guy who is overcome by the identity of Fats. Magic is well made and acted, though the only thing missing in this early psychological horror film is a clear reason as to why Corky is off balance (something with his parents?) and how and why he decided to acquire a dummy after failing as a magician. [rating: $5] –Kenyon