Death Race 2000 (1975, dir. Paul Bartel)

A near-future fascistic USA is focused on an annual cross-continent murderous road race. Scattershot but sprightly, this exploitation effort (a Rollerball mockbuster) juggles media satire, cartoony splatter, 1984 riff, and car-chase comedy. Full of ideas, though, and hugely influential. A remake – spawning several DTV sequels – followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Cannonball! [AKA Carquake] (1976, dir. Paul Bartel)

Various racers compete – and cheat – in a trans-American car race. Enjoyably ramshackle road comedy typical of the subgenre packed with lo-fi vehicle stunts, sly humour, and cameo appearances from Roger Corman’s phone book: everyone from Martin Scorsese to Sylvester Stallone shows up.

Here’s the trailer.

The House of the Devil (2009, dir. Ti West)

A student takes a babysitting job for an unusual couple. Stylish and well-acted autumnal horror film, with a well-designed 70s aesthetic and some great shock moments. Simple in story terms, but works well through a combination of quirky casting, sustained dread, and third act delivery on its promise.