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Campy Fun Horror Films Streaming Free on Tubi TV



Campy Fun Horror Films Streaming Free on Tubi TV

Shudder is the leading app for horror, streaming fun shows like The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Horror Noire: The History of Black Horror, AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror, and a slew of exciting new projects like They Kill, a podcast about Women in Horror.

But Tubi TV is another app out there — with a secret store of fun and campy horror movies. Many appear to be ‘lost films’ from another era that have found a home on Tubi; it’s almost like finding an old video store and discovering a lost section of weirdo films. There’s some genuinely well done horror films like Dog Tooth but there’s also cult films, trash films, cartoons, and a number of odd documentaries about serial killers, aliens, and ghosts.

Tubi is a free app with commercial ads though they’re not outrageously annoying, Youtube ads are far more irritating. Here’s a partial list of horror films and docs streaming on Tubi, available online or with Roku, Fire TV sticks, or Smart TVs.

  • Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense
  • Bad Taste
  • Dog Tooth
  • Dreamscape
  • Gingersnaps 2
  • Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning
  • Hell House LLC
  • High Tension
  • Hollywood Ghost Stories
  • Howling 2: Your Sister Is A Werewolf
  • Night of the Comet
  • Shivers
  • Stephen King’s Riding the Bullet
  • Warm Bodies
  • William Shatner’s Halloween Fright Night: Shrunken Heads

Warm Bodies is a comedy-horror, romantic comedy, directed and written by Jonathan Levine about a male zombie who crushes on a live girl – but can the dead seduce the living? Logistically, it seems…difficult. I was expecting a darker ending — one where he eats her brains or she kills him with an arrow to the heart…but this is a rom-com, baby! It’s tied up with a bow because classically in tragedy everyone dies but in comedy, everyone gets married. If you like the CW, you’ll enjoy this 2012 teen romance set during the zombie apocalypse.

Amazingly, Tubi has two parts of the Ginger Snaps trilogy: the sequel and the prequel. Karen Walton wrote the feminist horror-comedy about puberty, periods, and teen love but mapped it over with werewolves. Ginger Snaps is the extraordinary story of two sisters inflicted with ‘the curse’ of turning into a werewolf. They struggle with the urge (a metaphor for adolescent lust) to kill and they fight against their raging hormones as they each, slowly turn.

Ginger Snaps is rare in that the sequel is every bit as good as the first film. The screenwriter created a remarkable, fan-favorite horror film about teen girls — that’s both wicked, feminist, endearing, and forward-thinking. I’m partial to it because the younger girl sneers instead of smiling all the time, which I find refreshingly relatable for many women, frustrated, well…frustrated with the status quo, in general. Ginger Snaps forever!

A real gem on Tubi is the campy sequel to The Howling, one of the best of the worst — Howling 2: Your Sister Is A Werewolf, alternative title: Howling 2: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch. This 80’s flick has everything: wolf puppets, punk bands, street fights, werewolf orgies, outrageously costumed women, and a weary Christopher Lee. It’s so bad…it’s great. Lee reportedly apologized for starring in it, but he’s the grounded lead actor that holds the absurdity together; in fact, it wouldn’t be as funny if he weren’t trying so hard to give a decent performance.

Secondly, it featured a woman of color, actress Marsha A. Hunt, who was also in 1972’s Dracula A.D. She plays werewolf Mariana, a follower of the Queen Werewolf (Sybil Danning). It’s a shame she stopped acting in 1990 because she was an interesting actress, who could have gone on to bigger and better films than the low-budget Howling II — if Hollywood had been more inclusive in the early ’90s.

There are hints of old-school sexism buried in the “Werewolf Bitch” plot since the ‘dangerous women’ being hunted are evil werewolves who engage in wild sex. They party and hang out with punk rockers when they should be in church or at home, baking cookies. The ‘bad girl werewolves’ have to be ‘tamed’ by the werewolf hunter, Stefan — who may have slept with the Queen Werewolf in earlier times.

Perhaps that is the true source of Stefan’s contempt — he hates himself for succumbing to the charms of the werewolf Queen, for she is as mad as she is beautiful. But maybe she isn’t crazy — what if she’s just a free wolf-woman who wants to live the good life of a David Bowie video and she’s tired of men projecting their shadow selves onto her? Leave the werewolf Queen alone, she wants to rule in leather pants and 80’s make-up forever!

Then there’s the wonderful 80’s sci-fi horror film Dreamscape with a retro-cool, synthesized soundtrack. Dreamscape is one of my favorite 80’s films though it doesn’t seem to get the same amount of love from fans. Perhaps that’s because it’s about ideas instead of monsters, slashers, or aliens; and dream sequences can be annoying when overused in TV shows and movies.

But Dreamscape has its share of cult fans because Shout! Factory released an uncut Blu-ray in 2017. The 1984 film had an all-star cast: Dennis Quaid, Kate Capshaw, Christopher Plummer, and Max von Sydow — horror royalty, he played Father Merrin in The Exorcist and the three-eyed raven in season 6 of Game of Thrones.

Dreamscape is a weird movie about a government-funded dream laboratory where gifted people learn to control dreams. Tommy, played by David Patrick Kelly, is super creepy. He’s dangerous, a god in the dream world, he can kill people in their dreams for real. There’s a gnarly scene with red-eyed wolves when he tries to murder Quaid’s character in a nightmare. Although the movie gets a bit tied down in a political subplot, instead of focusing purely on dream horror, the film still holds up even in 2019.

Hollywood Ghost Stories is a ridiculously enjoyable, no-budget documentary, that looks as if it was directed by Tim & Eric. But it’s a real documentary, with real Hollywood directors and actors, shot in the ’80s…about ghosts, starring John Carradine, William Peter Blatty, and Elke Sommer. This was way before Celebrity Ghost Story; in those days, celebrities didn’t tell weird stories about ghosts to the public.

One of the most bewildering stories is the one told by Elke Sommer about her haunted house in Beverly Hills. Her house was so haunted that she and her husband were forced to move out because the ghost, reportedly, set the house on fire in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, the documentary is entertaining and fun — check it out for the ’80s graphics and music alone.

The horror section on Tubi TV has some great picks like High Tension, Suspiria (1977), Deep Red, and the 2010 remake of I Spit On Your Grave, plus some fun ones like Poltergeist III, Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks, Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary, Amityville 3D — the second sequel to The Amityville Horror, the director’s cut of Nightbreed; and the wonderfully campy and silly: William Shatner’s Halloween Fright Night: Shrunken Heads.

Tubi TV is a free app (for now) with lots of hidden gems, be sure to check out their selection, when you’re bored and alone on a cold, dark night. Where else can you find free streaming access to 1974’s Andy Warhol’s Dracula?



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