I don’t know what lit a fire under Hulu’s ass, but they have been absolutely on point with their horror selection lately. As a guy who has built part of a career on watching horror, good and bad, I need a steady stream of the stuff like a junkie needs the spike. Sure, there’s some decent stuff on Netflix, but right now, Hulu is absolutely kicking their ass. My friend, Thomas S Flowers III, a damned good writer himself, posted a list of his favorite current Hulu horrors and encouraged me to create my own list.
You got it, Tommy.
And so, Dear Acolytes, do you.
Burnt Offerings (1976) — A haunted house thriller so Seventies, it may as well have a soundtrack by Sonny and Cher (it doesn’t). But what it does offer is a knockout cast, including Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Dub Taylor, Burgess Meredith and Bette Davis (her eyes, too). Ollie and Karen find a deal that’s too good to be true on a rental house, and soon find that terror has passed the savings on to them. Directed by Dan Curtis (Dark Shadows), this sure feels like a TV movie, but it goes off the rails in no time, resulting in a most satisfying ending.
Unrest (2007) — One of the Movies to Die For series, this one combines an Aztec curse and gross anatomy. This is like C.S.I. on peyote, including a horrible device called a “cadaver tank,” in which bodies at a medical school wait to be autopsied by first year medical students. If the legend is true, that thing is real, and all the bodies in the movie are, too. It’s creepy and solid, and well worth your attention.
Theater of Blood (1973) — Vincent Price is amazing as a Shakespearean actor who finally loses his grip on reality, and starts murdering his critics in the most delightful and grotesque of ways. This is one for the groundlings, and features Price in one of the best roles of his later career. It’s a little slow, in the way all British films of that time are, more like showing a stiff upper lip, but sit tight. It gets good. Really good.
Reincarnation (2006) — One of the scariest J-horror (are we still using that term?) movies ever made, this one involves a hotel where a bunch of murders took place. Thirty-five years later, a film crew enters the hotel to make a movie about the killings. This one’s got layers of strangeness, and a couple of mysteries that need to be unraveled. Once everything starts to come to light, though, the sense of dread is palpable. The last thirty minutes are an endurance test for your nerves.
Demons (1984) — This Italian classic doesn’t make a lick of sense, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most grueling horror movies out there. Released from… somewhere… by a cursed movie and a shiny silver mask, demons begin to possess the audience of a film at a theater. Blood, gore, green ooze, all kinds of nastiness assaults your face, and while there is some unintentional humor, the movie is fast-paced enough to hold your interest. That’s an understatement. Demons is friggin’ awesome, and you should watch it multiple times.
Pieces (1982) — This South American gem features everything you could want from an Eighties slasher flick. The killings are sexually motivated, the acting is horrific, the continuity isn’t there, and a girl gets mutilated in an elevator by somebody with a chainsaw. It’s a bloodbath, and it’s a lot of fun. Have fun deciphering the ending. Highly recommended for those who don’t need their movies to be good to have a good time.
You can also check out Mulberry St. and it’s hordes of rat zombies, get cooking tips from Motel Hell and get the double whammy of a villainous Martin Sheen and Jodie Foster’s sister’s naked ass in the slow-burning and surreal The Little Girl who Lives down the Lane.
That ought to keep you busy for a little while, don’t you think? From shoegaze hipster horror to mindless slashers and classics from the Thirties to modern-day masterpieces, Hulu has got it all right now. It’s a Hulu Halloween!
[No, I don’t work for Hulu, and they didn’t pay me for this blog post. But if they want to work something out with me, I’m totally for it. Free-lancing is a rough business. I’ll take what I can get.]