It’s really an amazing time to be a movie fan, considering the access we have to so many obscure and crazy titles via multiple streaming services. I mean, do you remember reading about some weirdo horror flick in the pages of Fangoria and the search that followed at various video stores and conventions just to track it down? The hunt was part of the journey!
But now, between Netflix, Shudder, Hulu, Vudu, Screambox, and so on, the chances of finding that gem are high! I’m an Amazon Prime subscriber, and I also run my Shudder subscription through my Amazon account. But even if I excluded the genre titles I had access to via Shudder, there is some crazy shit currently available for Amazon Prime users!
So strap in, because I’m about to throw you 11 recommendations for titles we can’t believe are available for streaming right now via Amazon Prime!
This 1984 “slasher” flick was long thought to be lost, but alas, Arrow Video did their due diligence and restored this bonkers cult classic to all its gory glory! After a bizarre opening in which a kid accidently commits matricide and murders his mother, we then cut some 10-odd years later. The now teenage kid decides to head back to his old house on the beach with a group of friends for a weekend getaway. What they don’t count on is his crazed father dispatching of them all, one by one, in the most grotesque of fashions! It’s pretty typical “slasher” fare, but what stands out is FX legend Mark Shostrom’s excellently executed gore gags.
Another classic “slasher,” MADMAN plays like the traditional cautionary campfire tale, in which the kids are warned of a giant lunatic named “Mad Man Marz” who one day went nuts and hacked to death his entire family. The entire town rallied together and delivered swift vigilante justice, but his body was never recovered. All is well as long as you don’t call his name aloud, which of course, one of the opening scene’s obnoxious kids does! After that, a group of camp counselors are doomed to face off against the hulking semi-deformed brute, including DAWN OF THE DEAD’s Gayleen Ross going by the stage name Alexis Dubin. (Why?!) This is a fun flick in the vein of FRIDAY THE 13TH and THE BURNING.
THE FINAL TERROR
Can you believe all this “slasher” goodness?! For years, THE FINAL TERROR was that long lost horror movie that featured Adrian Zmed, Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward and Joe Pantoliano. They play a group of rangers that go camping into uncharted parts of the woods, and soon discover a handful of strategically placed booby traps set by a brutal and vicious killer! Again, typical “slasher” fare, but with an all star cast in some of their first big screen roles. Worth a look for that alone!
HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER
Who would’ve thought that one day, John McNaughton’s sleazy serial killer movie, loosely based on the life of real-life killer Henry Lee Lucas would be available at your fingertips via a streaming service?! This is a nasty, grim, unsettling horror film of the darkest variety. But it also features an incredible performance from a young Michael Rooker in one of his earliest on screen appearances. This isn’t a “fun” one per se, but it’s a powerful piece of filmmaking and a classic in its own right.
Here’s one I personally haven’t seen yet, but it’s been brought up a few times on the Shock Waves podcast, primarily described as a HALLOWEEN knock-off. Well, that and this IMDB synopsis are enough for me! “Ten years after he was pushed down a well, a young man kills off the neighborhood bullies who tormented him and leaves their body parts as presents for the one girl who was kind to him.” Can’t wait to check this one out!
Ever long for a Thanksgiving “slasher” film? Well, here it is! BLOOD RAGE really needs to be seen to be believed. It opens at a drive-in where one of two twin brothers commits a violent murder and then blames it on the other one! The wrong brother gets put in a mental institute, while the actual killer leads a Ted Bundy-esque normal existence in the real world. When the committed brother escapes, the other one uses it as an excuse to go on a killing spree. It’s pretty bonkers and the actors make… well, some interesting choices, but it’s definitely a gem worth watching!
ALICE SWEET ALICE
Here’s one I haven’t seen since my formative years renting horror at the video store! There are images from it forever ingrained into my brain, such as the clear-faced mask and rain coat the killer wears, and some of the religious undertones, and also a super young Brooke Shields in her first theatrical role! Can’t believe this one is on Amazon Prime, but I look forward to revisiting it!
THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW
A horrible prank gone wrong? A dark hidden secret? A group of sorority sisters getting stalked and murdered by a mysterious killer? Hell, this is 1983! It’s business as usual!
BASKET CASE 2
The NYC cult classic BASKET CASE didn’t really need a sequel. It ended pretty definitively, and usually when that’s the case, that means the sequel has to go in all sorts of crazy, unexpected directions. And that’s why I love BASKET CASE 2 so much. It’s bonkers, hilarious, and fun in only a way that writer/director Frank Henenlotter could deliver! Duane and Belial survive their fall from the top floor of the Hotel Broslin, escape the hospital and retreat to a wayward house for strange “freaks” with similar deformities. From there, all sorts of madness ensues, including Belial finding (gasp) a girlfriend! This movie has my all-time favorite ending to any sequel. Watch it ASAP with a group of friends!
TURBULENCE 3: HEAVY METAL
No, seriously! Hear me out! This isn’t “horror,” but it’s awesome and absolutely needs to be watched by you and all of your friends! Slade Craven, a Marilyn Manson-esque artist decides to perform a concert to fans on a plane that’ll be broadcast live on the internet. The pilot, played by Rutger Hauer is actually a Satanist plotting to crash the plane into a church in Kansas to open the gates of hell. So, Slade jumps into action to save the plane and all its passengers with the help of a superfan on the ground played by Craig Shafer, who’s guiding him with a flight simulator. All this without smudging any of his make-up! They also recycle most of the plane footage from the first TURBULENCE, but I swear to you, it’s awesome and a must see!!!
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Last but certainly not least, I’m thrilled we live in a world where Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE got an incredible restoration for its 40th anniversary, and now you can see it on Amazon Prime! A group of kids fall victim to a family of cannibalistic killers in a small farmhouse in Texas! Among them, freakin’ Leatherface! Whether you’ve seen it or not, it’s amazing that you can stream this right now if you want to.