Every month, Vudu, the streaming service for those codes that come in your Blu-Rays, adds movies that are free to watch with ads. Sure, it isn’t the best way to watch a movie – the ads can be a little jarring since it just cuts to them instead of having the movie fade out like it would on TV – but if you haven’t seen these films and you aren’t sure you want to pay for them, this is a solid – and legal – way to see them. Hard to complain about that, eh?
POLTERGEIST II & III
Chances are you’ve seen the classic POLTERGEIST (and if you haven’t read Rob’s piece on who really directed the classic and controversial film, get on it) but there’s also a chance you never saw the sequels. For a long time, many of us were conditioned to look at POLTERGEIST II and III as lesser films, and while they certainly aren’t as good as the original, they are far from bad. If you haven’t seen them, or it’s been a while, now is a great time to check them out.
POLTERGEIST III is especially worth seeing just for some really amazing FX work.
Eli Roth’s classic – and disturbing – sophomore film isn’t for everyone, but for those of us who like slick social commentary mixed in with massive amounts of gratuitous sex and violence, this little flick really hits the spot. If you haven’t seen HOSTEL, it is certainly one you should keep an eye on – and that is a Cryptkeeper worthy joke you’ll only get after you watch the movie.
Written by Jeffrey Reddick – the man behind the FINAL DESTINATION series – TAMARA is a callback to 80s slashers with a nice little bit of witchcraft mixed in for extra fun. Originally released in 2005, the movie was a hit on video but has kind of faded away in the twelves years since it came out. I’ll be honest – I haven’t seen this one in over a decade, but I remember liking well enough and now that I can revisit it for free, I’ll be watching it again soon.
DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS
A Spike Lee horror movie, even if the critics weren’t particularly kind to it, is worth watching if only because it is so rare that a filmmaker is willing to try something new when they are as far into their successful career as Lee is and was when he did this remake of GANJA AND HESS. You can also catch yourself some pre-MR. ROBOT Rami Malek if you’re a fan of his.
WITCH’S NIGHT OUT
A little something for the nostalgia gang, or if you have kids of your own – WITCH’S NIGHT OUT, a sequel to THE GIFT OF WINTER (which is also available for free on Vudu) is a Canadian made animated special that originally aired on NBC just before Halloween 1978. The voice cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Catherine O’Hara, and Gilda Radner.
WITCH’S NIGHT OUT is filled with the kind of antics you may expect from a late 70s era Halloween special for kids, including a disco number titled “Witch Magic”. Don’t act like you’re not gonna watch this one.
Along with a slew of great new horror, Vudu has added some other movies worth checking out.
With George Romero sadly passing away this week, now is a great time to revisit one of his lesser talked about movies. KNIGHTRIDERS is a personal favorite Romero for me, and one that I am honestly amazed (and kind of happy) hasn’t been remade. I really don’t think there is another movie like it out there, and it is great to see Romero do something that isn’t horror related.
And yeah, it stars Ed Harris and Tom Savini. You know you need to see this.
GAMERA – THE SHOWA YEARS
The original eight GAMERA movies are all sitting right there on Vudu ready for your eyes and ears to dig into them. How anyone can say no to a giant flying space turtle is beyond me, so I know you’re going to watch them all. Be honest, it isn’t like you have anything better to do with your Sunday mornings.
SHADOWS AND FOG
Possibly the closest thing to a Woody Allen horror movie, SHADOWS AND FOG is beautifully shot, consistently fun, and filled with great actors, including Mia Farrow, John Malkovich, Donald Pleasence, Lily Tomlin, Jodie Foster, Kathy Bates, and John Cusak. John C. Reilly and William H. Macy are also in the movie, but they are extras. Seriously, they were unknown actors at the time and are just kind of around. Oh, and Madonna is in it too, and she isn’t bad.
This is a personal favorite of mine that I can’t honestly say is good or bad. I watched this movie a million times as a kid – it seemed to be on WPIX every Sunday afternoon – and the concept – Tarzan in the city – is right up my alley. Look, you can check it out for free. You don’t dig it, turn it off. No harm, no foul. But I really think this is a forgotten 80s classic.
*Header Photo: TAMARA