Sunday Streaming:: Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)

I've got many a complaint concerning the lack of progress in the world but I have to tip my hat and appreciate that DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW is so readily available to view these days (It's free on TubiTV HERE). This is one of those flicks that made a profound impact on my youth but seemed to disappear as if it never existed for a while. Can you imagine my disappointment when I thought I had finally got my hands on it back in the eighties only to discover I had rented SCARECROWS (1988)? O.K., that makes me sound kinda dumb but there was no Internet back then and I had to rely on memory alone. (It was like the dark ages except with legwarmers and Rubik's cubes). Point is, there's no longer any excuse to not watch this darkly beautiful morality fable. It's right at your fingertips and it's so darn good. In fact, if I had kids, I'd tell them to chuck their Bibles out the window and just watch DNOTS because it teaches you everything you need to know about right and wrong and how to conduct yourself in the world. Plus it too concerns a bullied dude who dies on a cross only to miraculously return.

Bubba didn't do it. Bubba (LARRY DRAKE) is a mentally challenged fella of 37 who looks like Dr. Giggles but is as kindly as Casper the Friendly Ghost. One day he's hanging out with his best pal, a young girl named Marylee  (TONYA CROWE- gotta love that last name) who is savagely attacked by a dog. When he carries the girl's unconscious body home, he is accused of mauling her himself. A bunch of ignorant locals lead by a creepy postman horrifically named Otis P. Hazelrigg (CHARLES DURNING) decide to take justice into their own hands. They find Bubba hiding in a scarecrow whimpering and then callously shoot him full of lead only to discover the little girl survived and is telling the truth about the dog attack and Bubba's innocence. Much like today, the courts do zero to protect the victimized, which leaves Bubba's grieving mother (JOCELYN BRANDO) to state, "You may think you're getting off free, but there's other justice in this world besides the law!" Turns out, the creepy mailman was just projecting his own grisly motivations upon Bubba because soon he is stalking poor Marylee at a Halloween party. But wait! Somebody is killing all those involved in the Bubba murder and that someone is looking a bunch like a scarecrow! Can said mystery entity save MaryLee in time?

Exquisitely directed by AUDREY ROSE and THE ENTITY author FRANK DE FELITTA (who I will worship forever for also gifting the world with the SHARON STONE thriller SCISSORS (1991)), DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW is worthwhile viewing any time of year but is particularly potent right about now. Check it out if you haven't; everybody needs to know the Legend of Bubba! He didn't do it!

Sunday Streaming:: Hammer House of Horror Marathon

Once upon a time, your very own Unk had a "Name That Trauma" of his own. I had fallen asleep watching an episode of SATURDAY NIGHT DEAD hosted by Philly legend STELLA and woke up to a horrifying scenario on my TV. I caught only the very last moments of the program and they included a man and woman screaming from within a window somehow trapped and going stark raving mad inside a house. Miraculously a reader knew exactly what I was talking about and informed me that it was an episode of HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR entitled "The Silent Scream." Here in the States it seems episodes of the show were often passed off as singular movies. Of course, I had to immediately order the entire series on DVD and boy was I pissed at the time when someone screwed up my order and sent it to me on VHS! Years have passed and I'm actually glad about that mistake so I guess there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere.

Point of all of this is that today COMET TV is having a HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR marathon and you can watch it free on cable, the airwaves (if your TV is set up with a converter) or just watch it live off of your dearest computer HERE. It starts at 10 am (which is why I posted this so early) and it goes on until 3:30 in the AM! The aforementioned episode "The Silent Scream" is scheduled for 5:30PM but if I were you, I'd catch as many episodes as you can. It's sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Sunday Streaming:: Ticks (1993)

Hey! It has come to my attention that TICKS (1993) is available to stream for FREE on TubiTV and Vudu and even Amazon Prime. I don't think I've ever properly reviewed this gooey gem but I know for sure it was mentioned in my salute to AMI DOLENZ way back HERE. In retrospect, several fine horror flicks were released in the early nineties but I remember being in the middle of a dry spell of dud rentals when I was so pleasantly surprised by this throwback creature feature back in the day. TICKS has everything: a summer campground setting, young folks looking for trouble, lunatic locals, grotesque creatures and fountains of spewing slime. Let me tell you, I'm not an easy person to gross out but something about the awesomely disgusting special effects in this flick gets me flinching. I would hug a spider, kiss a snake and marry a bat but I'm not down with ticks. They gross.

And how can anyone resist the greatest (and possibly shortest) cast ever assembled? Besides the aforementioned adorable DOLENZ, you get SETH GREEN, PETER SCOLARI, ALFONSO RIBEIRO and the legendary CLINT HOWARD (pop RANCE HOWARD is even the sheriff)! Frequent horror helmsman TONY RANDAL (HELLRAISER 2:HELLBOUND, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, AMITYVILLE 1992: IT'S ABOUT TIME) keeps things moving at a skittering pace and over the top climax is like a low budget salute to THE BLOB or THE THING. I suppose the title alone is enough to keep some folks from singing this movie's praises as loud as it deserves but it's so much more than your standard one-note killer insect flick. I think it's surprisingly thoughtful (most of the young characters are battling personal demons), well-acted (considering the outlandish situation), keenly directed (it never fails to make me squirm) and overall great fun (did you know mutant tick bites cause hallucinations?) If you haven't seen it before, do yourself a favor and give it a chance. Trust me, once it gets under your skin, it doesn't let go.

Sunday Streaming:: Creature (1985)

Hey! My favorite hokey ALIEN rip-off CREATURE (earlier tribute HERE) is hanging out on TubiTV (apologies to all our faithful readers who don't get TubiTV in their area) and can be seen for free HERE! It looks super spectacular all widescreen and digitally re-mastered and it's even wearing its original title THE TITAN FIND. How am I supposed to leave the house today? The soundtrack is enticing me from my little computer speaker as we speak! Wow, Lyman Ward appeared in both CREATURE and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE back in 1985 and still found time to show up on DALLAS and NIGHT COURT! And how I dig that Joe Dante fave Wendy (THE BURBS, SMALL SOLDIERS) Schaal is shown reading a novelization of director William Malone's previous film SCARED TO DEATH (1980) and it claims to be a "#1 Bestseller"!  Aw, I love this flick forever.

Sunday Streaming:: Darkroom

Hey! It has come to my attention (Thanks to our old pal Amanda By Night of Made For TV Mayhem fame) that the excellent short-lived horror anthology series DARKROOM is available to watch for FREE (you don't even have to sign up!)! DARKROOM is hosted by the great JAMES COBURN and it came out right at the height of the early eighties horror boom. A few episodes that were too intense for broadcasting were strung together to make the cult favorite theatrical flick NIGHTMARES (1983). Fuzzy home-recorded episodes of DARKROOM have been bouncing around the internet for years but this is your big chance to see the show all crisp and clear as it was meant to be seen. I have a funky feeling it may never graduate to physical media so this may be your one and only chance! Be sure to check it out HERE!

Streaming Alert:: Comet's Freaky Feast Marathon

Heads up! On Thanksgiving Day, if you end up hungry for some killer entertainment, our old pals over at COMET TV have got you covered in fantastic horror gravy with their FREAKY FEAST MARATHON! You can catch COMET for FREE on your home computer HERE or on your trusty TV via cable or magical airwaves! Let's check out the schedule!

SUPERBEAST = 10 am ET/PT (9 am CT- 11 am MT)

I don't know this movie and it's on too early for me to watch so I'll use this space to explain that in all cases below, whatever the time the movie is on at ET/PT (Eastern and Pacific Time) it is on an hour earlier in Central Time and an hour later in Mountain Time. Luckily, I live in Eastern Time so no math for me!


This slimy 1977 sci-fi gross-out may be slow as molasses in spots but who can resist special effects from the legendary RICK BAKER? It's not nearly as scary as I imagined it would be when I caught the TV commercial as a kid but if you're on a diet and looking to curb your appetite, it might just do the trick!


I don't mind telling you I was absolutely outraged when I first saw this movie back in the day. Has a horror sequel ever dived so steeply in quality from its predessessor? Years (more like decades) later though, when I was less of a fussbudget, I came to realize that HOWLING II's cheap, anarchic flippancy was more fun than a barrel of were-monkeys. My constant re-watching of this brash atrocity reminds me of my favorite line from the poem "You Are Old Father William" from Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND:

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."


Let me cheat and quote myself from when we last suggested this humble humdinger on a past SUNDAY STREAMING post:

"THE VIDEO DEAD is a true one of a kind flick. It's sometimes legit creepy, sometimes legit hilarious and all the time legit charming. It's never stingy with the gore and the surprisingly impressive special effects and some of the ghouls shambling about have some serious personality (wait till you meet the bride)! There's a sweet homegrown backyard feel to this 1987 straight to video release but it runs at a good clip and features more creative set pieces than a dozen Hollywood productions. Mostly, it's just pure unadulterated eighties-style fun and the fact that writer/director ROBERT SCOTT never went on to make another horror movie is a crime against the undead."


Where to start with this insane movie? For one thing, it was directed by the same guy (PHILIPPE MORA) who brought you the aforementioned HOWLING II: YOUR SEQUEL IS AN OUTRAGE and for another thing, it involves a mutant cicada. Furthermore I sort of love it and wrote a full review back HERE.


Somehow CREATURE has become one of my most favorite ALIEN retreads. I think it has a lot to do with its impressive cast (Why isn't DIANE SALINGER a household name?) and the fact that it gives you some crystal clear sightings of its monster. Check out the mini-tribute I wrote not so long ago HERE.

There you have it and what more could you possibly ask for? I know what I'm thankful for this year and it's COMET TV (especially a couple nights ago when I couldn't get to sleep and happily found out they were showing BLOOD AND LACE (full review HERE)). COMET TV is always there when you need it.

Sunday Streaming:: Excision (2012) (Via Tubi TV)

Oy veh, sometimes I'll be having a perfectly nice day and then out of nowhere the movie EXCISION pops into my head and re-haunts me. Have you guys witnessed this beautiful yet horrendously ugly dive into tragic madness yet? It may ruin your life but it does have TRACI LORDS in it (and she's phenomenal). Please read my bewildered full review way back HERE to save me from repeating myself. Sorry this post is so brief but I must prepare for the eclipse/apocalypse tomorrow. In closing, I both highly recommend you do and highly recommend you don't watch EXCISION on TUBI TV right HERE while you have a chance. This one cuts deep.

Sunday Streaming:: Extinction (2015) (Via Crackle)

I gravitated toward EXTINCTION not because I'm a huge zombie fan but because I have a warm spot for snowbound horror. I caught the icy trailer on a random DVD and I couldn't understand why I had never heard of it before and then fortuitously, a couple weeks later, it popped up at a yard sale because I'm the luckiest person in the world. Now EXTINCTION is on CRACKLE and I am strongly urging you to check it out. It's one of my favorite finds of the last ten years and it's the type of movie I'll watch again and again. If I had to make a list of underrated horror films, I think I'd put it smack on the top. I want this movie to be my pet so I can pat it on the head and it can sit in front of my fireplace. Do you know how many zombie movies I don't care about? I'd say about 97%. This one is particularly unique and it has interesting characters and the atmosphere is through the roof. You have to see the shot of an abandoned, snow-covered movie theater with a marque that reads "AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS." It's so darn beautiful...

The less you know the better so I'll just throw a couple selling points at you and hope it will be enough. The bulk of this movie takes place about ten years after a zombie-type outbreak wipes out most of civilization. The tale follows two adult survivors (MATTHEW FOX, JEFFREY DONOVAN- both excellent), a little girl (QUINN McCOLGAN) and a faithful doggie. These folks are holed up in a couple of adjacent houses in the middle of nowhere covered in ice and hoping never to see a zombie again (in truth, the creatures are never called such and are referred to as simply "monsters"). The two men have had a falling out but they both feel responsible for the little girl and eventually they have to reconcile in order to persevere. Slowly we learn the details of the slight that divided them and it becomes a genuinely compelling character driven drama. Of course the monsters return, as they always do, and there are some real nail-biting action sequences as this likable group fights to survive. In some ways, it's more faithful to the homebound isolated terrors of RICHARD MATHESON's I AM LEGEND than previous official adaptions. Plus, I kinda just want to live in this movie were modern culture is dead, everything is covered in snow and I'm in a boarded up house filled with books eating beans out of a can.

Watch EXTINCTION right HERE for free thanks to the folks at CRACKLE.

Sunday Streaming: Madman (1982) (Via Tubi TV)

I should probably be forcing myself to check out one of the many recent horror movies I haven't caught up with yet but instead I'm going to watch MADMAN for the millionth time. It's the perfect time of year for a summer slasher movie especially when that summer slasher movie completely ignores the existence of the sun by taking place exclusively at night and features characters dressed as if it were the dead of winter (when they're not in a hot tub). What says summer more than howling winds, rustling dead leaves, corduroy and flannel? I'm thinking the world of MADMAN is a perfect world- because it's a world where summer doesn't exist. Putting aside its strange, BOOGENS-esque climate, MADMAN never fails to satisfy all of my horror needs. Once upon a time I used to wish for a sequel but now I know it's better off with its mythology unmarred and its low budget purity intact. This movie has everything you could want in a horror movie; a truly formidable maniac, victims who make questionable survival choices, multiple grisly deaths and a jarring synth score complimented by a legendary theme song that should have been a number one pop hit across the country. And I have to say, the cat-and-mouse stalking scenes are still pretty darn effective. Sure, it has flaws but they are enjoyable flaws. Anyway, MADMAN is available to watch on Tubi TV for free anytime you like. If you haven't seen it before, be more adventurous than myself and check it out HERE.

Sunday Streaming:: Devil Times Five (1974) (Via Tubi TV)

Hey, DEVIL TIMES FIVE (1974) is trying to hide from me on Tubi TV by wearing its alternative title THE HORRIBLE HOUSE ON THE HILL. It won't work! I see you DT5 and you look crisper, cleaner and more colorful than ever. The only proper way to combat a hot, humid and hellish summer day is by watching a winter set film- particularly if it's a winter set film featuring a gaggle of psychopathic youngsters bent on murdering every dopey adult they encounter in a groovy seventies lodge. I've always thought there was something singularly unsettling about this film and its weird vibe. Maybe that's a natural reaction to witnessing adorable freckle-faced Dodie from MY THREE SONS (DAWN LIN) dumping a bucket of killer piranha into the bathtub occupied by an unsuspecting woman (who happens to be DAWN's real life mom, CAROLYN STELLAR. BTW-DAWN's older sibling LEIF GARRET is also on board playing a like-minded murderous tyke). THE DUKES OF HAZZARD's Boss Hogg (SORRELL BOOKE) and WILL AND GRACE's Rosario (SHELLEY MORRISON) are exactly zero help in situations like these. My advice is: grab some hooch and a couch and sit back and take in the calamities while the air conditioner churns. Be prepared for moaning slow motion kills, corpses encased in snowmen, the greatest catfight ever put to film and a disturbing young woman in a nun's habit sporting psychedelic shades. DEVIL TIMES FIVE is playing on Tubi TV HERE. If you haven't registered yet, what the devil are you waiting for? You're missing a free horror movie treasure trove!