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  • Writer's pictureGabe Powers

Grinding the Stream February-ish 2021 UPDATES: Sci-Fi, Westerns, Documentaries & Other Leftovers

New year, new me, new you, same pandemic! It's time to revisit Grinding the Stream for February 2021 (edit: LOL, I took so long that it's practically March...). As per usual, I'm including as many movies as I can per each category as I scour Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Criterion Channel, HBO Max, Peacock, Fandor, Shudder, Tubi, Midnight Pulp (a "+" will be included wherever subscription fees apply), VUDU’s free selections, The Roku Channel, Popcorn Flix, Crackle, Dark Matter TV, Night Flight, Shout Factory TV (though most of their titles can also be watched via Amazon Prime). Arrow started their own paid service recently, so I'm going to start including them where applicable.

Again, be warned – all of the free apps have ad breaks (I know, it sucks) and the video quality is inconsistent from app to app. Sometimes it's genuine HD, other times, it's sub-VHS. I've also included links to my own reviews of some of these films.

Alien Rip-Offs

Movies inspired by Ridley Scott's film are simply a personal favorite specific subgenre and most of the "best" ones are, surprisingly, available streaming

  • Contamination (Luigi Cozzi, 1980) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Scared to Death (William Malone, 1980) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Inseminoid (Norman J. Warren, 1981) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Midnight Pulp, Pluto TV, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Galaxy of Terror (Bruce D. Clark, 1981) – Shout Factory TV

  • Forbidden World (Allan Holzman, 1982) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Parasite (Charles Band,1982 – Amazon Prime

  • Creature (William Malone, 1985) – Amazon Prime, Roku Channel, Fandor, and Tubi

  • Lily CAT (aka: LILY-C.A.T.; Hisayuki Toriumi, 1987) – Amazon Prime, Roku Channel, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi (super weird Japanese animated film)

  • Creepozoids (David DeCoteau, 1987) – Tubi

  • Shocking Dark (aka: Terminator 2; Bruno Mattei, 1989)Night Flight, Midnight Pulp +, and Tubi (this is actually a dual rip-off of Aliens *and* The Terminator)

  • Dark Side of the Moon (D.J. Webster, 1990) – VUDU Free, Midnight Pulp + and Tubi

  • Syngenor (George Elanjian Jr., 1990) – Midnight Pulp

  • Dead Space (Fred Gallo, 1991) – Tubi (remake of Forbidden World)

  • BONUS: Robowar (Bruno Mattei, 1988) – Tubi (Mattei's very precise rip-off of Predator)

Body Snatchers and Stolen Identities

  • Invaders from Mars (William Cameron Menzies, 1953) Tubi

  • It Came from Outer Space (Jack Arnold, 1953) – Peacock

  • Project Moon Base (Richard Talmadge, 1953) Amazon Prime

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956) Amazon Prime

  • The Brain Eaters (Bruno VeSota, 1958) – Plato TV and Tubi

  • Planet of the Vampires (Italian: Terrore nello spazio; Mario Bava,1965) Amazon Prime

  • Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (Hajime Sato, 1968) – Criterion Channel

  • The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975) – Tubi

  • Shivers (aka: They Came From Within; David Cronenberg, 1975) – Criterion Channel, Roku Channel, Tubi, and Popcorn Flix

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978) – Plato TV

  • Dead and Buried (Gary Sherman, 1981) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Tubi

  • Starman (John Carpenter, 1984) – Amazon Prime and HULU

  • The Stuff (Larry Cohen, 1985) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, and Tubi

  • Lifeforce (Tobe Hooper, 1985) – Amazon Prime and Pluto TV

  • Invaders from Mars (Tobe Hooper, 1986) – Tubi

  • The Borrower (John McNaughton, 1989) – Popcorn Flix

  • Seedpeople (Peter Manoogian, 1992) – Tubi and Night Flight

  • Star Trek: First Contact (Jonathan Frakes, 1996) – Amazon Prime and Plato TV

  • The Faculty (Robert Rodriguez, 1998) – Plato TV

  • Dreamcatcher (Lawrence Kasdan, 2003) – HBO Max

  • Before We Vanish (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2017) – HULU

  • Us (Jordan Peele, 2019) – HBO Max

  • Assimilate (John Murlowski, 2019) – Netflix

Post-Apocalyptic Trash & Treasures

An awful lot of these disappeared in May. Either rights happened to run out or companies thought it was in bad taste, given the pandemic.

  • A Boy and his Dog (L.Q. Jones, 1975) – VUDU Free, Plato TV, Shout Factory TV, Popcorn Flix, and Tubi

  • Black Moon (Louis Malle, 1975) – Criterion Channel

  • Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel, 1975) – Popcorn Flix and Tubi

  • Deathsport (Allan Arkush, Roger Corman, and Nicholas Niciphor, 1978) – Amazon Prime, Tubi, and Shout Factory TV

  • Mad Max (George Miller, 1979) – Netflix

  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981) – HBO Max

  • The Aftermath (Steve Barkett, 1982) – Midnight Pulp

  • Warlords of the 21st Century (aka: Battletruck; Harley Cokeliss, 1982) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • 1990: The Bronx Warriors (Italian: 1990: I guerrieri del Bronx; Enzo G. Castellari, 1982) – VUDU Free, Night Flight, and Tubi

  • Escape from the Bronx (Italian: Fuga dal Bronx; Enzo G. Castellari, 1983) – VUDU Free, Night Flight, and Tubi

  • The New Barbarians (Italian: I nuovi barbari; Enzo G. Castellari, 1983) – VUDU Free, Night Flight, and Tubi

  • The Exterminators of the Year 3000 (Italian: Gli sterminatori dell'anno 3000; Giuliano Carnimeo, 1983) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Prisoners of the Lost Universe (Terry Marcel, 1983) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Warriors of the Year 2072 (Italian: I guerrieri dell'anno 2072; Lucio Fulci, 1984) – Amazon Prime

  • Wheels of Fire (Cirio H. Santiago, 1985) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (George Ogilvie and George Miller,1985) – HBO Max

  • Steel Dawn (Lance Hool, 1987) – Tubi and Popcorn Flix

  • Mutant Hunt (Tim Kincaid, 1987) – Tubi

  • The Sisterhood (Cirio H. Santiago, 1988) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Bronx Executioner (Vanio Amici, 1989) – Amazon Prime

  • Dune Warriors (Cirio H. Santiago, 1991) – Shout Factory TV and Tubi

  • Raiders of the Sun (Cirio H. Santiago, 1992) – Shout Factory TV and Tubi

  • Tank Girl (Rachel Talalay, 1995) – Plato TV and Tubi

Other B-Sci-Fi and Fantasy

  • StarCrash (Luigi Cozzi, 1978) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Message from Space (Kinji Fukasaku, 1978) – Amazon Prime

  • Eyes Behind the Stars (Italian: Occhi dalle stelle; Mario Gariazzo, 1978) Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Battle Beyond the Stars (Jimmy T. Murakami, 1980) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, Plato TV, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Hawk the Slayer (Terry Marcel, 1980) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Space Raiders (Howard R. Cohen, 1983) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Deathstalker (James Sbardellati, 1983) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (Héctor Olivera, 1985) Tubi

  • Sorceress (Jack Hill, 1986) – Amazon Prime and Tubi (a personal favorite)

  • Deathstalker II (Jim Wynorski, 1987) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Nightfall (Paul Mayersberg, 1988) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Doctor Mordrid (Charles and Albert Band, 1992) – Plato TV and Tubi (originally designed as a Dr. Strange movie, before the Band's lost the rights)

Revisionist Westerns

I’m going to assume folks have already seen the Quinten Tarantino, P.T. Anders, and Coen Bros westerns.

  • I Shout Jesse James (Sam Fuller, 1949) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • The Furies (Anthony Mann, 1950) – HULU

  • Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954) – HULU and Amazon Prime

  • Man with the Gun (Richard Wilson, 1955) – Tubi and The Roku Channel

  • A Man Alone (Ray Milland, 1955) – HULU

  • The Searchers (John Ford, 1956) – HBO Max

  • The Tin Star (Anthony Mann, 1957) – Tubi and The Roku Channel

  • Man of the West (Anthony Mann, 1958) – Tubi

  • Day of the Outlaw (André De Toth, 1959) – Tubi

  • The Deadly Companions (Sam Peckinpah, 1961) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962) – HULU

  • One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 1961) – Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, and Tubi

  • The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 1966) – HBO Max, The Roku Channel, and Tubi

  • Ride the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 1966) – Criterion Channel, The Roku Channel, and Tubi

  • Little Big Man (Arthur Penn,1970) – Amazon Prime

  • Hannie Caulder (Burt Kennedy, 1971) – HULU and Amazon Prime

  • The Hunting Party (Don Medford, 1971) – The Roku Channel

  • Chato's Land (Michael Winner, 1972) The Roku Channel

  • Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005) – Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, VUDU Free, Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle, and Popcorn Flix

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007) – HBO Max

  • Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010) – HULU, Criterion Channel, Amazon Prime, Tubi, VUDU Free, Dark Matter TV, Crackle, and Popcorn Flix

  • Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012) – Netflix

  • The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent, 2018) – HULU

Documentaries About Cult Movies

  • Burden of Dreams (Les Blank, 1982) – Criterion Collection (the making of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo)

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait (Brad Shellady, 1988) – Midnight Pulp, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Reflections on the Living Dead (aka: Night of the Living Dead: 25th Anniversary Documentary, Thomas Brown, 1993) – Midnight Pulp

  • Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror (Ted Newsom, 1994) – Night Flight and Tubi

  • My Best Fiend (Werner Herzog, 1999) – Amazon Prime and Tubi (Herzog explores his relationship with Klaus Kinski)

  • The American Nightmare (Adam Simon, 2000) – YouTube

  • The Spaghetti West (David Gregory, 2005) – YouTube

  • The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels (Kevin Sean Michaels, 2008) – Amazon Prime, Fandor, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (Mark Hartley, 2008) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea, 2009) – Amazon Prime and Arrow (the story behind Clouzot’s unfinished film)

  • I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (Richard Shepard, 2009) – Fandor

  • Best Worst Movie (Michael Stephenson, 2009) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi (retrospective doc about the legacy of Troll II)

  • Nightmares in Red, White and Blue (Andrew Monument, 2009) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Pluto TV, and Tubi (general look at ‘60s/’70s American horror movies)

  • American Grindhouse (Elijah Drenner, 2011) – Tubi and Pluto TV

  • Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (Gilles Penso, 2011) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Birth of the Living Dead (Rob Kuhns, 2013) – Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, and Tubi (the making of Night of the Living Dead)

  • Milius (Joey Figueroa and Zak Knutson, 2013) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • The Search for Weng Weng (Andrew Leavold, 2013) – Midnight Pulp, Night Flight, and Tubi

  • Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (Daniel Farrands, 2013) – Shudder

  • I am Divine (Jeffrey Schwarz, 2013)Netflix and Tubi

  • That Guy Dick Miller (Elijah Drenner, 2014) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, Popcorn Flix, and Tubi

  • Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (David Gregory, 2014) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, Popcorn Flix, and Tubi

  • Why Horror? (Nicolas Kleiman and Rob Lindsay, 2014) – Shudder (horror fandom and psychology)

  • Monster Madness (three parts: The Golden Age of the Horror Film, The Gothic Revival of Horror, and Mutants, Space Invaders & Drive-Ins; Jeff Herberger, 2015) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi (these are mediocre, but enjoyable)

  • Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini (Jason Baker, 2015) – Shudder

  • De Palma (Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, 2015) – Netflix

  • Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four (Marty Langford, 2015) – VUDU Free, Popcorn Flix, and Tubi

  • They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé (Daniel Griffithm, 2016) – Arrow

  • At the Drive-In (Alexander Monelli, 2017) Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, Night Flight, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi (about drive-in theaters, not the band from El Paso)

  • To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story (Derek Dennis Herbert, 2017) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, VUDU Free, Crackle, and Tubi

  • 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (Alexandre O. Philippe, 2017) – HULU

  • Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary (John Campopiano and Justin White, 2017) – Amazon Prime, Popcorn Flix, and Tubi

  • Becoming Bond (Josh Greenbaum, 2017) – HULU

  • King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen (Steve Mitchell, 2017) – Tubi

  • They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (Morgan Neville, 2018) – Netflix (the making of Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind)

  • Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018) – Netflix (story of an unfinished, teen-made Singaporean indie movie)

  • All the Colors of Giallo (documentary about gialli; Federico Caddeo, 2019) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp +, and Tubi

  • The Dawn of the Kaiju Eiga (Jonathan Bellés, 2019) – Midnight Pulp (mostly about Godzilla movies)

  • Memory: The Origins of Alien (Alexandre O. Philippe, 2019) – Crackle and Popcorn Flix

  • Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (Xavier Burgin, 2019) – Shudder

  • Making Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film (William Conlin, 2019) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, Plato TV, and Tubi (documentary about Planet of the Apes make-up)

  • Cursed Films ( Jay Cheel, 2019) – Shudder (five part series)

  • Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen, 2019) Shudder

  • Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (David Gregory, 2019) – Shudder and Tubi

Not Sure How to Categorize These Ones!

  • Eating Raoul (Paul Bartel, 1982) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max (Bartel's brilliant class and cannibalism comedy)

  • Peanut Butter Solution (Michael Rubbo, 1985) – Night Flight and Tubi (utterly bizarre Canadian-made kiddie adventure/comedy/coming-of-age pseudo-horror movie)

  • The Stunt Man (Richard Rush, 1980) – HBO Max and Popcorn Flix (a unique genre mash-up)



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