• Gabe Powers

Grinding the Stream: North American Horror & Cult

Updated: May 11

Are you self isolating? Are you thinking about broadening your cinematic horizons? Perhaps you’d like to learn about a specific genre? I’m here to help. Let's talk about some North American (as in the United States and Canada) horror and cult movie titles available to stream RIGHT NOW.


Netflix and Hulu fall short again and Amazon Prime and the various free streaming services available via Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, et cetera, pick up the slack. I compared a bunch and, for the sake of simplicity, I found the best in terms of content and video quality to be Tubi, Midnight Pulp (a "+" will be included wherever subscription fees apply), VUDU’s free selections, The Roku Channel, Shout Factory TV (though most of their titles can also be watched via Amazon Prime), Popcorn Flix, Dark Matter TV (again, a "+" will be included wherever subscription fees apply). And, of course, boutique pay services the Criterion Channel, Shudder, and Fandor do well. I've tried to break things down to the popular filmmakers and some underseen titles I'd love people to enjoy for all their quirk and unique beauty/ugliness.


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. Apologies if I’ve suggested something with particularly grim A/V quality and be aware that the availability is based on the research I did on March 30th, 2020. Given the nature of streaming media, I imagine very few of these titles will be available in perpetuity. I've included links to my own reviews of some of these films and be aware that, despite my classifications below, complete director filmographies are not currently available free/subscription streaming.



The Masters of Horror (so-called)


Clive Barker Movies

I know he’s British, shhhh...

  • Hellraiser (1987) – Amazon Prime and Shudder

  • Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (directed by Tony Randel, 1988) – HULU, Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Tubi

  • Nightbreed (1990) – Amazon Prime and Shout Factory TV (director’s cut)

  • Candyman (directed by Bernard Rose, 1992) – Netflix

  • Lord of Illusions (1995) – Amazon Prime


John Carpenter Horror Movies/Thrillers

  • Dark Star (1974) – Criterion Channel, Fandor, and The Roku Channel

  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) – Shout Factory TV and Popcorn Flix

  • Halloween (1978) – Shudder

  • The Fog (1980) – Shudder

  • Escape from New York (1981) – Shudder

  • Body Bags (with Tobe Hooper, 1993) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, The Roku Channel, VUDU Free, Shout Factory TV, and Popcorn Flix


Larry Cohen Horror Movies (RIP)

  • God Told Me To (1974) – Criterion Channel and Shudder

  • Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • The Stuff (1985) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Tubi

  • Maniac Cop (directed by William Lustig, 1988) – Midnight Pulp

  • Maniac Cop 2 (directed by William Lustig, 1990) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, Tubi, and Popcorn Flix

  • Maniac Cop 3 (directed by William Lustig, 1992) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Popcorn Flix


Don Coscarelli Horror Movies

  • Phantasm (1979) – Shudder, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994) – Shudder, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Phantasm: OvlIVion (1998) – Shudder, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Phantasm: RaVager (directed by David Hartman, 2016) – Shudder and Tubi

  • Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) – Amazon Prime and VUDU Free


Wes Craven Horror Movies (RIP)

  • The Hills Have Eyes (1977) – Shudder

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – VUDU Free

  • The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) – Shudder

  • Shocker (1989) – Shudder


David Cronenberg Horror Movies

  • Shivers (aka: They Came From Within, 1975) – HULU and Tubi

  • Rabid (1977) – Shout Factory TV and Dark Matter TV

  • The Brood (1979) – Criterion Channel

  • Dead Ringers (1988) – Amazon Prime and Shout Factory TV


Brian De Palma Horror Movies/Thrillers

  • Sisters (1972) – Criterion Channel

  • Phantom of the Paradise (1974) – Shudder

  • Carrie (1976) – Amazon Prime

  • Dressed to Kill (1980) – Amazon Prime

  • Blow Out (1981) – Amazon Prime

  • Raising Cain (1992) – Netflix



Stuart Gordon Horror Movies (RIP)

  • Re-Animator (1985) – Shudder and Midnight Pulp+

  • Dolls (1987) – Amazon Prime

  • Castle Freak (1995) – Shudder and Tubi

  • The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) – Tubi

  • Dagon (2001) – Tubi


Tobe Hooper Horror Movies (RIP)

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – Amazon Prime and Shudder

  • Eaten Alive (aka: Slaughter Hotel; 1976) – Amazon Prime

  • Body Bags (with John Carpenter, 1993) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, The Roku Channel, VUDU Free, Shout Factory TV, and Popcorn FX

  • The Mangler (1995) – VUDU Free


Sam Raimi Horror Movies

  • The Evil Dead (1981) – Netflix (sorry, that’s it!)


George A. Romero Movies (RIP)

  • Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Criterion Channel (best transfer), Amazon Prime, Shudder, VUDU Free, The Roku Channel, and Dark Matter TV

  • Season of the Witch (aka: Hungry Wives, 1972) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Midnight Pulp

  • The Crazies (1973) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Midnight Pulp

  • Knightriders (1981) – Amazon Prime and Shout Factory TV

  • Day of the Dead (1985) – The Roku Channel and Tubi

  • Monkey Shines (1988) – Amazon Prime

  • Two Evil Eyes (Italian: Due occhi diabolici; co-directed with Dario Argento, 1990) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Popcorn FX


Vincent Price Movies

(I realize some of these are British movies)

  • House on Haunted Hill (William Castle, 1959) – Amazon Prime, Fandor, Dark Matter TV, and Midnight Pulp

  • The Tingler (William Castle, 1959) – Tubi and Popcorn FX

  • The Comedy of Terrors (Jacques Tourneur, 1963) – Amazon Prime

  • Diary of a Madman (Reginald Le Borg, 1963) – Amazon Prime

  • The Last Man on Earth (Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, 1964) – Amazon Prime, Fandor, The Roku Channel, Tubi, Midnight Pulp, and Dark Matter TV

  • Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (Italian: Le spie vengono dal semifreddo; Mario Bava, 1966) – Amazon Prime

  • Cry of the Banshee (Gordon Hessler, 1970) – Amazon Prime

  • Scream and Scream Again (1970) – Amazon Prime

  • Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973) – The Roku Channel

  • Madhouse (Jim Clark, 1974) – Amazon Prime

  • From a Whisper to a Scream (Jeff Burr, 1987) – Amazon Prime


Roger Corman’s Poe Cycle



The Masters of Trash (so-dubbed by myself)


Al Adamson Movies

  • Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970) – Fandor

  • Hell’s Bloody Devils (1970) – Fandor

  • Brain of Blood (1971) – Amazon Prime


Herschell Gordon Lewis Movies

  • Blood Feast (1963) – Shudder, Criterion Channel, Fandor, and Midnight Pulp +

  • Two Thousand Maniacs (1964) – Criterion Channel

  • Moonshine Madness (1964) – Amazon Prime

  • Color Me Blood Red (1965) – Criterion Channel

  • The Gruesome Twosome (1967) – Criterion Channel

  • The Wizard of Gore (1970) – Criterion Channel

  • The Gore Gore Girls (1972) – Criterion Channel


Frank Henenlotter Movies

  • Basket Case (1982) – Midnight Pulp +

  • Brain Damage (1988) – Shudder and Midnight Pulp


Ted V. Mikels Movies

  • The Corpse GrindersFandor and Midnight Pulp

  • The Astro-Zombies (1968) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp (Midnight Pulp also has the modern sequels)

  • Blood Orgy of the She Devils (1973) – Fandor and Midnight Pulp +

  • The Doll SquadMidnight Pulp +

  • Angel of Vengeance (1987) – Amazon Prime

  • The Corpse Grinders II (2000) – Midnight Pulp

  • Cauldron: Baptism of Blood (2004) – Midnight Pulp


Andy Milligan Movies

  • The Body Beneath (1970) – Amazon Prime

  • Guru, the Mad Monk (1970) – Amazon Prime

  • Blood (1973) – Amazon Prime

  • Carnage (1986) – Amazon Prime



Underseen North American Underground Horror Classics

These are a series of relatively deep cuts that offer unique, sometimes surrealistic alternatives to the more popular American (and Canadian) horror movies of the ‘70s (and early ‘80s). I can’t guarantee everyone will like them, but, for better or worse, I think of them as vital pieces of Americana and, uh, Canadana(?).

  • Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John D. Hancock, 1971) – Popcorn Flix

  • Images (Robert Altman, 1972) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Midnight Pulp

  • Grave of the Vampire (John Hayes, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Ganja and Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Popcorn Flix

  • Messiah of Evil (Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, 1973) – Midnight Pulp and Dark Matter TV

  • Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood (Christopher Speeth, 1973) – Midnight Pulp

  • The Baby (Ted Post, 1973) – Fandor, Shudder, and Midnight Pulp

  • Deranged (Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby, 1974) – Amazon Prime

  • Deathdream (aka: Dead of Night; Bob Clark, 1974) – VUDU Free

  • Devil Times Five (aka: People Toys; Sean MacGregor, 1974) – Amazon Prime and Popcorn Flix

  • Alice Sweet Alice (aka: Communion; Alfred Sole, 1976) – Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, and Midnight Pulp +

  • The Witch Who Came from the Sea (Matt Cimber, 1976) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp +

  • Spider Baby (Jack Hill, 1976) – Amazon Prime, Fandor, Midnight Pulp, and Popcorn Flix

  • Cathy’s Curse (Eddy Matalon, 1977) – Popcorn Flix

  • Rituals (aka: The Creeper; Peter Carter, 1977) – Midnight Pulp + and Dark Matter TV

  • Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (George Barry, 1977) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Shock Waves (Ken Wiederhorn, 1977) – Amazon Prime

  • Mafu Cage (Karen Arthur, 1978) – Dark Matter TV

  • Tourist Trap (David Schmoeller, 1979) – Shudder and Tubi

  • Christmas Evil (Lewis Jackson, 1980) – Shudder, Dark Matter TV, and Midnight Pulp


Non-Franchise Slashers and Other Mad Killers

You’ve already seen all the Friday the 13ths, Nightmare on Elm Streets, and Halloweens. Take some time for the

  • Invasion of the Blood Farmers (Ed Adlum, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp +

  • Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974) – Shudder, VUDU Free, The Roku Channel, and Popcorn Flix

  • Drive-In Massacre (Stu Segall, 1976) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp +

  • Don’t Go in the House (Joseph Ellison, 1979) – Amazon Prime

  • Savage Weekend (David Paulsen 1979) – Amazon Prime

  • Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, 1979) – Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, and Popcorn Flix

  • Maniac (Bill Lustig, 1980) – Shudder

  • Prom Night (Paul Lynch, 1980) – Shudder and VUDU Free

  • Terror Train (Roger Spottiswoode, 1980) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Madman (Joe Giannone, 1981) – Amazon Prime and Shudder

  • Bloody Birthday (Ed Hunt, 1981) – Shudder and Midnight Pulp

  • My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka, 1981) – Popcorn Flix

  • The Dorm that Dripped Blood (Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow, 1982) – Midnight Pulp

  • Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik, 1983) – Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, VUDU Free, and Shout Factory TV (the sequels are on Tubi)

  • Slumber Party Massacre (Amy Holden Jones, 1983) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, Shout Factory TV, Tubi, and Popcorn Flix

  • Curtains (Richard Ciupka, 1983) – Amazon Prime

  • The Mutilator (Buddy Cooper, 1984) – Amazon Prime and Shudder

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton, 1986) – Amazon Prime and Shudder

  • Sorority House Massacre (Carol Frank, 1986) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Blood Rage (John Grissmer, 1987) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Midnight Pulp

  • Doom Asylum (Richard Friedman, 1987) – Midnight Pulp

  • Slaughterhouse (Rick Roessler, 1987) – Amazon Prime and VUDU Free

  • Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (Bruce Pittman, 1987) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, VUDU Free, and Popcorn Flix

  • Slumber Party Massacre II (Deborah Brock, 1987) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and Shout Factory TV

  • Intruder (Scott Spiegel, 1989) – Midnight Pulp and Tubi



Underseen American Creature Features

  • Squirm (Jeff Lieberman, 1976) – Midnight Pulp (worms)

  • Shriek of the Mutilated (Michael Findlay, 1974) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp, and Popcorn Flix (yeti)

  • Track of the Moon Beast (Richard Ashe, 1976) – Amazon Prime, Tubi, and Dark Matter TV (lizard man)

  • The Incredible Melting Man (William Sachs, 1977) – Amazon Prime (melting man, naturally)

  • Slithis (aka: Spawn of the Slithis; Stephen Traxler, 1978) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Popcorn Flix

  • Prophecy (John Frankenheimer, 1979) – Amazon Prime (giant mutant bear)

  • Night of the Demon (James C. Wasson, 1980) – Amazon Prime (penis-tearing Bigfoot)

  • Without Warning (Greydon Clark, 1980) – Tubi (proto-Predator)

  • Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake (Bill Rebane, 1981) – Amazon Prime and Tubi (WARNING: this killer frog movie is quite, quite terrible)

  • The Slayer (J.S. Cardone, 1982) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp (dream monster)

  • Nightbeast (Don Dohler, 1982) – Amazon Prime (janky alien)

  • The Being (Jackie Kong, 1983) – Amazon Prime (toxic waste monster)

  • Neon Maniacs (Joseph Mangine, 1986) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi (mutants)

  • The Nest (Terence H. Winkless, 1988) – Amazon Prime (giant cockroaches)

  • The Terror Within (Thierry Notz, 1989) – Amazon Prime (mutant creature)

  • Shakma (Hugh Parks, 1990) – Shout Factory TV and Popcorn Flix (baboon)

  • Project: Metalbeast (Alessandro De Gaetano, 1995) – Amazon Prime (seriously if you only watch one movie on this list, watch this one, it’s about a genetically engineered, bulletproof werewolf)

  • Beneath (Larry Fessenden, 2013) – Amazon Prime (giant lake fish)




© 2020 Gabe Powers