Friday, October 30, 2009
With Halloween right around the corner, why not watch some movies to fit the mood? Some classic and recent horror films fit for the holiday are completely free to view or download online. Hook up a computer to a TV or huddle some people around the monitor, because the Internet offers a surprising fare of films ready for the Halloween weekend.
Some of the films are free to watch because they have fallen into the public domain, while others are free to stream at popular video sites like Hulu and YouTube.
To view the films, just click on the links provided.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) - George A. Romero's seminal zombie film, which gave birth to a genre people still love today, fell into the public domain several years ago allowing it to be viewed downloaded legally for free. Why not start with the original? Don't waste the cash on buying a DVD, download a high-quality upload from Archive.org and burn a personal copy. If not, stream it on YouTube or Hulu.
Dawn of The Dead (2004) - Zack Snyder's first directorial effort and remake of Romero's 1970's classic was polished and fun, but lacked the social commentary on consumerism and wry humor of the original. Zombie purists also derided Snyder's film for the use of so-called "fast zombies," in lieu of lumbering undead seen in Romero's films. Despite that small drawback, this action-packed remake is sure to entertain by venturing over to Hulu.
The Last Man on Earth (1964) - In the first (and some say most faithful) of three films based on the Richard Matheson's book, "I Am Legend," horror master Vincent Price plays the title character fighting to survive a vampire-ridden apocalypse. It's a perfect film for those adverse to the current craze of vampire romances. Available for high-resolution download on Archive.org and streaming on Hulu. For more Vincent Price, other films like "House on Haunted Hill" and "The Pit and The Pendulum" are also available online.
The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) - This movie is pretty awful. Why list it then? Well, this movie makes great fun for a group of friends to do "Mystery Science Theater 3000"-style riffing or to loop in the background during a Halloween party. One upside is the excellent sleazy jazz soundtrack that accompanies the painfully dry visuals. It's available at Archive.org, Hulu and YouTube.
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) - As one would expect, Francis Ford Coppola's interpretation of the vampire genre is nowhere near the quality of his masterpieces like "Apocalypse Now" and "The Godfather." However, this Transylvania thriller starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder trumps other efforts like "Jack" and "The Godfather Part III" to make for an enjoyable Hulu Halloween flick.
Michael Jackson's Thriller (1983) - OK, this isn't technically a full-length movie, but it's still a cornerstone of Halloween music and film. It even has Vincent Price. This 13-minute music video/short film directed by John Landis of "Blues Brothers" fame has better grooves and zombie dancing than any other film in existence. Lumber over to YouTube to enjoy the King of Pop's most famous work.
Other free films to check out online: