Content Shifter: Nine 1991 Horror Movies You Can Stream
The year 1991 was marked by music: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica all released landmark albums for their careers; Jane’s Addiction started Lollapalooza and James Brown was paroled several years after being arrested for leading a high-speed car chase across two states.
Considering Brown was in his mid fifties at the time, that’s punk rock A F.
The horror films of 1991 were another matter. Aside from classics like Cape Fear, People under the stairs, and Parts of the body, ’91 was a weak sauce on the front of the scary movies. Mr. Bungle’s debut album – another benchmark in 1991 – was more terrifying than anything in the movies.
Here are nine horror films from 1991 that will remind you how good you got it during a spooky season 30 years later. They’re streaming because you can’t rent them from Blockbuster Video. (It’s now a Spirit Halloween store.)
Freddy’s Dead: The Last Nightmare (HBO Max): The sixth of nine Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Freddy’s Dead: The Last Nightmare introduces Maggie, Freddy’s long lost daughter who wants to kill daddy for good. (Didn’t take, obviously) The only redeeming factor of Freddy is dead is Iggy Pop’s theme song, though watching Breckin Meyer get slaughtered in a video game is a treat.
Child’s Play 3 (peacock): Chucky is back, and he’s reunited with now teenage owner Andy at military school. Along with knives and razors, Chucky now also has guns and grenades to play with in his tiny-handed killing spree. Not that the new guns helped the movie, because Child’s Play 3 is consistently ranked at the bottom of the franchise by hackers who go out of their way to create such lists… wait, am I one of them? Damn it.
Scanners II: the new order (Tubi): Made 10 years after the original 1981 classic without writer / director David Cronenberg, Scanners II: the new order is dumber, cheaper, and more overtly Canadian than a Moosehead wholesale case. The telekinetic screens that explode Brian are unfortunately rare in The new order, but the film introduced the concept of the silent disco – blame Canada!
Blood relationship (Tubi): A family of European vampires move into Cali’s normal life in Long Beach, but they soon find themselves harassed by a militia of vampire hunters from Texas, because Texas goes to Texas. There’s also a vampire biker gang led by a dude named “Butcherbird,” who looks like a meat delivery startup, and a scene hinting at Donald Trump might be a bloodsucker. Prescient.
Pop corn (Youtube): A group of college students organize a B-movie marathon in an old theater to raise money for their film program, but the party is interrupted by a psychopathic killer determined to avenge a failed horror film director. The schlock films shown in Pop corn are better than the movie itself, as is the poster: “Buy a bag, come home in a box.” Wasn’t that also the slogan of Principle Last year?
Steel and Lace (Youtube): When her rapist skates for his crime in court, a concert pianist commits suicide by jumping from the roof of the courthouse. Her brother, a robotics scientist, takes it upon himself to resuscitate her as a cyborg, then orders her to kill her attacker and his pals. Steel and Lace is a cheap mashup of I spit on your grave, Robocop and an L’Oreal ad, but at least the kills are cool.
Howl VI: Monsters (Tubi): A vampire circus owner, you are an immortal being, and it’s the work you do? captures a wandering werewolf and forces him to perform in his cavalcade of monsters. The original 1977 Howl was a classic horror film, but by the sixth installment the franchise was inbred beyond the point of no return (and two more even worse sequelae followed). End wolfsploitation now!
Trancers II: The Return of Jack Deth (Tubi): Six Trancers the movies were shot between 1984 and 2002, and no one ever realized that “Trancers” was an incomprehensible name for sleeper cell zombies. “Sleeper-Cell Zombies” would even have worked. Either way: 23rd century cop Jack Deth travels through time to stop the Trancers; in II, he’s married to Helen Hunt, a big mistake any reasonable time traveler would have avoided.
Abraxas, guardian of the universe (Tubi): Yes, those last two are more sci-fi than horror, don’t you get your money’s worth here? “Guardian of the Universe” is a bloated job title for Abraxas (Jesse Ventura), who is just a space cop hunting down an evil thug who has landed on Earth to imbue a human woman with his seed. intergalactically evil. Apparently Ventura thought he was making a documentary.