10 Awesome 1980s Horror Movies Streaming Free on Tubi

6 Jun 2024

Hellraiser (1987)Screenshot: Entertainment Film Distributors

The 1980s were a glorious decade for horror films, heralding the rise of slasher franchises and an influx of European oddities and creative indies, with the uncertain energy of the times summoning forth movies that offered a blend of kitsch, adventurous gore, and last-days-of-the-Cold-War unease.

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If the latest MaXXXine trailer poked you in the nostalgia feels, crank up the new wave and make your hair as voluminous as possible for these 10 1980s picks, all streaming free with ads on Tubi.

A cult classic that’s enjoyed a recent merch revival, this sci-fi horror comedy from sibling filmmaking team Charles and Stephen Chiodo is set in a small town besieged by aliens that resemble carnival clowns, complete with gag-inducing gags involving popcorn, balloon animals, and cotton candy. Stream on Tubi.

Italian horror master Lucio Fulci (City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, Zombi 2) directed this bonkers cautionary tale that warns against accepting mysterious amulets from strangers and/or barging into newly discovered tombs. As the title suggests, the bulk of Manhattan Baby’s chaos unfolds in Fulci-favorite setting New York City, though ancient Egypt also makes its presence very much known. Stream on Tubi.

Another Italian horror master, Dario Argento, directs what’s perhaps the last truly great entry on his filmography (which also includes Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebre, and The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, to name a few more standouts); it’s about a talented opera singer whose sudden rise to fame is complicated when she’s forced to witness a series of ghoulish murders. Stream on Tubi.

A classic “be careful what you wish for” story wrapped in creature-feature magnificence, courtesy of director and special-effects legend Stan Winston. Lance Henriksen stars as a grieving father who decides to consult the local forest-dwelling witch for revenge assistance when his son is accidentally killed by a teenage dirt biker. Not the best course of action, it turns out. Stream on Tubi.

DO YOU WANT TO PARTY? Then it’s probably time to pop on this absolute banger of a zombie classic, featuring punk rockers, chaos in a medical supply warehouse, and some of the most charismatic (and hungry!) undead characters ever. Stream on Tubi.

The original turns 50 this year, and is an undisputed horror classic. But Tobe Hooper’s 1986 follow-up, which keeps the grisly terror and rural Texas setting—ah, the aroma of barbecued human flesh in the air—adds in a surprising new element: pitch-black comedy! Dennis Hopper’s deadpan chainsaw shopping sequence is all-time, and Bill Moseley’s Chop-Top is as quotable as ever, even as this sequel nears its own 40th anniversary mark. Stream on Tubi.

Still unmatched in both the skin-crawling and skin-flaying departments, Clive Barker’s tale imagines what might happen if you cracked open a puzzle box that summons creatures from another dimension—who are obsessed with garnering pleasure from pain. Your pain, specifically. Stream on Tubi.

A horror film crew finds the perfect setting for their new project: a high school where a series of blood-soaked crimes occurred five years prior... and have yet to be solved. “What could go wrong?” wonders this dark comedy, then proceeds to show us. Stream on Tubi.

This riff on The Hills Have Eyes takes place in a particularly isolated stretch of the Rocky Mountains, where—in classic slasher form—a past tragedy that left a sole survivor spells trouble for campers who pick exactly the wrong booby-trap-filled wilderness for their latest adventure. Stream on Tubi.

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