Premium Post: My Adventures in TubiTV
Glorious, glorious garbage...
Although I was vaguely aware of its existence for some time (I saw the gloriously Donnie Darko-esque Super Bowl ad live in a movie theater), I didn’t take the plunge into TubiTV until recently. Perhaps I thought I had to pay for it, and I barely watch Netflix enough to justify the monthly subscription.
That said, once I realized it was free to watch and there were all sorts of the low-budget schlocky films I used to enjoy, I proceeded to absolutely wallow in it. These movies are good fodder to watch on my Kindle when I’m using the elliptical at the gym.
So here are a bunch of the ones I’ve seen so far and some comments on each. The first couple are free; to see the rest you’ll need to pay for a Substack premium subscription or, if it’s more convenient, sign up for my Patreon.
If only the movie were worthy of this cover…
Death Ring (1992)-Probably the most dishonestly marketed movie I’m aware of — the cover image says “Norris — McQueen — Swayze” but it’s really Chuck’s son Mike, Steve’s son Chad, and Patrick’s brother Don. I first saw this one when I was in middle school, probably on the now-defunct UPN network. Basically it’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” with mastermind Billy Drago and a bunch of ethnic stereotype heavies hunting Mike for sport on a private island off the coast of Mexico. I’ve got a review and “how I would have done it” post coming up for later this year. The version I remember is much better than what I saw, unfortunately, although the fact I’m bothering with “how I would have done it” means it had potential.
(A lot of these movies would be good if they were remade with higher budgets and much greater care for script, story, etc.)
The Nest (1988)-I first discovered this one in the video store when I was a little kid, but if you check out the hyper-suggestive box art (that’s not actually based on anything in the movie), you could figure I wasn’t allowed to rent it. Think Jaws, only with a much more complicit mayor (i.e. actively involved in funny business, not just in denial), flesh-eating roaches, and some surprisingly clever discussion about biological controls versus pesticides that I remember from my Entomology class at the University of Georgia. It’s an all right movie — not bad like some of the others below, but not great either — but I imagine Mimic from the 1990s is the better killer cockroach film.
(By the way, The Nest is actually based on a book I bought after reading Paperbacks from Hell about the 1970s to 1990s horror fiction boom. Get the physical book so you can have decades’ worth of glorious, glorious cover art.)
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