Offering a massive catalog of free films to watch, navigating Tubi can be a bit overwhelming for those unsure of what they want to watch for their next movie night. The impressive mix of blockbuster, classic, and indie films can only complicate the search, especially when entering the realm of lower-budgeted films (B-movies).
This is an unfortunate truth, especially considering that B movies offer some of the most unique, explosive, entertaining, or downright bizarre viewing experiences you will find. To help you navigate Tubi’s impressive selection of B-movies, we have highlighted 22 of the best to start you down the rabbit hole. We have included comedy, action and horror to ensure something for everyone.
22 Mad Max (1979)
- Release Date
- April 12, 1979
Policeman Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) seeks revenge after his wife and child are brutally murdered by a vicious biker gang who are roaming a dystopian Australia looking for victims. Max dons his police uniform and heads into the outback to hunt down the biker gang and find redemption for his family.
The Origins of Mad Max
While Mad Max would become a hit blockbuster franchise, the original film is often overlooked, given its more stripped-back and less action-heavy story. However, the first film proves vastly insightful for the world that Geroge Miller would look to build for the wanderer of the Australian Wasteland, and its gritty, revenge-focused story is perfect fodder for its B-movie aesthetic. Mad Max is also notable as Mel Gibson’s first leading role in a feature film.
21 Road Games (1981)
A laid-back American truck driver, Pat (Stacey Keach), going through South Australia, begins to suspect that a green van on the same route as him is responsible for a series of murders of young women. This leads him to pick up a hitchhiker, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, who becomes an ally in trying to capture the killer. As the police investigate, Pat becomes a suspect, given his profession, nationality, and route, mimicking that of the green van.
An Engaging Game of Cat-and-Mouse
If the phenomenal pairing of the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis and Stacey Keach is not enough to draw your interest, the suspenseful game of cat-and-mouse in the Australian outback should seal the deal. In addition, the movie has slasher elements, with many of the kills being shot in a stylistic, almost giallo-esque fashion.
The Australian boom of horror/thriller movies in the ’80s is an often overlooked part of cinema; thankfully, Road Games is readily available to check out on Tubi to highlight some of the phenomenal horror/thrillers the country had on offer.
20 Pieces (1982)
Pieces begins with the eerie foreshadowing of a ten-year-old killing his mother and severing her limbs with an ax. Flash forward forty years, and a series of similar incidents are happening on a Boston campus.
A killer is targeting co-eds and stealing their parts. The police send in Lt. Bracken posing as the campus tennis coach. Along with another student, the two begin to investigate the murders to catch the killer.
Red Herrings Galore
Despite its American slasher focus, Pieces is a Spanish feature that also draws influence from the Italian approach to the genre. This creates an odd mismatch of stylistic choices, though this is only the start of the ‘issues’ with the movie.
There are a lot of nonsensical non-sequiturs, baffling creative choices, and awkward dialogue. However, none of that matters when the weird mix becomes immensely entertaining in its absurdity. Add in the fact that the slasher moments are particularly gory, and it will be the perfect fit for fans of ’80s horror.
19 Runaway Nightmare (1982)
Ralph and Jason, two Nevada Worm Wranglers, find themselves kidnapped by a group of women who are planning to steal plutonium from the mafia. As the two get to know the women better, they become part of their satanic cult, get recruited to steal the plutonium, and become unlikely heroes in their bizarre adventures.
The Worm Wrangling Life Ain’t Easy
While having the perfect formula to make a ‘so-bad-its-good’ feature, with stuntman Mike Cartel acting as writer, director, editor and starring in a first-time feature, the movie transcends that label into something much more preposterous.
Runaway Nightmare feels like it was written by an alien trying to comprehend human language and emotions; the delivery on everything is off, the film’s flow confusing, and the plot is a mix-match of genres and themes.
That said, it is a rather beautiful mess for those looking for unique cinematic experiences. Mike Cartel, in particular, is one of the most peculiar heroes put to film, with his deadpan delivery of everything going on despite the remarkable circumstances around him.
18 Blood Beat (1983)
A young couple, Sarah and Ted, visit Ted’s parents in a rural home in Wisconsin for Christmas to introduce Sarah to the particular matriarch. Met with instant disregard, the awkward Christmas gathering turns horrific when an ancient samurai summoned by repressed desires manifests in the home and starts attacking people.
Psychic Battles and Samurai Slaying for Christmas
Blood Beat is that perfect mash-up of psychedelia, eroticism, telekinetic chaos, and samurai slayings you did not know you needed in your life; plus, it fits in with Christmas horror viewing.
The only movie ever from director Fabrice-Ange Zaphiratos, the film was buried for decades until getting a re-release and remaster that allowed this odd gem to shine. Its many facets may be too silly for some, but it is worth checking out for those who like more ‘out there’ horror cinema with a slightly gritty aesthetic.
17 The Stuff (1985)
A delicious and addictive food substance known as “The Stuff” has become popular across America, creating a viral food sensation that sweeps the nation. However, it soon turns out that the alien-like substance has a mind of its own and starts to turn citizens into zombie-like creatures. The movie revolves around various characters trying to uncover the truth about the deadly confection and save America from its influence.
Consumer Culture Kills
Larry Cohen’s The Stuff is a brilliant satire of American consumerism delivered with comedic wit and body-horror elements. This includes some ghastly body-melting sequences, among the best practical horror effects of the 1980s.
Another element of The Stuff that adds to its appeal is that it’s embedded in ’80s culture, notably including fake commercials to push the white foodstuff. The Stuff is an excellent choice for a fun, over-the-top horror B-movie experience.
16 Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)
Hard Ticket to Hawaii revolves around two operatives for ‘The Agency’ who, after accidentally intercepting a delivery of diamonds intended for the drug lord Seth Romero, find themselves targeted by his vicious gang. This leads to a series of events where the duo have to fight against all sorts of threats — including a blow-up doll-wielding skateboarding assassin and a giant toilet anaconda.
Quintessential B-Movie Action Entertainment
Andy Sidaris is one of those directors who, once you are ‘in the know,’ you tend to become a die-hard fan. Each production of Sidaris has a healthy dose of action, explosions, and (often) unintentional humor, carrying his signature stamp of ‘Triple B’ cinema, with each ‘B’ standing for a prerequisite of what his films promised. Out of all the director’s works (which are all on Tubi), the ‘golden crown’ is Hard Ticket to Hawaii, thanks to its abundance of weird yet memorable moments.
15 Brain Damage (1988)
After Brian finds a mysterious talking parasite, he forms a dependent relationship with the bizarre creature. Using a hallucinogenic substance, the parasite known as Aylmer forces Brian to kill others for their brains, all under the promise of maintaining the flow of the highly addictive psychedelic serum. As Brian’s friends and girlfriend try to save him, the intense dependency may make it too late for the now-addicted man.
A Killer Addiction
Taking place on the seedy side of New York’s 32nd Street, Frank Hennenlotter’s Brain Damage is a wonderfully gritty body horror film with a crass edge. The movie also nails dark comedy, primarily due to the voice acting talents of late-night TV host Zacherley, otherwise known as the ‘Cool Ghoul’, playing Aylmer.
While maybe not as well known as Hennenlotter’s Basket Case (also on Tubi), Brain Damage edges out our choice thanks to the experimental cinematography that makes for some sharp visuals, including an unforgettable climax.
14 Deadbeat at Dawn (1988)
Gangleader Goose finally leaves his gang to start a new life with his girlfriend. However, after a rival gang murders her and Goose is left alone, he begins to spiral into addictions and self-hatred. With nothing left to lose, he is brought back into the fold of crime for one last heist, unaware of it being a set-up by a rival.
Violence in the Streets
Jim Van Bebber’s Deadbeat at Dawn may very well be the most brutal indie movie ever made, chock full of action and violence taking place in a gentrified city full of nihilists and killers. There are some utterly nihilistic lines of dialogue, a sad portrait of addiction and self-destruction, and realistic spurts of violence. It can be a lot, but fans who love their action as gritty as possible will vibe with the cult classic that is Deadbeat at Dawn.
13 The Boneyard (1991)
Retired agent/psychic Alley Oates is approached by her ex-partner when there is a case involving the murder of children and possible cult activity. Broken from years of using her powers and seeing horrors, Alley hesitates, but after having visions of the kids, she decides she must help. This brings them to a morgue for her to read the deceased bodies for clues, but when the kids come back from the dead, it becomes a fight for survival.
Terrors in the Budget Morgue
The Boneyard is one of those movies that demands patience. The first half is a failed comedy with drama elements that are, at best, serviceable. However, once things kick into gear, the movie becomes quite the sensational zombie film with some of the most gnarly undead designs ever committed to screen. Given the supernatural nature of the curse that extends to others, The Boneyard also gives audiences a giant transformed zombie poodle that is a striking vision of practical effect wizardry.
12 Skinner (1993)
While appearing to be the perfect gentleman, Dennis Skinner (Ted Raimi) hides a dark side to his personality that has turned him into a serial killer. Heading out in the night in search of sex workers, he becomes a menacing figure in the seedy underbelly of urban decay. He also has to contend with an ex-victim hunting him down, and the misguided affections of his newest flatmate, who does not realize the danger of getting close to the ‘Skinner.’
The Streets are Not Safe
While the curious cast that includes Ted Raimi, Ricki Lake, and Traci Lords may scream cheesy B-movie goodness, Ivan Nagy’s Skinner certainly falls on cinema’s darker and more exploitative side. The image of Raimi as Dennis Skinner running through the derelict streets with a bag of knives hunting women is terrifying enough, yet when he finally dons his human skin suit and continues his rampage, things go from disturbing to intensely terrifying. It is a grim gem of a film that won’t be to everyone’s taste but is worth it for those seeking just that.
11 LA Wars (1994)
Disgraced police officer Jake Quinn gets a second chance when he is tasked with infiltrating one of two gangs that are in the midst of a violent war. As the two gangs battle for supremacy in the drug trade in L.A., Jake becomes close with his new boss’s daughter, drawing the ire of another gang member vying for her affection. This relationship proves to be the downfall of both gangs, and Jake finds himself battling against gang members from both sides as they all vie for power.
This Cop Does Not Play by the Rules
The plot of LA Wars is nothing special, with the copy-paste of ‘cop that does not play by rules’ vs drug cartel being done to death throughout the ’90s. However, the movie is one of the most entertaining in the genre, landing perfectly in that ‘so-bad-its-good’ spot thanks to its silly dialogue and over-the-top interactions, particularly with the unhinged protagonist Jake Quinn (Vince Murdocco). At the same time, the movie still delivers some thrilling moments of action (and countless shootouts), making it the perfect combo of cheese and machismo.
10 Bartleby (2001)
Adapted from Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” Bartleby follows a kind boss perplexed by his recent hire. One day, Bartleby, played by Crispin Glover, decides that he does not want to work, and any request is met with the line “I prefer not to.” Unable to get his employee to work or even allow himself to get fired, the boss develops a deep obsession with the man, how he came to be, and what drove him to become so disconnected and challenging.
Stopping the Means of Production
Bartleby is a wonderfully dark comedy built on a relatively simple yet entertaining premise: a worker who refuses to do anything but remains a steady presence at work. The movie also acts as a great showcase for cult-actor Crispin Glover, whose already awkward gait and mannerisms work ideally to make Bartleby a fascinating enigma. The film is a quirky comedy built around chronic passivity and the refusal to work, equal parts fantasy for anyone hating the daily grind, and humor for those who love absurd scenarios.
9 Exte: Hair Extensions (2007)
A hair fetishist ends up stealing the body of a girl only to find that her hair is growing uncontrollably even after her death. To deal with the amount of hair and hide his crimes, he sells them as hair extensions to salons. Instantly popular due to their quality and sheen, women begin to flock to the salon for the extensions but find when they take them home, the hair takes on a life of its own.
Killer Style at a Price
The wonderfully absurd J-Horror film Exte: Hair Extensions combines humor with creepy visuals to create a highly entertaining entry into the genre. This primarily comes from the bizarre nature of the kills, where victims either become drowned in hair or pulled apart by their extensions. The movie also stars the talented Chiaki Kuriyama, who received global recognition after her performance as Gogo in Quentin Tarintino’s Kill Bill.
The movie’s budget may add an unintended cheesiness to the horror, but there is enough here to please both fans of J-horror and comedy/horror. Tubi has the movie in both subbed and dubbed format for those who don’t like reading subtitles.
8 Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You! (2012)
Once beloved town tutor Neil Stuart (Matt Farley) returns home after being previously outed for perpetuating the legend of the “Riverbeast,” a vicious monster that lives in the water. With the help of a new pupil, old friends, and a former professional athlete, Neil heads out to hunt down the Riverbeast, finally ridding the small New England town of the scourge while clearing his name.
It Came From Below!
A wonderfully campy love letter to ’50s creature features, Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You! has a unique style thanks to the homegrown comedic stylings of Matt Farley and Charles Roxburgh. This community-focused production adds an undeniable charm with the angular line delivery and eccentric personas fitting perfectly into the era of cinema the movie tries to capture.
The comedy won’t be to everyone’s taste, but those who vibe with it will find a new favorite creative team and will want to head down the rabbit hole of Motern Media films on Tubi (Freaky Farley and Magic Spot).
7 R100 (2013)
Average, everyday salaryman Takafumi Katayama decides on a whim to sign a contract with a mysterious BDSM club wherein dominatrices will publically humiliate him at random times. The agreement, lasting for a year with no cancelation, puts Katayam’s life under constant stress as he rethinks his decision to be subject to random humiliation. The movie also breaks the fourth wall with its title, R100, referring to the rating and the fictional filmmaker who made the movie intended for audiences over 100 years of age.
No One Under the Age of 100 May Be Admitted
Stripping away the erotic element of BDSM to deliver a human punching bag as a protagonist makes for an utterly insane comedic romp from Japan. Moreover, the movie reminds its audience that if they don’t get the humor, it is because they have not lived for 100 years and thus can’t appreciate the never-ending barrage of BDSM models kicking and punching a man at the most embarrassing and inopportune times. R100 is pure fun, stripped of any deeper meaning but still delivering enough wit that it is not mindless.
6 Buzzard (2014)
Disgruntled office worker and small-time scam artist Marty becomes increasingly paranoid when his workplace begins to clamp down on his activities. He flees to a co-worker’s house, where the coworker’s constant belittling of him eventually leads to him leaving the house and trying to survive on a series of small-amount forged checks.
Director Joel Potrykus proves that punk cinema is still alive and kicking. His second feature, Buzzard, is a perfect introduction to the rebellious filmmaker, offering the ideal mix of dark humor and drama. Marty is a rather despicable sort, amoral, lazy, and willing to exploit others.
Still, there is something oddly engaging about his struggle to make it through life despite his severe disconnect from society. While the movie may be best enjoyed by the ‘doomers’ out there, Buzzard is worth experiencing and deciding for yourself. Potrykus’s Relaxer and The Alchemist Cookbook can also be found on Tubi.
5 Turbo Kid (2015)
A teenage comic book fan known in the film only as ‘The Kid’ becomes an unlikely hero after his search for water in a post-apocalyptic world leads him to meet the peculiar Apple. After a brutal warlord named Zeus kidnaps Apple, The Kid has to use his newly found turbocharged gun to take down all manner of thugs along the way.
Upon its release, Turbo Kid became a minor indie darling thanks to its over-the-top action, gore, and style that homages ’80s action/sci-fi flicks. All these elements still hold up over a decade later, with the movie boasting a sleek aesthetic steeped in the love of B-movie madness drenched in gore and ridiculous costumes.
Even in the face of the somewhat tired ‘manic pixie dream girl’ archetype, an endearing love story still helps hold the film together and gives the viewer a reason to cheer for The Kid. If you are looking for nostalgia and blood-soaked entertainment, you can’t go wrong with Turbo Kid.
4 Vampire Clay (2017)
A group of art students at a countryside school are all vying for a place in an ultra-competitive and elite university art program. Working in the medium of clay, the teacher, one day short of stock, finds a mysterious source nearby and brings it into the studio. However, once the clay is used, it starts to desire blood and begins to transform the students, taking the form of a vampire to hunt its victims.
Horror That Breaks the Mold
Vampire Clay prompts the question of why clay has not been used before to create such nightmarish visions of body horror, as the practical effects using the substance are utterly disturbing.
From a practical standpoint, horror fans will have a hard time finding something comparable, a fact that is more than enough to make the otherwise somewhat generic J-horror plot palatable. Director Soichi Umezawa is a prime example of a creative making the leap from special effects professional to filmmaker, and pulling off something amazing in the transition.
3 Mega Time Squad (2018)
Small-town criminal John messes with the fabric of time after stealing a time-traveling device from a Chinese shop owner. On the run from the local gang, John soon realizes that not only does the time travel save him from the impending threats to his life, but it also makes duplicates of himself. He uses his copies to create the “Mega Time Squad” to turn the tables on the gang out to kill him.
Messing with the Space-Time Continuum
The New Zealand comedy may not have the most accurate portrayal of time travel. Still, it delivers a rather humorous scenario of one man making an army of himself with little fear of the repercussions. Packed with witty dialogue, eccentric locals, and silly sci-fi elements, Mega Time Squad is a fun piece of escapism for those looking for something a bit lighter than much of the horror fare included in our list.