Monday, August 9, 2021

Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Superhero Horror Movies to Stream This Week

This weekend brought James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (read my review) to theaters and HBO Max. The hyper-violent, gory Troma-like movie transformed unlovable supervillains into charming antiheroes. It’s the precise type of no holds barred fun that leaves you clamoring for more, so this week’s streaming picks belong to the unconventional superhero (or villain) movies that embrace horror and genre storytelling. The deaths get bloody, and the clear line between good and evil blurs.

This week’s streaming picks belong to superhero horror movies with a slight twist; no obvious Marvel/DC selections. Constantine and the Blade trilogy can be binged currently on HBO Max, of course. And if you want a complementary pairing to The Suicide Squad, rent Troma’s The Toxic Avenger on VOD. However, these five titles are a bit more rooted in horror and not always the first to pop in mind when considering the realm of superhero horror.

As always, here’s where to stream them this week.

Darkman – Peacock

Before the Spider-Man trilogy, Sam Raimi approached superhero fare by infusing it with Universal Monster-inspired flare. Liam Neeson stars as the eponymous character, a brilliant scientist on a mission for revenge against the criminals that left him horrifically disfigured. It’s Grand Guignol by way of a classic antihero tale, with the usual Raimi suspects – like Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, and Dan Hicks- popping up. Larry Drake turns in a memorable performance as the sadistic crime boss.

WolfCop – Hulu, Tubi, Prime Video


Horror comedies are always welcome these days, and WolfCop brings silly fun. The aptly named title tells you all you need to know; it features a werewolf cop. It’s about a small town, alcoholic cop named Lou Garou (get it?) discovering how to cope with his recent lycanthropy amidst a crimewave. Writer/director Lowell Dean created a love letter to Canada and B-movie superhero horror with this endearingly cheesy take on the werewolf. Leo Farard’s Lou makes for the perfect antihero, and Amy Matysio’s Tina is the perfect straight woman. Look for Jonathan Cherry to steal scenes as sidekick Willie. If you’re lucky enough to have a Hoopla subscription, look for the even better sequel, Another WolfCop.

The Fury – Starz

Brian De Palma's 1978 THE FURY

Brian De Palma’s immediate follow-up to Carrie tends to be overlooked by comparison, and it likely doesn’t help that both revolve around telekinesis. Based on the 1976 novel of the same name, The Fury follows a former CIA agent (Kirk Douglas) on his quest to save his kidnapped son from terrorists that wish to use his telekinetic powers for evil. Amy Irving plays a young psychic with a telepathic link to the son, and John Cassavetes is the film’s big bad. Conspiracy thriller meets psychological sci-fi horror, and it all culminates in one memorable finale. Pair it with Scanners (on HBO Max) for an epic superpowered sci-fi horror double feature.

Nightbreed – AMC+, Pluto TV, Shudder, Tubi, Vudu

In this Clive Barker film based on his novella Cabal, Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer) dreams of a mystical city where monsters dwell. After being framed for murder, Boone travels to find the city, Midian. He begins his transition into a monster once there. Nightbreed isn’t just a story about Boone’s new beginning as a citizen of Midian; his arrival changes everything for both the monsters and those that seek to destroy them. For many in Nightbreed, death is only the beginning. It’s a superhero origin story, only this time the monsters are the empathetic heroes. And in proper superhero form, Nightbreed inspired comic books and video games.

Doctor Sleep – HBO Max

This follow-up to The Shining leaves behind the haunted hotel (mostly) in favor of a superhero origin story. An adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) finds himself on the road to recovery and redemption after hitting rock bottom like his dad. That road leads him to Abra (Kyliegh Curran), a remarkable girl with immense power. That strength puts her on the radar of Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her True Knot coven, who murder and feed off children with the Shining. It’s the classic good versus evil in supercharged humans, with a finale set in one of horror’s most iconic spaces.


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