Recent entertainment industry news says Hulu will be soon ending its free video options and moving over to paid subscriptions only. It appears that most (not necessarily all) the free content will be moving over to a new website by Yahoo called Yahoo View.
It’s not always easy to find, but you’d be surprised by the bulk of unusual and often downright weird video content you can still find on Hulu — without a paid subscription.
So just in case it really is going to all go away, here’s a look (in no particular order) at some of the strangest free Hulu videos available today. Watch them while you still can!
This 1980s cult-classic action movie features Sylvester Stallone in what he likely intended to be a raw, gritty homage to Dirty Harry. Instead, it comes off like unintentional comedy most of the time. Film critic and writer Nathan Rabin says “Cobra is so devoid of moral ambiguity that it plays like a parody of the fascist underpinnings of 1980s action movies.”
Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster
This is perhaps the most psychedelic of all the Godzilla movies (which is saying something — have you seen some of these films?) Godzilla fights Hedorah, the Smog Monster, a living embodiment of human/industrial pollution. Godzilla also flies for the first time, a one-of-a-kind comic highlight that must be individually witnessed to be fully understood.
C.H.U.D. stands for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller,” and you don’t get to see much of them in this 1980s movie. What you do get, is good characterization and well-shot atmosphere. And when those little monsters do attack, they get nasty.
The Guy With The Secret Kung-Fu
A long-time former resident of the DVD bargain bin, you can save your $5 and watch this on Hulu for free right now. This 1970s martial-arts movie features tremendously cheesy kung-fu, bad dubbing, and electronic music stolen from Jean-Michele Jarre and Tangerine Dream. Please make sure to catch the “black magic/voodoo Frankenstein/Mummy” ritual performed about halfway through the film.
The word cult-classic gets used a lot by film fans, but this 1980s horror movie definitely qualifies. This was directed by Lamberto Bava, the son of 1960s Italian horror legend Mario Bava. The plot has the unique “meta” touch of monsters being set loose inside of a movie theater.
The Flying Guillotine
A classic kung-fu film produced by Shaw Brothers, considered by many to be the gold-standard company in the genre. One of the first movies to feature the device that gives the film its title, a myth dating back in Chinese history to the 1700s. AllMovie critic Donald Guarisco sums it up nicely as “one of the most memorably bizarre weapons to ever appear in a martial arts film.”
Considered by some b-movie fans to be one of the best Terminator rip-offs of all time (yes, there are enough films of this nature to qualify as a sub-genre). This was directed by Charles Band, an ambitiously cheesy filmmaker who could have an entire article dedicated to his output alone.
This bizarre 1960s Japanese TV series showcased a giant man in a suit fighting evil giant monsters (also played by men in suits, except you weren’t supposed to notice).
This scantily-clad horror host ruled late night cable reruns for years, and several of her shows are available on Hulu for free.
Speaking of horror hosts… This legendary TV comedy took the classic horror host concept to the next level and added hilarious full-length commentary to some of the worst movies ever made. Its ongoing influence on comedy, culture, and movie-watching cannot be understated.
Another legendary TV comedy. This pioneering series was one of the first on TV to experiment with camera angles, sets, and special effects.
A Japanese anime that tells the coming-of-age story of a young teen boy — through baseball, motorcycles, romance, aliens, and mutations. You know, the usual stuff.
This is only the beginning; the above list just scratches the surface of the wonderfully weird viewing experiences you can have – for free – all on Hulu. There is much more to find if you have the time and interest. Monday’s announcement marks the possible end of an era. It is impossible to say if all of this content will transfer over to the new Yahoo View. If it doesn’t, this is your opportunity to enjoy the strangeness, while you can.
[Image via Tsuburaya Production Co. LTD./Hulu]