Tubi is the most underrated streaming platform. Yes, it’s full of cheesy B movies and old TV shows, but it also has a good selection of popular movies from the ’80s, ’90s, aughts, and present, and the streamer has even started releasing its own original content. Best of all, Tubi is completely free. So even if you do have to search through a bunch of stuff you don’t like, it doesn’t really matter because you’re not paying for it.
The streamer is also a surprisingly great spot for genre fans, hosting a robust library of both sci-fi and horror films. For sci-fi especially, Tubi has some great movies you might not expect a free streamer to have – and they’re all perfect for summer. Full of adventure and action (and in one case, a hefty dose of camp), these sci-fi movies are great to watch on a summer’s night. So, while it’s still warm and before the leaves start to fall, these are five sci-fi movies to watch on Tubi that are filled with the spirit of summer.
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
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This summer has been all about scorching temps…so why not watch a movie literally set in the barren desert? Despite being the third film in the franchise, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is arguably the quintessential Mad Max movie. In the film, Max is tasked with taking down the master of an underground refinery so the ruler of Bartertown (the late, great Tina Turner) can continue her reign without challenge. With a giant budget and epic, sprawling post-apocalyptic desert scenes, it’s one of the most well-remembered films in the entire Mad Max series.
Add to that its Thunderdome – which has become so iconic it’s entered the American vernacular – and the memorable performance by Turner, and it’s clear that any fan of action and sci-fi owe it to themselves to watch one of cinema’s most notable classics. The Mad Max series has also become surprisingly timely since the entire premise is that society collapsed after oil ran out and pollution led to mass ecocide around the globe.
Sci-fi can span a wide range of worlds, settings, and stories, but for many viewers, sci-fi tends to be stories that take place on a spaceship or involve aliens. For anyone craving a traditional sci-fi experience, Pandorum is an excellent movie that was largely overlooked upon its initial premiere in 2009. In the film, a spaceship is launched from a dying futuristic Earth containing over 1,000 passengers in hypersleep who are meant to populate a new planet. For some reason, certain passengers are prematurely brought out of hypersleep, only to discover the ship has descended into chaos with warring cannibalistic survivors forced to fight off blood-thirsty mutants. Without giving anything away, the movie has quite a few twists and turns from there.
Upon its release in 2009, Pandorum had somewhat of a botched premiere, receiving a small marketing budget and releasing totally under the radar, causing the film to become a box office bust. Luckily, Pandorum has finally started finding its audience and is a great movie for anyone who missed it during its theatrical run and is looking to watch something they haven’t seen before.
Cocaine Shark (2023)
2023’s Cocaine Bear has already inspired tons of knock-offs, including Cocaine Crabs from Outer Space and Meth Gatorbut neither compares to the absolute romp that is Cocaine Shark. Unlike the title suggests, Cocaine Shark actually has nothing to do with cocaine, and instead focuses on a kingpin who is making a new drug derived from sharks. Also, something has gone horribly wrong with the test animals and the drug has mutated them into monstrous creatures.
Cocaine Shark isn’t good filmmaking, nor is it respectable filmmaking. The acting is atrocious and the filmography is positively pathetic. But the effects are super unique. Without a budget to work with, the filmmakers made the monsters by superimposing claymation into the scenes, unintentionally creating a film that’s kinda cool and fun to watch. Stop-motion claymation hasn’t been used to create effects for live-action movies in a very long time, making Cocaine Shark an entertaining throwback to classic films like Jason and the Argonauts. Think of it like Tommy Wiseau’s The Room with mutant sharks. What could go wrong?
The Predator franchise is absolutely wild with ups, downs, highs, and lows. From truly stellar films like the original Predator and 2022’s Prey to absurd garbage like AVP: Requiem and 2018’s The Predatorthe series is totally chaotic and has no idea what its voice and tone should be. 2010’s Predators follows that tradition by offering up a fresh take that’s incredibly polarizing. In the film, a group of unfortunate soldiers finds themselves in a jungle … and it just so happens that it’s not a jungle on Earth, but in the Predator’s hunting grounds.
As a test of manhood that all Predators must go through, the alien beasts are forced to stalk and kill a cunning species (aka humans) to prove their hunting prowess. The movie received a mixed reaction, with critics (surprisingly) offering up mostly positive reviews. Audience reactions were a bit less favorable though. Thanks to that over-ambitious 2010s-era CGI and the smorgasbord of bizarre alien creatures that are nowhere near as interesting as the Predators, the film was pretty hit-or-miss with viewers.
However, as a free movie on Tubi that doesn’t cost a dime, you’ve got nothing to lose. Plus, watching Predators hunt their victims through the forest is always a good time. Predators is maybe not the best in the series, but it’s fun nevertheless.
Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008)
Summer is all about having fun, being wild, and letting loose. So, Repo: The Genetic Opera is kind of like if summer turned into a movie … because it is totally fun, absolutely wild, and 100% lets loose. Did you know that opera singer Sarah Brightman and Paris Hilton somehow got cast in a movie together alongside Goodfellas star Paul Sorvino? And did you know that the movie was a musical … directed by the guy who made the Saw movies … and was about a culture so addicted to drugs and plastic surgery that their organs regularly failed, forcing them to become indebted to a giant medical company that leases spare organs?
Does it sound like some sort of fantastical fever dream? Well, it isn’t. It’s very real and it’s streaming for free right now on Tubi. Also, Paris Hilton sings a song about farting and Sarah Brightman gouges her own eyes out. Am I missing anything? Ah, yes, Repo was also at the center of a massive scandal. If this plot sounds eerily familiar, it’s because a big-budget Universal film, Repo Menwas released just a few years later starring Jude Law, Forrest Whitaker, and Liev Schreiber — and it had the exact same plot. But aside from all the scandal and insanity, Repo: The Genetic Opera is a really fun movie with some great songs and an intriguing plot. it’s genuinely worth a watch.