It’s Unstreamable! Where Jas Keimig and Chase Burns recommend movies and TV shows you can’t watch on major streaming services in the United States. We post on Wednesdays unless we’re tired or busy 😊
JAS: I’ve been starving for glamor, and I found a remedy in this Howard Hawks blockbuster.
CHASE: And I just started using Serializd, which is basically Letterboxd for TV. It’s nice! It sent me down a Dragon Ball rewatch, which has me thinking of another very famous shonen anime.
Got a recommendation? Give us the scoop at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USA, 1930, 127 min, Dir. Howard Hughes
Not to be that guy, but after watching a trailer for yet another trashy-looking Marvel movie today my mind wistfully floated to the olden days when being a blockbuster movie really meant something. Not hogwash IP that deadens the brain, but real, fun, boundary-pushing ACTION meant for the popcorn masses. So, of course, the correct remedy for that feeling of despair is Howard Hughes’ raucous, pre-Code Hell’s Angels.
Hell’s Angels centers around Monte and Roy, two brothers at Oxford who enlist in the Royal Flying Corps at the outbreak of World War I. But, get this, they are both In love with Helen (Jean Harlow!), Roy’s girlie and Monte’s lover. We’re not here for plot, however, we’re here for action. Director and venerated aviator Howard Hughes performed several stunts in the movie (breaking his face in one instance) and directed many of the action sequences while up in the air, alongside pioneering aerial cinematographer Elmer Dyer. Unfortunately, the film’s intricate aerial sequences claimed the lives of three stunt pilots and one engineer.
During the film’s two years of production, talkies were introduced to the movie-going public. Originally planned as a silent film, Hughes went back and reconceived Hell’s Angels as a talkie, re-castig Norwegian Greta Nilsson in Helen’s role with Harlow. But the movie still blends silent film techniques—like intertitles—with more ground-breaking technology like the Technicolor sequence near the beginning. These different modes make the movie feel like it’s straddling two important eras of Hollywood. And it’s oodles more enjoyable than whatever Avengers bullshit studios are peddling now. JAS KEIMIG
Find it in the Directors section, under Hughes, Howard.
Hunter x Hunter (the original series)
Japan, 1999-2001, 23 min, Created by Yoshihiro Togashi
The first thing to know is that Hunter x Hunter (don’t pronounce the x) has a demonically long arc that’s basically about furries taking over the world. Soldiering through this demonic furry arc, called the Chimera Ant arc, is a rite of passage amongst weebs.
The second thing to know is that there are two HxH animes, one started in 1999 and the other in 2011, and that the Chimera Ant arc is not in the original anime. That’s because the creator of HxH, Yoshihiro Togashi (who also wrote YuYu Hakusho and is married to the author of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi), is known for going on extended hiatuses and driving his fans wild during the interims. The 1999 series ended early because Togashi’s manga production couldn’t keep up. (He’s still eking out the manga.)
But despite its infamous production breaks, HxH has become a foundational, massively successful shonen series. It loosely follows the story of a boy named Gon on his journey to find his dad and become a Hunter, essentially a super-extra-strong person who hunts down people or things. It’s got clear similarities with other shonen classics, like Dragon Ball, but it’s uniquely strange and often queer-coded. See: the furry ants. CHASE BURNS
The original 1999 HxH anime is on YouTube, broken into two 10-hour videos. (I didn’t know you could upload 10-hour videos on YouTube, but you can.) We still consider this series unstreamable because SEE THE FINE PRINT AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST. You know, cuz bad quality. Inconsistent availability. Rent it from Scarecrow. They’ve got it.
Looking for more? Browse our big list of 350+ hard-to-find movies over on The Stranger.
*The fine print: Unstreamable means we couldn’t find it on Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, Disney+, or any of the other hundreds of streaming services available in the United States. We also couldn’t find it available for rent or purchase through platforms like Prime Video or iTunes. Yes, we know you can find many things online illegally, but we don’t consider user-generated videos, like unauthorized YouTube uploads, to be streamable.