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 😊
CHASE: The first big week of Sundance closed out with a screening of the director’s cut of The Doom Generation in 4K, kicking off what will likely be a big year for hate-him-or-love-him director Gregg Araki. (We love him.)
JAS: Araki muse James Duval said in an interview last November that he believes Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse trilogy is getting released this year (finally). To celebrate all the news, we’re focusing on the two unstreamable and deeply bisexual entries of that trilogy, Doom Generation and Nowhere.
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USA | France, 1997, 82 minutes, Dir. Gregg Araki
Nowhere, the final installment in Gregg Araki’s Teen Apocalypse Trilogy, is a totally engrossing, frenetic, cinematic rave. Taking place over one drug-fueled day, sensitive teen Dark (James Duval) hangs with his bisexual girlfriend Mel (Rachel True) and fantasizes about another dreamy boy in his class while preparing to go to a wild party that night.
Watching Nowhere feels like taking MDMA—the bright colors and strobing lights, the urgent press of bodies, the intense emotions. The quick camera cuts in each scene mimic those weird eye twitches of the molly come-up. The plot bounces around the huge cast of weirdo characters—it’s hot and loose, and nothing matters.
In addition to some wild cameos—Ryan Phillippe shoves chocolate up Heather Graham’s puss in one scene—the theme of alienation is made literal with the appearance of an actual alien. There’s even a graphic Metamorphosis reference at the end, which feels nihilistically Teen. Araki serves angst, pure and true. JAS KEIMIG
Sarcastically taglined as “A Heterosexual Film by Gregg Araki,” The Doom Generation is a steamy misunderstood bisexual piece of trash. It was the very first movie I wrote about for this column, so the news that it’s getting revived this year has us feeling a little sentimental. (The first movie that Jas wrote about for Unstreamable, Mississippi Masala, got revived last year.)
Of course, not everyone feels sentimental about Doom Generation, which is understandable, considering it can be pretty difficult to get through, especially its final bits. In The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide, Mr. Matt Lynch argued that “this film should be wiped from existence—the negative burned, all tapes and DVDs destroyed, and any memory, good or ill, of this piece of shit exiled into the void for all eternity.” A sizzling take I find very funny and love and am also glad no one took seriously.
Doom Generation’s plot is like Sartre’s No Exit, but with hot bi boys with pouty lips (played by James Duval and Johnathon Schaech) who get boned by a volatile early-career Rose McGowan—and each other. All together. It opened a few months after Clueless, and I like to think of this ennui-filled mess as a foil to that pop sensation. It’s got so much style, as evidenced by Marc Jacobs using it to kick off his popular Heaven line. Its ending though? Heh heh. Woof. CHASE BURNS
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.