Unstreamable is a column that recommends movies and TV shows you can’t watch on major streaming services in the United States.*
📢 This week, we’re announcing a big upgrade! Kicking off this fall, Unstreamable + Scarecrow Video + Northwest Film Forum will present four top-shelf unstreamable films IRL IN A THEATER at Northwest Film Forum.
👐 All That Jazz: September 10-11
🗑️ Garbage Pail Kids: October 7-9
🤠 Cowboy Bebop: The Movie: December 10-11
💦 Poison Ivy: January 7-8
We’re geeked to partner with the Forum to bring these weird, horny, and overlooked gems to the big screen. While we wait to party at the cinema together, let’s refresh our brains on these four movies.
U.S., 1979, 123 minutes, Dir. Bob Fosse
Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz is about a man who struggles to balance the demands of his ego, work, lust, and family—in that order. If that man sounds like Fosse, then bingo! This movie musical is a not-so-thinly veiled, fantastical almost-autobiography of director and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse. It follows a Fosse-type character, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), as he zips between editing a film and staging a play, all while cheating on partners and apologizing for diddly-squat.
Joe Gideon’s misogyny is on full display offstage, but onstage—just like Fosse—his gender-neutral choreography is revelatory. Throughout the film, he stages numbers, like the horny “Take Off with Us (Airotica),” with men and women dancing the same way, their sweaty, sinewy bodies stretching and pirouetting. Even though Joe is a cad, the women in his life are stars: specifically the wonderful Leland Palmer as his ex-wife Audrey (based on Fosse’s real ex and muse, Gwen Verdon) and Ann Reinking, who plays a version of herself in the film.
All That Jazz took home the Palme d’Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival and made over three times its budget at the box office. The film’s closing number, “Bye Bye Life,” is a musical theater masterpiece and makes death seem like a grand adventure. JAS KEIMIG
Screening at Northwest Film Forum from September 10-11, 2022. Jas and Chase will introduce the movie. Reserve your seat here.
Find it under Fosse, Bob in the Directors Section.
U.S., 1987, 100 minutes, Dir. Rod Amateau
What even are the Garbage Pail Kids?
These grody Cabbage Patch Kids knock-offs introduced themselves to the world as parody trading cards in the mid-80s. Kids loved them, even though they had halitosis and gas and came with names like Adam Bomb and Handy Randy. The cards were so popular and gross that teachers banned them from schools. But, unfortunately for the gatekeepers of good taste, nobody banned these freaks from the box office, so we ended up with this cult piece of trash: Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie.
This famous stinker is about a teenage nerd named Dodger and the grubby little creatures who fall in love with him. One day, while schoolyard bullies beat the shit out of Dodger, a magic trash can gets knocked over, and—Voila! Out come the Garbage Pail Kids, a group of noxious monsters who won’t leave our teen protagonist alone. Sure, they can’t stop farting, but they mean well. And Dodger is in no position to turn away friends.
Some people have called this the worst movie ever made—and maybe they’re right. The plot is nonsense and the animatronic costumes are horrifying. But, to quote Andy Warhol, “Extreme bad and extreme good is very good. What’s no good is in between.” Andy’s line totally applies to Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie, which proudly belongs at the very bottom of the trash can. CHASE BURNS
Screening at Northwest Film Forum from October 7-9, 2022. Jas and Chase will introduce the movie. Reserve your seat here.
Find it in the Kid’s Section under Children’s Live Action.
Japan, 2001, 115 minutes, Dir. by Shin’chirô Watanabe, Tensai Okamura, and Hiroyuki Okiura
It’s fifty years in the future and humans have fled Earth to settle on more habitable space rocks. A crew of bounty hunters travels on spaceship Bebop, picking up bounties and fucking up baddies in this new galactic Wild West. After a terrorist spreads a pathogen across the capital of Mars, injuring hundreds, the Mars government puts out an enormous bounty for the terrorist’s arrest. The Bebop team, tired of eating cheap ramen, docks on Mars and takes the job.
One of the most celebrated anime of all time, Cowboy Bebop is loved for its ice cool neo-noir style and sci-fi ennui. Adult Swim picked up the series as its first anime title in 2001, making it many Westerners’ gateway into anime more generally. It’s known for its “movie-quality” animation, but the series’ only actual movie, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, stays unstreamable. Like the series, it features music by composer Yoko Kanno and her band Seatbelts. It fuses rock, country-western, opera, jazz, and Arabic elements into a literally out-of-this-world score that deserves to be experienced in a theater.
Not caught up on the series? No worries! The film stands on its own. Also, Cowboy Bebop has a great dub, so we’ll show the dub Dec. 10 at 4 pm & Dec. 11 at 7 pm, in addition to the sub on Dec. 10 at 7 pm & Dec. 11 at 4 pm. Criss cross! CHASE BURNS
Screening at Northwest Film Forum from December 10-11, 2022. Jas and Chase will introduce the movie. Reserve your seat here.
Find it in the Animation Room under Anime/Manga.
U.S., 1992, 93 min, Dir. Katt Shea
New Line Cinema initially conscripted Katt Shea to direct a “Fatal Attraction with teenagers,” she told Dazed. Instead, Shea threw the big studio execs a big middle finger and made a sexed up and weirdly earnest movie about probably the worst friend breakup ever.
This pulpy erotic thriller stars a fresh-out-of-rehab Drew Barrymore as the titular Ivy, an opportunistic teen homewrecker who strikes up a lesbian-esque friendship with the cranky, wealthy Sylvie (Roseanne’s Sara Gilbert). Quickly, Ivy moves into Sylvie’s mansion, where the young temptress starts to wreak havoc. She raids Sylvie’s dying (and hot) mother’s closet and graphically seduces Sylvie’s weak-willed conservative father, played by a nervous-looking Tom Skerritt. As Ivy’s thirst for love and attention grows stronger, this moneyed family starts to break.
Incensed by the film, New Line Cinema demanded Shea make Ivy pay for her horny crimes. Shea vehemently disagreed and refused to shoot an ending until months after production ended. We won’t spoil what happens to the teen seductress, but the studio worked hard to ensure the film tanked at the box office. The studio eventually harvested the IP to make three direct-to-video spinoffs without Shea. But the 1992 film persisted, finding an audience on the home video market. It’s since become a cult favorite. True taste reigns supreme. JAS KEIMIG
Screening at Northwest Film Forum from January 7-8, 2023. Jas and Chase will introduce the movie. Reserve your seat here.
Find it under Murder/Mystery/Suspense.
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.