Welcome to the Jungle
Sure, I preach embracing the analog. I love my VHS tapes, and I enjoy sharing fun movies with fun people at our monthly shows. But even I fall prey to the digital. Sometimes I just want to watch those damn movies right now. That's when I stream movies online.
But where does one find streaming movies that are of the caliber demanded by Patrons of the Obsolete? Believe it or not, your easiest bet is the Big Boys, The Man, The Skynet of online retail. I'm talking about Amazon Video.
Amazon gets a lot of notoriety for their original TV productions, but surprisingly they have one of the deepest and most accessible streaming catalogs out there. Do a quick search and you'll find obscure gems like THIS IS A HIJACK, MONSTER DOG, and more for rent, purchase, or instant streaming with a Prime Membership or one of many add-on subscriptions.
Many of the films we've shown in the past are also available through Amazon. Whether that's validation or a death knell, I have no idea. But it presents an opportunity. Maybe one month you missed an Obsolete Cinema show, or maybe there's one you loved so much that you want to recreate it, or need to recreate it, like, right now. Well, you can -- and from the comfort of your own device.
Below I've rounded up films from past shows, paired as their original double features for your re-viewing pleasure. All are available to stream throught Amazon Video, and most of the links are Amazon affiliate links. That means if you rent or purchase a movie through one of the links here, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us continue to bring Obsolescence to Freddy's Back Room and beyond. Thanks for your continuing support! Now go embrace the
This was our second show after moving shop to Freddy's. It was right around Halloween, and we decided to go all out, honoring our home while bringing the horror. After all, the holiday is practically designed for horror and VHS heads like us.
C.H.U.D. is a ton of fun and steeped in '80s NYC attitude and underground lore, but it's WOLFEN that really takes you there. From the opening shot of the WTC to Edward James Olmos atop the Brooklyn Bridge to the rubble of the South Bronx, shit is real. Great location shooting around town. Urban decay and class struggle make cameos while Albert Finney and Gregory Hines hunt werewolves.
When Animals Attack was a great start to Spring 2015. We initially thought of it as just a couple of JAWS rip-offs, but this being Obsolete Cinema, things took an unexpected turn.
Someone at the show tried to explain GRIZZLY as Marxist allegory. Is it? You be the judge; I'm not so sure. ANACONDA holds up surprisingly well despite some laughable CGI, but the real stars are the stars themselves. Think we'll ever see Ice Cube, J-Lo, Owen Wilson, and Jon Voight in the same film again? We can only hope.
Game on! Since our movie wheelhouse seems to fall mostly in the 1980s, we've been talking about doing a video and arcade game themed show for years. The hard part was narrowing it down to only two obsolete gems. (As a result we'll probably do another one in the future. Not to be confused with the pinball themed show we've wanted to do for a while. But I digress...)
The turnout for our Gamer's Paradise show was like a high score, and I happen to be very proud of this trailer. THE LAST STARFIGHTER is as perfect as you remember, and TRON... well, at least it has Jeff Bridges.
A sugary sweet love story with Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters in creepy prosthetic "robot face?" OF COURSE AMAZON HAS THAT.
HEARTBEEPS is odd, even for Kaufman, but it's that good kind of odd. Sort of like Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy and a cute robot pairing with Fisher Stevens and his offensive fake Indian act. Let's be honest, SHORT CIRCUIT is what it is... and there's a sequel?!
This was our first Action Slam show, and possibly still the best.
If you ever forget what kind of justice Steven Seagal is out for, just wait a scene and he'll remind you. "I'm lookin' for Richie" seems to be the only line he memorized. Keep an eye out for real shots of Dinkins-era Brooklyn mixed with Toronto -- that is, if you don't get caught up in the story. The one about Seagal lookin' for Richie.
And then there's Jean-Claude Van Damme playing cajun in John Woo's first American film. He punches out a rattlesnake. Seriously, what more needs to be said?
This show was a twist on our annual Back to School themed show. It was also a great way to sneak in more Steve Guttenberg in the original POLICE ACADEMY. Not that we really need an excuse to do that.
Robert Downey Sr.'s UP THE ACADEMY is another great Amazon surprise. MAD Magazine disavowed it on release, the studio suppressed as best it could, and I had a trouble finding it for this show way back when. Now it's just a click away, and in glorious standard definition!
As John Travolta has aged, it's easy to forget what a natural performer he was in his youth. No joke.
I will go to my grave arguing that STAYING ALIVE is a good movie and the best document of the death of disco, whether they realized it at the time or not. But the gem in this double feature is PERFECT, with it's non-ironic commitment to 1980s superficiality and never-ending aerobics montages. Because '80s.
Obsolete Bonus: Jann Wenner as editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone! Not a huge stretch for him, but still.
REWIND THIS! is my favorite documentary on VHS history and culture. With the filmmakers in attendance and a rare screening of the face-melting VHS oddity SCIENCE CRAZED, it also ranks as one of our best shows to date.
Yes, I understand the irony of suggesting you stream a movie about VHS, but it gets us to the final point...
Does streaming make Obsolete Cinema obsolete?
Are you crazy?
As I've written before, there are many facets to what we call Obsolete. The movies themselves are a big part of it, but don't start thinking that streaming cancels out the community part. It's fun to sit in a dark room with strangers and (re)discover these things on VHS, maybe have a few drinks, maybe win a few prizes for knowing trivia, maybe make some new friends along the way. It's honorable that a biggie like Amazon provides access to some of our favorites, but as long as Freddy's is crazy enough to let us keep showing stuff, we'll be there in the dark every fourth Sunday. Come say hi sometime.
An keep embracing the analog!
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