Welcome to Unstreamable, a weekly column that recommends films you can't find on major streaming services.

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STARRBOOTY
USA, 2007, 79 min, Dir. Mike Ruiz

As my guy on eBay told me when I bought this gem, this DVD is “RARE & GAY.”
As my guy on eBay told me when I bought this gem, this DVD is “RARE & GAY.” Chase Burns

I don't think RuPaul wants people to see this pre-RuPaul's Drag Race treasure lost to time. If he did, it would be available, because it's one of the best things I've ever seen. By best, I mean it's the absolute worst thing to ever enter my eyeballs. Down there with John Waters's early cult classic Multiple Maniacs. Like that trash, Starrbooty explodes the highbrow/lowbrow binary to become its own gem. The basic plot: After her slutty niece Cornisha is kidnapped, secret agent/supermodel Starrbooty becomes an undercover hooker to find the culprit. Part blaxploitation/part porno, it's actually the fourth in a series, with the earlier three made on a $100 budget by RuPaul in the mid-80s. He sold them out of shopping carts in Atlanta, so goes the lore. I'd bet my left nut that this thing will continue to age horribly well. CHASE BURNS

Available for purchase on eBay or in Chase's living room 😈

***

TONY TAKITANI
Japan, 2005, 105 min, Dir. Jun Ichikawa

Kind of a sad boi film if Im being honest.
Kind of a sad boi film if I'm being honest. Jasmyne Keimig

I struggled a bit with Tony Takitani. The New York Times positively reviewed this movie as a “delicate wisp of a film,” which is a generous way to say it’s kind of boring and slowly plotted. Based on a Haruki Murakami short story, the film follows Tony, a Japanese mechanical illustrator who is ostracized because of his American name. He’s a lonely boy. Then a lonely man. Eventually he falls in love with a young woman who is ADDICTED to shopping because she’s emotionally empty. Gah, women, amirite? The whole film is shot like a single camera sitcom, but from the waist level; its colors are very flat and beige, which I suppose is meant to reflect the loneliness and isolation of our protagonist. But it's summer and I'm horny! I think I fucked up watching it now. If anything, watch for the Ryuichi Sakamoto soundtrack, but only on a rainy Sunday! JASMYNE KEIMIG

Available for rental on DVD at Scarecrow Video.

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MEET THE APPLEGATES
USA, 1991, 90 min, Dir. Michael Lehmann

Rewinding VHS is my new kink.
Rewinding VHS is my new kink. CB

Portland Mercury contributor Ben Coleman tipped me off to this film. It stars Stockard Channing and Ed Begley Jr. and was pitched to me as being about "giant praying mantises infiltrating suburban America" and "somewhere between Tim Burton and John Waters." It's 100% both of those descriptions, although maybe it's more specifically somewhere between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Serial Mom. A relic from the George H.W. Bush-era, this VHS-only film follows a family of shapeshifting Brazilian bugs called "Brazilian Cocorada." They blend into suburbia as "The Applegate" family and try to destroy the world. If it had a tighter plot, I'd say it's a commentary on terrorism, but it's so delightfully sloppy that it's best viewed as a how-to against product placement. Seriously, the product placement in this film is insane. Watch while eating a Butterfinger. Smoke a little weed, too. CHASE BURNS

Available for rental on VHS at Scarecrow Video. There is also a copy available on YouTube but we don't count any dubious digital copies as streamable.

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LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER
France, 1999, 112 min, Dir. Olivier Assayas

YES, this is not my hand, but the hand of John at Scarecrow Video. I forgot to take a pic before turning it in and he generously did so for
YES, this is not my hand, but the hand of John at Scarecrow Video. I forgot to take a pic of the DVD before turning it in and he generously did so for me! Thanks John! John O'Connor
Late August, Early September wouldn’t do so well now. The film hums along for the first thirty minutes, its plot more emotional than anything else. It sketches out a web of relationships over the course of a year between a group of people in their late twenties after a mutual friend to all (played by François Cluzet, Dustin Hoffman’s just as affable French counterpart) is revealed to be dying of an illness. Shot on a Super 16 camera, the film is intimate, loquacious, and overly concerned with deep emotion. Trés French. But half an hour in, Cluzet’s character's lover comes on screen and she's...a 15 year old girl! What the fuck! None of the characters question it and neither does the film. It’s perplexing and distressing to watch. If looking for a chatty Assayas film, I might suggest, instead, Non-Fiction. Let's lose this one to time. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Available for rental on DVD at Scarecrow Video.

Ok, so, there are no English language trailers but the soundtrack DOES have a lot of music from Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, which we'll end on this week:

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