Just when you thought you’d seen everything, a third round of streaming service suggestions. Said Marroud/Shutterstock.com

There’s nothing like killing time with a movie trilogy. Unless it’s the “Big Momma’s House” franchise. Or the “Star Wars” prequels. “The Matrix” series got pretty rough toward the end there. And three helpings of “The Hobbit” was just a huge, overblown mistake. 

Still, all good things come in threes (don’t question it), and so here is my third installment of alternative streaming service suggestions. We movie fans have nothing but time and exhausted mainstream streaming services at hand by this point in the still-very-necessary lockdown, and – as I noted last week – the smart money’s on not literally risking your life to watch a C-minus Russell Crowe movie in the theaters.

I’ve been dropping periodic recommendations for out-of-the-way streaming services to supplement your unwillingly at-home movie watching through the course of this nightmare. And while some trilogies sputter along to their conclusions through barrel-scraping desperation, we here at the Indie Film desk are all about inspiration when it comes to finding overlooked, out-there, and deeply necessary great movies. Plus, sometimes, the best stuff is at the bottom.



Speaking of bottoms, there’s New York’s infamous Troma, maker and distributor of some of the grossest, weirdest and most proudly disreputable indie films ever. Responsible for cult flicks like “The Toxic Avenger” and its sequels, “Class of Nuke ’Em High” (and sequels) and, of course, the Shakespearean sex-and-bloodbath “Tromeo and Juliet,” Troma makes sleaze. One of a kind, nigh-unclassifiable sleaze, but sleaze nonetheless. Its subscription site offers up the Troma (let’s call them) classics, alongside cinematic sludge from all over this wide, weird, wonderful world. I interviewed Troma co-head Lloyd Kaufman for this very paper, and he’s as funny, smart and cynical about Hollywood as only a true independent showman can be. 

Price: $4.99/month, but there’s a 30-day free trial you can cancel after you’ve drunk your fill. A sleazy move, but I know Kaufman would respect it. 



I know I’m starting out on the fringes, but, hey, that’s where I live, and this online encapsulation of the 1980s-to-early ’90s output of grungy movie and music TV showcase “Night Flight” is pure catnip for those of us who remember discovering late-night cinematic strangeness. A subscription gets you original episodes of the series (complete with period commercials) that introduced the world to everything from Devo and Klaus Nomi to the mind-bending works of the Church of the Sub-Genius, to influential indie classics like “Eating Raoul,” “Liquid Sky” and “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.” 

Price: $4.99/month or $39.99 for the year, with a 7-day free trial to see if late-night nostalgia is all it’s cracked up to be. 



With a title translated from the Swahili for “truth,” this Black-owned and -curated streaming service features hundreds of Black stories from around the globe and right here in America. An alternative gatekeeper to the box office coffers, the site seeks out Black-made films from festivals and elsewhere, and pays filmmakers based on how much you watch. With movies from out-of-necessity independent filmmakers from all over the world telling stories too often overlooked, Kweli TV is a way to support Black film and filmmakers directly, while opening up your streaming options. 

Price: $5.99/month or $49.99/year, with a 7-day free trial. 



Now here’s a resource you can get lost in, all for nothing. A non-profit warehouse of everything from home movies to shorts to features that nobody seems to care much about, the movie section of this mammoth site has tens of thousands of largely-forgotten cinema relics, all a button-click away. Sure, you’re sorting through what’s essentially the public domain trash heap, but there are genuine classics to be found there (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, “His Girl Friday”), alongside the sort of lost anti-classics you’d expect to see plundered by “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” (A quick scan reveals “MST3k” staples like “Track of the Moon Beast,” “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and “Snowbeast,” all in their original, grainy glory.) Seriously, go spelunking (for free) in this repository of films that time and corporate greed have forgotten, and you won’t come up for days. 

Price: I mentioned the free part, right? 

Look, Netflix and its ilk are always going to be there, charging through the nose for a much smaller selection than they promise. And the world of the movies is a whole lot bigger, odder and more fascinating, if you know the right places to look. Here’s hoping that the world recovers enough to ensure that this is the last one of these lists we need, though. 

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Auburn with his wife and cat.

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