With so many choices of streaming entertainment, it’s not unusual to spend hours deciding on what to watch.
Here are four films currently available on Amazon Prime that are worth your time.
The Kings of Summer (2013)
Dir: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
In watching this film, it seems almost absurd that the director’s sophomore effort would be about a rampaging ape terrorizing Vietnam War soldiers, but Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ debut effort shows a lot of burgeoning his burgeoning identity and style.
While the film is ostensibly a “high school movie”, the film is far from the likes of Superbad or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Instead, it’s a tale of young men trying find themselves, attempting to carve their own ideal of personal freedom and self-ownership in a world that seems intent on denying them those very things.
Though some may find Robert’s direction a bit “music video-esque” at times, he truly does capture the tranquility of solitude found in nature and how small we really are in world around us. It’s this contrast of perspective and scale that makes his transition to giant monster mayhem all the more believable.
The Seventh Curse (1986)
Dir: Lam Nai-Choi
What if Indiana Jones found himself in the middle of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive? The answer is The Seventh Curse, a high octane action-adventure-splatter horror film that will shatter your expectations at every turn. Nai-Choi is best known for his gorey kung fu flick Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, and his penchant for gore and the absurd is on full display here. Flying demon fetuses, skeletons that morph into bat monsters, and all out martial art brawls are only the tip of iceberg of what’s in store for the unsuspecting viewer. If you’re a fan of Shaw Bros black magic films and Hong Kong new wave action, this is one for you.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
Dir. Michael Cimino
The 60s and 70s were the pinnacle of the “road movie”, free flowing narratives of men wandering the American landscape in search of meaning, adventure, and all the shenanigans that came along the way.
Michael Cimino teams up Clint Eastwood and a young Jeff Bridges as an experienced but jaded thief and a happy go lucky amateur looking to make his first big score respectively. Their chemistry is what really makes the movie; the contrast between Eastwood’s gruff loner and Bridge’s dorky optimism creating that an unlikely friendship, but one that ultimately won’t end well.
Cimino shoots the movie with a respect for the landscape of the American frontier, opting for wide shots of desolate highways and sun scorched grass plains. It’s a film that presents the open road as one of simultaneously endless possibilities, but also a path to a final destination where we must face our fate.
Spontaneous Combustion (1990)
Dir. Tobe Hooper
The children of the atom must pay for the sins of their parents. That’s the thesis of this oddball sci-fi film from Tobe Hooper, an oddity even within Hooper’s varied filmography that includes the likes of Eaten Alive and Lifeforce.
Brad Dourif stars as a man who discovers that he has the ability to set things on fire using his mind, the only downside being it breaks down his body each time he uses it. It’s a one sentence premise, but Hooper lays on a lot of subtext onto this pulpy yarn, tackling ideas of government negligence in the pursuit of power and exploitation of the little guy by those in charge.
Come for the exploding bodies and melting limbs, leave with a fear of nuclear energy.