Older Movies Streaming

(Welcome to Hidden Streams, a column focused on the best older movies available to stream on your favorite services, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and more.)

In this edition of Hidden Streams, you’ll find plenty of golden (and not-so-golden) oldies to check out or revisit, including a Dutch erotic thriller, space vampires, another Herzog gem, and more – and nothing that was released after 1985.

Sleepaway Camp

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Release date: 1983
Director: Robert Hiltzik
Cast: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, and Karen Fields

Sleepaway Camp was one of a handful of slashers released in the wake of Friday the 13th, and as far as imitations go, you don’t get much better – or wackier – than this one. Yes, it has your usual assortment of horned-up teens getting creatively murdered, but it also has one of the most insane slasher identity-reveals of all time, and the final frame will be seared into your memory until the merciful end of your days.

For fans of: Friday the 13th, The Slumber Party Massacre, and Happy Death Day.

Obsessions

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Release date: 1969
Director: Pim de la Parra
Cast: Alexandra Stewart and Dieter Geissler

A young college student finds a peephole in his apartment that allows him to watch his neighbors having sex. But his stint as a voyeur takes a dark turn when he witnesses something violent, and his suspicions may be confirmed when his journalist girlfriend begins to investigate a murder case.

For fans of: Whispers Behind the Wall, Turkish Delight, and Belle Du Jour.

Perfect

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Release date: 1985
Director: James Bridges
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, John Travolta, and Marilu Henner

Jamie Lee Curtis is an ’80s aerobics instructor, with all the polyester and leotards that entails. John Travolta, in his prime, thrusting his pelvis in a pair of sweat shorts. Do you really need to know more?

For fans of: Showgirls, Staying Alive, and your mom’s collection of Jane Fonda’s Workout tapes from the ’80s.

Lifeforce

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Release date: 1985
Director: Tobe Hooper
Cast: Mathilda May, Steve Railsback, and Peter Firth

Nine years after he terrorized audiences with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Tobe Hooper took them to space with Lifeforce – a movie about a race of soul-sucking alien vampires who invade London. With gnarly practical effects and an otherworldly performance from Mathilda May, this movie rules.

For fans of: Life, The Thing, and Event Horizon.

The King of Comedy

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Release date: 1982
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, and Tony Randall

De Niro delivers what is arguably his best (or second best, at the very least) performance in a Scorsese film as a deranged fan and aspiring comic who stalks his idol: a late-night talk show host, played by the incomparable Jerry Lewis.

For fans of: Big Fan, Observe & Report, and The Comedy.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Now Streaming on Kanopy

Release date: 1972
Director: Werner Herzog
Cast: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, and Helena Rojo

Maybe you had that double feature of Fitzcarraldo and My Best Fiend last week, and you’re looking to enjoy more of Herzog and Kinski’s collaborations – look no further than Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Set in the 16th century, the film stars Kinski as the completely-out-of-his-damn-mind Don Lope de Aguirre, who leads a Spanish expedition in search of the fabled city of El Dorado.

For fans of: My Best Fiend, The Lost City of Z, Apocalypse Now.

Accident

Now Streaming on Kanopy

Release date: 1967
Director: Joseph Losey
Cast: Dirk Bogarde, Michael York, and Jacqueline Sassard

A married Oxford professor competes with his colleague for the affections of a beautiful young Austrian student who’s dating a fellow pupil. Written by the legendary Harold Pinter, Accident uses a terrible car crash as a framing device and explores the violence and rage simmering beneath the surface of seemingly normal, put-together lives.

For fans of: Closer, The Servant, and Eva.

The Brood

Now Streaming on Kanopy

Release date: 1979
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, and Art Hindle

Frank visits the mental institution where his wife, Nola, is being “treated” by an eccentric psychotherapist (Oliver Reed, damn fine as ever) with unconventional methods – including a technique called “psychoplasmics,” in which he has patients release their psychological issues through physical transformations. Meanwhile, a trio of blonde mutant kiddos are murdering people around town. You can probably guess that the two are connected. You’ll never forget how it ends.

For fans of: Honestly, there’s really nothing like Cronenberg’s body horror, so if you love stuff like The Fly, Videodrome, and eXistenZ, go nuts.

Once Bitten

Now Streaming on Hulu

Release date: 1985
Director: Howard Storm
Cast: Jim Carrey, Lauren Hutton, and Karen Kopins

Years before he became a household name, a young and then-relatively unknown comedian named Jim Carrey starred in this horror comedy about a goofy high schooler who falls under the spell of a seductive 400-year-old vampire. If you had Comedy Central growing up in the ’90s, you’ve probably seen this movie at least a dozen times, if not more. Or maybe that’s just me.

For fans of: Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Fright Night.

Chinatown

Now Streaming on Hulu

Release date: 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston

Forget it, reader. It’s Chinatown. And it’s on Hulu, so you have no more excuses for not having seen one of the greatest neo-noirs of all time.

For fans of: L.A. Confidential, The Long Goodbye, and The Third Man.

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