What’s new on Netflix Instant this week and what’s worth your time. We do the legwork so you can lean back and enjoy the show.
Satan’s Sadists is so cool, it needed two taglines: “Breezy Riders Roaring Into Hell!” and “Motorcycle Maniacs on Wheels!” Take your pick, as they both apply to this rough-and-tumble B-movie about a violent biker gang led by a fella named Anchor (Russ Tamblyn!) that murder most of the patrons at a roadside diner in the middle of nowhere. An ex-Marine and a waitress manage to escape, and they must reach the nearest town before the Sadists reach them to finish the job. Wild beyond belief, baby! This is also known as Nightmare Bloodbath, which isn’t as great a title as Satan’s Sadists, in our humble opinion.
The ’70s brought us some great television, and The Rockford Files was one of the greatest, if only because Jim Rockford (James Garner) was so shamelessly a modern-day version of Garner’s other great TV character, Bret Maverick. No one did cool and laid-back quite like James Garner, and here he got to be cool and laid-back whilst investigating various shenanigans as an ex-con turned private dick. Rockford worked out of a run-down mobile home in a Malibu parking lot, and each episode usually opened with an answering machine recording of one of his clients giving some excuse as to why they couldn’t pay his fee of “$200 a day, plus expenses.” Hey, that was a lot of scratch back in the ’70s.
Tim Roth rules in this clever television series about a psychologist who can always tell when someone’s lying, a skill that is often called upon to assist in various criminal investigations. It’s been almost 20 years since Mr. Orange got shot in the stomach, but Roth is aging nicely, bringing his trademark intensity and intelligence to a role that seems tailor-made for him — to the point where Lie to Me often seems like a one-man show. And a pretty damn good one, at that.
If you don’t remember this one, you need to watch it right now (and you can!). A jaw-droppingly incoherent and nonsensical (but certainly lovable) mess of a teen comedy (and Corey & Corey team-up), Dream a Little Dream features Jason Robards and Piper Laurie as old hippies whose late-night yoga session (or something) ends up with Robards and Corey Feldman switching bodies (or something). From there, Feldman-Robards starts wooing an impossibly busty ballet dancer (Meredith Salenger) and Corey Haim makes pithy comments. Add a particularly awful ’80s soundtrack and stir it in a pot — you won’t be able to turn it off once you start watching.
This is the kind of movie best described as a “quirky little gem,” a rather strange indie movie that came out before “rather strange indie movies” really existed. Twister paints a portrait of the eccentric (to say the least) Cleveland family and the events surrounding a tornado destroying their rural Kansas home. Harry Dean Stanton is the patriarch, Crispin Glover is his son, and William S. Burroughs shows up in a supporting role… so yeah, it’s that kind of movie. Directed by Michael Almeryeda, who would later go on to direct the modern-day Hamlet with Ethan Hawke and Kyle MacLachlan.