This week’s festival of free films on Hulu, American Independent, features nine uncompromised personal visions that provide refreshing alternatives to Hollywood cinema. These American indies run the gamut from the sixties New York Village scene to the Sundance renaissance of the nineties, with many idiosyncratic delights in between. They include Robert Downey Sr.’s Chafed Elbows; John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence; John Huston’s Wise Blood; Gus Van Sant’s Mala Noche; Allison Anders, Dean Lent, and Kurt Voss’s Border Radio; Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train; Lodge Kerrigan’s Clean, Shaven; and David Gordon Green’s George Washington.
Also on offer is a low-budget cult spoof from 1987, the horror-comedy I Was a Teenage Zombie. Not for the squeamish, this irreverent, New York–shot riot has a cult following thanks to its cheapo gross-out makeup effects and killer soundtrack, including the Violent Femmes, the Fleshtones, and Alex Chilton. Unavailable on disc, the film can be streamed below or at Hulu. And remember, if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see these and hundreds of other Criterion films commercial-free, anytime.