8 Movies Almost Impossible to Watch on DVD or Streaming in 2023!

It’s understandable if the average moviegoer has the impression that they can locate any film they want to watch online, or at the absolute least, in stores selling DVDs and Blu-rays. In reality, however, that is not the case.

In the year 2023, it’s incredibly inconvenient to see a large number of movies, from small-budget indies to fan-favorite classics to blockbuster hits. We have been led to believe that watching a movie at home is a simple process thanks to streaming services, yet for various reasons (including rights concerns and apathy), the following 20 films are neither available via streaming nor available for purchase on physical media (at least in North America).

Some of these movies can be purchased on DVD if you’re prepared to pay more, but it’s not always a good idea to do so because the discs may only be compatible with players from a specific region. Be extremely cautious when buying imports and old copies, lest you wind up with a dud you still can’t watch.

Inland Empire

Since its 2007 release, David Lynch’s latest picture has been difficult to find, depriving the world of three hours of Laura Dern looking scared and sad (I watched it in a theatre, and while Dern is excellent, I couldn’t describe the narrative in detail if my life depended on it).

Movies Almost Impossible to Watch on Dvd or Streaming in 2023!

Even if the picture’s low-resolution digital video (which has since been improved) is to blame for its unavailability, it’s strange that a film by such a prominent director is unavailable to the public.

Where to Watch: The Criterion Collection will release a Blu-ray of the film at the end of March, which is great news for fans of the film (though there is currently no information about a streaming release).

Dogma

The publication of Kevin Smith’s brilliant satire of institutional religion was met with protests, but that’s not why you can’t see it. It turns out Bob and Harvey Weinstein hold the rights to the film personally, and neither they nor Smith is interested in regaining possession of them. “My movie about angels is owned by the devil himself,” Smith remarked of Harvey Weinstein.

Movies Almost Impossible to Watch on Dvd or Streaming in 2023!

Where to Watch: Out-of-print DVDs may be had for as little as $20, so at least that’s an option, but good luck finding it online to stream.

READ MORE: 8 Spin-off Movies That Are Better Than the Original!

Kids

Even though Larry Clark and Harmony Korine’s depiction of adolescent depravity in 1995 is both lurid and moralizing, the film was a commercial success due to the controversy that surrounded it. Although it was widely popular and helped launch the career of Chlo Sevigny, it’s now 2023 and copies are hard to come by.

 Where to Watch: DVDs that are no longer in print sell for $15–20, and a European Blu-ray that plays in all regions will put you back roughly $30. Not even a torrent has it.

The Doom Generation

Although the violent, Natural Born Killers–esque neo-noir that is one of New Queer Cinema pioneer Gregg Araki’s most well-known early films was met with mixed reviews, it is nonetheless an important film in the evolution of queer filmmaking in the ’90s. Rose McGowan, Parker Posey, and Margaret Cho are just a few of the well-known actors who are included.

Movies Almost Impossible to Watch on Dvd or Streaming in 2023!

Where to Watch: You’ll have to do some digging to find these Discs, and they won’t come cheap: even used versions typically go for $40–$50. On Kanopy, you can watch Completely Fucked Up, the first installment of his Teenage Apocalypse trilogy.

READ MORE: 8 Best Reboots of Shows You Loved as a Kid!

True Lies

Some aspects of True Lies are objectionable when viewed with modern eyes, including the stereotypical portrayal of Arabs and the film’s underlying misogyny. Still! Directed by James Cameron, whose films regularly feature among the highest-grossing of all time, the picture was a smashing success that starred a host of A-listers.

It’s puzzling that the original is so difficult to find given that a revival of the TV series is premiering on CBS and Paramount+ in approximately a month.

Where to Watch: DVDs and Blu-rays that are compatible with players in many regions typically cost approximately $25, but you should check to be sure yours is North American/Region A compatible before you buy.

The Abyss

Continuing on the Cameron trail, I will say that while The Abyss isn’t as well-liked as some of Cameron’s other works, there are plenty of much, much poorer and less commercially successful films accessible on DVD and streaming services.

The Abyss is a cinematic masterpiece, a technological marvel featuring an incredible all-star cast that takes us on a voyeuristic journey below the depths of the ocean where Cameron currently resides. The problem, so the story goes, is that Cameron has been too busy plotting expeditions to the ocean floor and the forests of Pandora to greenlight a new 4K remaster.

Movies Almost Impossible to Watch on Dvd or Streaming in 2023!

Where to Watch: You should expect to pay $30-$50 for a “Special Edition” DVD from the 2000s. Cameron has been hinting at an improvement coming for years, but it has yet to materialize.

READ MORE: The Crime, Violence, and Sexuality of Pre-Code Hollywood Films!

Martin

Although his worldwide box office success did not match that of James Cameron, the late George A. Romero is still widely remembered as a popular and influential filmmaker, especially for his intelligent and socially conscious horror flicks.

Here, however, is his unstreamable emotional vampire epic, the director’s favorite of his films and his first collaboration with effects artist Tom Savini before their work together on Dawn of the Dead (which they also directed).

Where to Watch: Out-of-print DVDs sold in North America will set you back about $100, while those sold in other regions will cost considerably less, but will likely not play on your device unless you have an all-region player.

Shadow of the Vampire

John Malkovich directs this decent picture about the making of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film Nosferatu, starring Willem Dafoe as the film’s protagonist, Max Shreck. It’s effective as both a satire and a horror film, and Dafoe was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal.

Movies Almost Impossible to Watch on Dvd or Streaming in 2023!

Where to Watch: Out-of-print DVDs in North America cost $40 and above, but if you can track down an old VCR and purchase a VHS tape, you can watch the same movie for much less.

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