Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: Star-Crossed Love, Van Life, and a Beauty Queen

Check out the latest Fresh indie releases now streaming on VOD and what's coming soon.

by | June 16, 2020 | Comments

Join us weekly as Rotten Tomatoes reports on what’s indie features are streaming. From promising releases by new voices to experimental efforts from storied filmmakers – or perhaps the next indie darling to go the distance for end-of-year accolades – we will break it all down for you here each week.

For the foreseeable future, the specialty box office and all theatrical releases will be on hold as we all make efforts to socially distance ourselves and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. With that in mind, we have reshaped our Indie Fresh List. This week for our fresh picks we have a dark love story, an authentic drama about a former Texas pageant queen, and a dramatic tale about Van Life. In our Spotlight section, we call back to the recent Certified Fresh documentary about the masterpiece of a bad movie Showgirls and its cultish legacy, including an interview with the film’s director, Jeffrey McHale.

Streaming This Weekend

Babyteeth (2020) 93%

A hilariously dark tale about two star-crossed lovers, Babyteeth is an impressive debut for director Shannon Murphy. From a screenplay by writer Rita Kalnejais, who also penned the eponymous novel, the film follows a sickly teenager as she falls for a bumbling drug dealer. Relative newcomer Eliza Scanlen’s (Little Women) performance here marks her as a young actress to watch, as she shines alongside an all-star Aussie cast that includes Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis. Director Murphy has also earned praise for her “wickedly perverse and intensely moving variation on familiar coming-of-age themes,” writes Guy Lodge for Variety.

Available June 19 to rent or buy on Vudu, GooglePlay, and iTunes.

The Short History of the Long Road (2020) 88%

A new phenomenon has been sweeping across America as people of all ages are choosing to live life on the road as nomads in vans and RVs. “Van Life,” as it has been dubbed by those within the culture, takes center stage in this festival favorite that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Featuring Danny Trejo, Steven OggMaggie Siff, and newcomer Sabrina Carpenter, this indie drama “may walk (or more aptly here, drive) along a previously explored path, but it does so with ample amounts of heart and humor,” writes Joey Magidson of Awards Circuit.

Available now to rent or buy now on Amazon and iTunes.

Miss Juneteenth (2020) 99%

Channing Godfrey Peoples made an impression on both audiences and critics with her debut feature Miss Juneteenth, an intimate story about a former pageant queen named Turquoise who is trying to relive her former glory through her rebellious young daughter Kai. Believing her potential was derailed by teenage pregnancy, Turquoise is determined to make sure her daughter doesn’t make the same mistakes. Nicole Beharie’s incredible star turn inspired Marc Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly to call her “a powerful performer, able to convey multitudes with subtlety, even if Miss Juneteenth never makes a move you didn’t see coming a mile down that country road.”

Available June 19 to rent or buy on FandangoNOWGooglePlay, and iTunes.

Available Now on VOD – Spotlight Pick

You Don't Nomi (2020) 89%

In our Spotlight Section this week we have You Don’t Nomi, a hilarious documentary about Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls that was released last weekend and critics are already raving about. Taking a magnifying glass to the disastrous NC-17 release, Jeffrey McHale’s documentary enlists critics, film commentators, Showgirls devotees, and words from those involved in the production to explain its redemption story. Alex McLevy of AV Club calls the engrossing documentary, Certified Fresh at 88%, “as bizarrely entertaining as the film it obsesses over” and “a captivating document of how a piece of art — especially one this deeply, powerfully weird — can take on a life wholly beyond its original intentions.” Read for our chat with director Jeffrey McHale about the film, its legacy, and the formula to make a perfect cult hit.

Jacqueline Coley for Rotten Tomatoes: The film seems to take a clear opinion that Showgirls is a bad movie. What do you say to those who argue it’s a masterpiece unironically? 

Jeffrey McHale: I like to say it’s a bad film with masterpiece-like qualities. Or, as Adam Nayman says in You Don’t Nomi, “a masterpiece of s—.” The “bad” elements of Showgirls — its perceived failures as a work of filmic art — have only endeared it to audiences, which complicates the question of quality too. Maybe we’re in an era of post-bad.

RT: What is the quintessential ingredient in the recipe for a perfectly bad cult film?

McHale: Failed seriousness on a colossal scale.

RT: Favorite moment or line from Showgirls?

McHale: “I used to love doggy chow too.”

RT: The film is a detailed deconstruction of Showgirls, the people who made it, those who love it, and those who hate it; what is the most interesting take you’ve heard on the film?

McHale: Matt Baume explains why Nomi’s story is “uniquely queer.” It might not be obvious to straight people, but there are so many aspects of her journey that LGBTQ+ people recognize as familiar and can often identify with.

RT: What is on your Indie Fresh List? 

McHale: It’s such a great moment for indie documentaries especially. I absolutely loved Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra’s doc short St. Louis Superman. I’m also really enjoying the doc series on New York’s ballroom scene My House from Viceland.

Available to rent or buy now on FandangoNOWVuduAmazonGoogle Play, and iTunes.

Along with…

  • Yourself and Yours (2020) , a South Korean drama about a young couple who decide to take a break, only for the woman to disappear and another woman who looks just like her to appear in her place.
  • Swallow (2020) , about an affluent housewife who develops a deadly case of pica — the urge to swallow inanimate objects.
  • Selah and the Spades (2020) , a teen angst drama set at an all-girls school with elite cliques.
  • The Assistant (2020) , about a young Hollywood assistant to a predatory producer who struggles when presented with daily evidence of his abuse of women.
  • Circus of Books (2020) , a documentary about an iconic gay pornographic bookstore and the quiet heterosexual couple who ran it.
  • Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) , a darkly comedic satire about the terrifying antics that ensue when an underprivileged family latches on to a more affluent one and things go sideways.
  • True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) , a stylistic re-telling of the Ned Kelly legend.
  • End of Sentence (2020) , about a father who goes a road trip with his son to honor the last wishes of his deceased wife.
  • Becky (2020) , a thriller about a girl left alone who must battle escaped convicts when they invade her vacation home.
  • Blue Story (2020) , a drama about two childhood friends who are torn apart by gang violence.
  • Why Don't You Just Die! (Papa, sdokhni) (2020) , about a man on a mission to murder his girlfriend’s father.
  • Emma. (2020) , a new adaptation of the Jane Austen novel about a naive, privileged heiress who plays matchmaker, to the detriment of her own romantic prospects.
  • The Lighthouse (2019) , a surreal psychological drama about two men who are tortured by the elements and by each other while isolated at a remote lighthouse.
  • The Vast of Night (2020) , a sci-fi thriller about a young ham radio operator and a local DJ who hear a strange radio transmission.
  • The Trip to Greece (2020) , the fourth and final installment of The Trip travel series.
  • Premature (2020) , about a young poet who has a summer romance with a music producer who has just moved to the city.
  • Working Man (2020) , about a duo of laid-off factory workers who inspire their fellow employees to keep working after their plant is closed.
  • The Wretched (2020) , about a child who discovers a dark wiccan force is kidnapping children in the forest near his house.
  • Shirley (2020) , a loose biography about the recluse novelist behind The Haunting of Hill House.
  • The Painter and the Thief (2020) , a documentary about an artist who develops an unexpected friendship with one of the men who stole some of her paintings.
  • Porno (2020) , a horror-comedy about a group of theater employees who unleash a succubus when they watch a horror film they find in storage.
  • Spaceship Earth (2020) , a documentary about the group of geological dreamers who locked themselves in Biosphere 2 in 1991 and slowly descended into chaos.

Thumbnail images by Vertical Entertainment, RLJE Films, IFC Films. 

Tag Cloud

History doctor who latino The Arrangement E3 ghosts YouTube Red 2016 directors blockbuster name the review Lucasfilm Hallmark Christmas movies Sci-Fi comics rotten movies we love X-Men LGBT medical drama Horror Baby Yoda Rocky Britbox diversity Ovation Quiz DC Universe halloween Television Academy Marvel Television based on movie Schedule Star Wars Disney Plus thriller Television Critics Association NBC 24 frames Dark Horse Comics christmas movies Red Carpet YouTube Premium stand-up comedy Video Games dragons Netflix Christmas movies Marvel children's TV anthology Amazon Studios Nominations cars The Walking Dead Travel Channel police drama Stephen King cancelled TV shows 4/20 BET Starz cancelled television comic Superheroes social media Vudu hispanic TLC Esquire Comedy Central Spectrum Originals true crime Rocketman The Witch Showtime festivals Grammys CBS Adult Swim Tarantino BBC America die hard Amazon Ghostbusters GIFs talk show casting Musical 2019 VICE Epix best Tomatazos news Freeform quibi 2017 facebook DC streaming service IFC Films CW Seed elevated horror Photos Spike crossover politics a nightmare on elm street Peacock RT21 Turner Hulu CNN natural history independent MSNBC disaster Brie Larson sports Reality Competition FOX PlayStation TV Summer Film Festival crime zombie sag awards Women's History Month Pop TV Tubi Mary Tyler Moore TBS Premiere Dates cults HBO Max kids DirecTV Arrowverse Comics on TV teaser Star Trek Mary Poppins Returns Lifetime Christmas movies Biopics Family Trophy Talk Valentine's Day critics cats TIFF MCU SXSW Food Network Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Tumblr Crackle Music Calendar movie Fall TV Discovery Channel franchise Avengers The CW Pirates Paramount Winter TV Disney Channel LGBTQ binge chucky Apple Cosplay sitcom movies mockumentary YouTube Teen concert National Geographic Funimation VOD aliens Animation Mindy Kaling TV renewals all-time Superheroe cancelled TV series Year in Review vampires Sundance TV Trivia Country SundanceTV TCA 2017 Marvel Studios zero dark thirty TNT Character Guide Drama Extras First Look documentary criterion scary movies slashers AMC Black History Month Endgame PBS Elton John NYCC romance Captain marvel WarnerMedia green book HBO game show Binge Guide Classic Film period drama RT History FX Spring TV strong female leads series science fiction comedies discovery Crunchyroll Box Office Walt Disney Pictures The Purge Reality ESPN Amazon Prime canceled TV shows award winner television Apple TV+ Fox News zombies spinoff technology APB Bravo Comedy animated dark Sundance Now screen actors guild harry potter Disney MTV Musicals Toys USA nature joker 007 streaming Heroines travel Ellie Kemper Sony Pictures Apple TV Plus unscripted E! political drama war sequel Nat Geo cartoon satire TCM biography TV Land Action New York Comic Con documentaries American Society of Cinematographers tv talk Podcast Chernobyl Emmys Oscars ratings Logo OWN cooking dramedy Rom-Com serial killer Anna Paquin canceled Pop Election spider-man Cartoon Network werewolf Masterpiece revenge Mary poppins stoner child's play 2018 indiana jones Nickelodeon El Rey Pride Month Infographic dc video IFC Rock mutant A24 reboot BET Awards universal monsters Marathons justice league Best and Worst spy thriller TCA Black Mirror hist Creative Arts Emmys Certified Fresh Opinion 71st Emmy Awards Warner Bros. DC Comics Trailer TCA Awards Fantasy Academy Awards romantic comedy President Winners BAFTA indie mission: impossible See It Skip It Martial Arts WGN miniseries Song of Ice and Fire Lifetime ITV Emmy Nominations Super Bowl Cannes spain spanish language adventure Acorn TV crime thriller Awards Tour FX on Hulu HBO Go game of thrones DGA Columbia Pictures breaking bad First Reviews what to watch OneApp cops Syfy Shudder Writers Guild of America Watching Series Film YA 2015 witnail cancelled Turner Classic Movies batman Set visit book Sundance Holidays anime psychological thriller Holiday Interview asian-american Mudbound CBS All Access 21st Century Fox psycho 45 San Diego Comic-Con Disney+ Disney Plus renewed TV shows VH1 reviews screenings twilight dceu free movies Sneak Peek USA Network Disney streaming service crime drama 20th Century Fox Lionsgate jamie lee curtis Polls and Games films finale Hallmark Hear Us Out south america Pet Sematary space ABC Mystery composers cinemax Thanksgiving Pixar Amazon Prime Video historical drama blaxploitation GLAAD SDCC Kids & Family Awards FXX Comic Book adaptation CMT Western 2020 versus robots Shondaland dogs docudrama Netflix Universal supernatural TCA Winter 2020 Paramount Network PaleyFest BBC One toy story transformers ABC Family parents theme song TruTV comiccon video on demand BBC richard e. Grant golden globes singing competition boxoffice foreign Christmas Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Countdown GoT A&E