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The 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This October

The 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This October

Indiewire has weeded through the films hitting VOD this fall month to bring you a curated list of the 11 most worth your time. You’ll find everything from one of the most divisive movies to play at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to Matthew Lillard’s winning directorial debut, from Parkey Posey’s latest zany vehicle to Todd Rohal’s follow-up to his decidedly oddball comedy “The Catechism Cataclysm.”

Here are the 11 films to watch on VOD this October, in alphabetical order:

“The Black Tulip” (October 26)

“The Black Tulip,” Afghanistan’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards, is a modern portrait of the country that captures the current plight and resilience of its people. After the Taliban is routed from Afghanistan in early 2001, the Mansouri family seizes the new window of freedom by opening a restaurant called “The Poet’s Corner,” with an open microphone and an inviting platform for all to read poetry, perform music and tell their stories. This moving film gives a voice to the people of Afghanistan by telling a story through the eyes of an everyday family from Kabul, who remain hopeful despite constant struggle and tragedy.

Where to Watch: Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Vudu, Google Play

“The Comedy” (October 24)

There was no film more ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ at Sundance this year than “The Comedy.” Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, for one, loves it. In his glowing review from Park City, he wrote: “There’s little conventionally funny about ‘The Comedy,’ but its status as a provocation is a grand joke. Director Rick Alverson (‘New Jerusalem’) has made a one-of-a-kind portrait of pathologically insecure and overpriviledged hipsters, crafting the finest awkward-bizarre character study since Ronald Bronstein’s ‘Frownland.’ The first brilliant maneuver is its casting of Tim Heidecker as the supremely unlikable lead. Best known as one half of the irreverent comedy duo from ‘Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job!,’ Heidecker embodies a supremely obnoxious Williamsburg resident committed to wisecracks, regardless of whether or not anyone laughs. Usually, they don’t — and neither do we. That’s the point.”

Where to Watch: Amazon Instant Video, Bright House, Optimum, Charter, Cox, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Vudu, Xfinity, iTunes, Rogers Anyplace TV

“Decoding Deepak” (October 5)

Deepak Chopra is that strange hybrid of celebrity and spiritual icon, known for his followers (Michael Jackson was a loyal fan) and diamond-bedazzled eyewear. But to his son Gotham, he’s just Dad. In Gotham’s feature directorial debut “Decoding Deepak,” the filmmaker and journalist attempts to separate the man from myth by following him around the world for nearly a year. The resulting documentary is a remarkably honest portrait of Deepak, as seen through the eyes of someone who knows him best.

Where to Watch: Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Vudu, Google Play

READ MORE: Deepak Chopra and His Son, Gotham, Talk About Father/Son Doc ‘Decoding Deepak’

“The Details” (October 5)

Despite being shelved for over a year, the star-studded dark comedy “The Details” looks plenty appealing if the hilarious trailer is anything to go by. That and Harvey Weinstein’s a fan — he acquired it for a whopping $8 million at Sundance in 2011. In the film, directed by Jacob Aaron Ester (“Mean Creek”), Tobey Maguire stars as a doctor whose bad luck with a pesky racoon kicks off a chain reaction of trouble in his life that includes a brush with infidelity, extortion, organ donation and a crazy cat lady. Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta and Kerry Washington all co-star.

Where to Watch: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Playstation, XBOX, Vudu, Time Warner

“Fat Kid Rules the World” (October 25)

Matthew Lillard’s directorial feature debut “Fat Kid Rules The World” opens rather inauspiciously with a suicide attempt. Fortunately for Troy BIllings (“Terri” breakout Jacob Wysocki) — our eponymous fat kid — a charismatic young high school dropout by the name of Marcus (Matt O’Leary) is there to push him out of the path of a speeding bus. Before long, Marcus has enlisted Troy as drummer in his punk band, and though Troy’s new identity gives him much-needed confidence and purpose, his father is less than thrilled by his choice of friends. The story here is not new, but given the number of indie film fans who harbor nostalgic memories of punk rock adolescence, it will warm more than a few hearts.

Where to Watch: Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV, Bright House Network, Cox, inDemand


“Hotel Noir” (October 9)

If you’re a fan of the bygone noir era, then you’ll not want to miss this black and white homage that plays like “Sin City” meets “L.A. Confidential.” Set in Los Angeles circa 1958, “Hotel Noir” centers on a detective who holes up in a downtown hotel waiting for a band of killers to come and get him. As one long night turns to day, he meets various characters with haunted pasts of their own. The all-star cast includes Carla Gugino, Danny DeVito, Rufus Sewell, Malin Akerman, Robert Forster, Rosario Dawson and Mandy Moore.

Where to Watch: Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, Time Warner


“The Loneliest Planet” (October 30)

Julia Loktev’s haunting follow-up to “Day Night Day Night,” “The Loneliest Planet,” has been on our radar since its debut at the Locarno Film Festival last year, where Eric Kohn raved, “it should help re-establish Loktev’s status as a film artist with a clear vision.” The slow burner follows a couple (Gael García Bernal and Hani Furstenberg), whose relationship is tested in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, a few months ahead of their American wedding. “The performances, particularly Bernal and Furstenberg’s ceaselessly ambiguous expressions, provide the essential glue that holds together Loktev’s conceit,” wrote Kohn. “Patient viewers will be rewarded with a pay-off worthy of post-screening debate, although it arrives with only brief nuggets of new information that nudge along a virtually non-existent plot.”

Where to Watch: Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, Time Warner

“Nature Calls” (October 4)

Todd Rohal follows up his decidedly oddball comedy “The Catechism Cataclysm” with “Nature Calls,” a more mainstream effort thanks to his headlining cast (Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville and Rob Riggle), that’s no less strange and endearing. In the film, Oswalt plays Randy, an assistant leader of his elderly father’s Boy Scout troop. When his wayward brother (Knoxville) decides to have some of the boy scouts over for a consumer-culture blowout slumber party, Randy essentially kidnaps the boys to take them on camping trip. Understandably, the crew’s parents don’t take so kindly to the news that their kids have gone missing. Cue the drama.

Watch to Watch: iTunes, Amazon, Charter, Comcast, Google Play, DirecTV, Playstation, SuddenLink, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, Vudu, XBOX

“Price Check” (October 11)

Parker Posey, ever the quirky misfit, revisits familiar territory in her new comedy, “Price Check.” Posey, who recently played a badly unhinged bookstore clerk on a string of “Louie” episodes, appears here as Susan Felders, a manic but somehow charming supermarket executive who bursts into the life of middle manager Pete Cozy (Eric Mabius) with decidedly mixed results. Like other indie comedies of recent years — “Greenberg,” “Win Win” — “Price Check” portrays a kind of middle-class American life that is frequently difficult, lonely, and, often enough, very funny.

Where to Watch: Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, Time Warner

“The Russian Winter” (October 23)

Part tour dirary, part moving biopic, “The Russian Winter” chronicles a Grammy-nominated musician’s second chance to share his talents with the world. Brooklyn-born John Forté was celebrated for his work with The Fugees at 21, only to become a federal prison inmate at 26. When his prison sentence was remarkably commuted in 2008, Forté was given the opportunity to tour across Moscow and beyond, and learn ways to communicate with a foreign world.

Where to Watch: iTunes, Amazon, Movies On Demand, Cinemanow, Playstation, Vudu, XBOX, YouTube

“Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” (October 25)

Now before you write this latest entry in the “Universal Soldier” series off, know this: upon seeing it at Fantastic Fest, Kohn wrote that it was “one of the best action movies of the year.” Series regulars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren play second fiddle in the tale. “Day of Reckoning” centers on John (Scott Adkins), a man who wakes up from a coma after his wife and daughter were brutally slaughtered in a home invasion. Haunted by the attack, John makes it his mission to hunt down the man responsible (Van Damme), and his army of genetically enhanced warriors.

Where to Watch: iTunes, Amazon, Charter, Comcast, Google Play, DirecTV, Playstation, SuddenLink, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, Vudu, XBOX

[Christopher Pomoroski and Srimathi Sridhar contributed to this article.]

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