The Roku device is a gift from heaven’s retail store (list price $99 last I checked). With this tiny little device that connects to the internet via either ethernet cable or what some native cultures would describe as supernatural means that don’t require an actual physical connection to your wireless router, you can stream nearly every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or improve your odds of winning a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon by watching about a dozen of his movies any time and as often as you watch. You need a subscription to Netflix to do this, of course. Now, there is another reason to invest in the Roku and it is an actual free gift from heaven for lovers of classic and cult film.
Sunimi has teamed up with Roku to deliver free streaming of hundreds of mostly public domain films. Most of these are in glorious black and white so those hypocrites who watch music videos shot in black and white over and over again, but resist watching black and white movies should beware. Intelligent movie lovers should rejoice. Sunimi offers 400 days of summer, winter, autumn and spring delights and surprises.
For instance, just this morning I finished watching a nifty little adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich story titled Fear in the Night. My favorite film noir of all time, Phantom Lady, was taken from a Woolrich story and this other film just proves that this guy was the greatest at doing what he did. Fear in the Night, available for free streaming on the ACM feed, was the first starring role for Deforest Kelley, otherwise known as Bones McCoy to fans of Star Trek. Fear in the Night is one of those movies that you will never see on network television stations again, but that used to be shown maybe ten times a year, usually late at night.
The ACM feed on Sunimi currently provides classic, cult and old movie lovers with 400 choices that range from a 1916 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Green Hornet serial chapters to dramatized version of the story of Coca-Cola titled Always Tomorrow. Sunimi’s comedy feed has 50 movie titles ranging from Abbott and Costello’s Africa Screams to Buster Keaton’s College to Meet John Doe.
Sunimi’s film noir feed contains 48 movies that stretch the definition of film noir from the classic D.O.A to a movie featuring Johnny Cash as a Door-to-Door Maniac to the proof that Mickey Rooney actually could act when he was younger in Quicksand.
Archive.org has half a hundred movies available for streaming from Sunimi. Take a chance on a movie made at the height of the always-annoying Swinging London scene called Baby Love or dive into the madness of D.W. Griffith with Broken Blossoms. Go strictly for horror with Die Sister Die or see for yourself why Thomas Edison was no genius with his silent version of Frankenstein.
SF and horror fans can delight with Sunimi streaming of movies with titles like Destroy All Planets, I Drink Your Blood and one of the all-time classic movie titles: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.
You will find that several titles overlap on the feeds offered by Sunimi and that almost all the titles are also available on the Roku’s Drive-In Theater and Moonlight Movies channels. The difference is that while those latter two cost three bucks for a year, Sunimi’s movies are all free. At least for now. Those who miss going to bed watching movies that had less than one-tenth the budget of Transformers but more than 100 times the creativity will be getting some bad night’s sleep shortly.
A bonus: The combination of Sunimi and Roku allow you to watch several movies featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in their original version so you can see scenes that were cut.