Free Apple TV app lets you mainline weird video


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Oh, come on. Anyone can watch good movies on their Apple TV.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

A new Apple TV app promises to give you all the insane, free content you can handle, and it delivers.

Rewinder is a free download in the Apple TV App Store, and it’s crammed full of the educational films, classic-TV anthologies, and questionable B-movies you didn’t know you had to see. If you’re a fan of shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000, which delight in the overly earnest and misguided, it’s exactly what’s been missing from your weekend viewing parties.

The app is a partnership with The Internet Archive, which aims to provide “Universal access to knowledge.” And part of that universality is the sort of legendary and graphic drivers-education videos that your parents and grandparents have told you about. I’m speaking of things like Signal 30, a film made in cooperation with the Ohio Highway Patrol that shows the horrifying aftermaths of real-life accidents.

But if actual violence isn’t your thing, you can also check out Shake Hands with Danger, a more dramatized cautionary film about the perils of working around big machines. Narrator “Three-Finger Joe” delivers his particular brand of wisdom via catchy songs which are often delivered over the prone figures of actors pretending to be injured or dead.

It isn’t all about safety, however. Rewinder also features a wealth of animated content like Max Fleischer’s series of Superman shorts from the ’40s. You can also check out old live-action TV like, for some reason, The Beverly Hillbillies.

I didn’t even recognize most of the feature-length films on offer, but the app does have some of the movies featured on cult-classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000. And if you think you can handle watching something like Manos: The Hands of Fate without hosts Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson and their robot friends cracking jokes through the whole thing, you are welcome to it.

But I would recommend taking a lot of breaks because those things take a toll.