30 Lesser Known Japanese Cult Films That Are Worth Your Time

by sidoubleyou | created - 20 Apr 2016 | updated - 20 Apr 2016 | Public

by www.tasteofcinema.com

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1. LoveDeath (2006)

158 min | Action

A man and a woman are together on the 'Chrysalis Day', the fatal day everything in your life will be decided depends on how you spend the day. A violent man holding pure love, Sai and a ... See full summary »

Director: Ryûhei Kitamura | Stars: Shinji Takeda, Nori Satô, Eiichirô Funakoshi, Kôhei Ôtomo

Votes: 174

2. Murder on D Street (1998)

95 min | Mystery

Detective Kogoro Akechi is faced with a peculiar murder case involving forgeries of classic pornographic artworks.

Director: Akio Jissôji | Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Kyûsaku Shimada, Yumi Yoshiyuki, Yûko Daike

Votes: 109

3. Mosquito on the Tenth Floor (1983)

108 min | Drama

Jukkai no Mosukito is the tragic story of a policeman who has never succeeded in anything in life and seems to be hopelessly bound to failure in all his undertakings. His ex-wife and ... See full summary »

Director: Yôichi Sai | Stars: Yûya Uchida, Ann Lewis, Kyôko Koizumi, Kai Atô

Votes: 97

4. Over Your Dead Body (2014)

Not Rated | 93 min | Horror

A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ko Shibasaki, Hideaki Itô, Hitomi Katayama, Ebizô Ichikawa

Votes: 1,085

5. Fish Story (2009)

112 min | Action, Comedy, Music

Several seemingly unrelated but surprisingly connected tales explain how a Japanese band that independently invented punk rock in 1975 will, 37 years later, ultimately save the world from destruction by comet.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Atsushi Itô, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Noriko Eguchi, Hidekazu Mashima

Votes: 2,545

6. Hazard (2005)

103 min | Crime, Drama

Faced by a society of criminals, these three youths avenge their rights.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Joe Odagiri, Jai West, Motoki Fukami, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi

Votes: 594

7. X Game (2010)

119 min | Horror

Hideaki and his 6th grade classmates Takeshi, Chie and Tetsuya, wake up to find themselves in their old elementary school after the suicide of their teacher. They are forced to torture one ... See full summary »

Director: Yôhei Fukuda | Stars: Kazuyuki Aijima, Hirofumi Araki, Shôta Chiyo, Meguru Katô

Votes: 261

8. Oppai Volleyball (2009)

102 min | Comedy, Sport

For the chance of seeing their teacher's "oppai". They took the challenge to win the volleyball tournament.

Director: Eiichirô Hasumi | Stars: Haruka Ayase, Munetaka Aoki, Tôru Nakamura, Seiji Fukushi

Votes: 539

9. Wild Zero (1999)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Horror, Music

Only legendary Japanese garage rock band Guitar Wolf can stand between a race of aliens from destroying earth with an army of zombies.

Director: Tetsuro Takeuchi | Stars: Guitar Wolf, Drum Wolf, Bass Wolf, Masashi Endô

Votes: 3,237

10. Postman Blues (1997)

110 min | Crime, Drama, Action

A postman is mistaken for a dangerous criminal by the police.

Director: SABU | Stars: Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Keisuke Horibe, Ren Osugi, Kyôko Tôyama

Votes: 1,517

11. A Man Vanishes (1967)

130 min | Documentary

92 Metascore

Plastics salesman Oshima disappeared without a word to anyone, and has been missing for two years. Shohei Imamura and his crew follow Oshima's fiancé Yoshie and actor Shigeru Tsuyuguchi as they investigate the disappearance.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Yoshie Hayakawa, Shôhei Imamura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi

Votes: 586

12. Gozu (2003)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

58 Metascore

A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Yûta Sone, Kimika Yoshino, Shôhei Hino, Keiko Tomita

Votes: 10,624 | Gross: $0.05M

13. Electric Dragon 80.000 V (2001)

55 min | Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A violent, guitar-playing, electrically charged boxer faces off against an electronic wizard half-merged with a metallic Buddha.

Director: Gakuryû Ishii | Stars: Yoshiki Arizono, Tadanobu Asano, Masakatsu Funaki, Masatoshi Nagase

Votes: 2,059

14. Bullet Ballet (1998)

87 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

A man sees his life changed forever when his fiancee shoots herself. Baffled, he wants by all means to obtain such a weapon of destruction and he finds himself caught in the middle of a ... See full summary »

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto | Stars: Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Kirina Mano, Tatsuya Nakamura, Takahiro Murase

Votes: 2,064

15. Owl (2003)

119 min | Comedy, Drama

A mother and daughter living alone in a small village in deep Japan manage to get out of poverty seducing men, who offer their sexual services and then poisoned with a drink similar to sake.

Director: Kaneto Shindô | Stars: Akira Emoto, Daijirô Harada, Mansaku Ikeuchi, Ayumi Itô

Votes: 106

16. Black Kiss (2004)

133 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Asuka is an aspiring model who moves to Tokyo to pursue her career. She moves into a small apartment with a friend of a friend, Kasumi. A bizarre murder occurs in the hotel across the ... See full summary »

Director: Macoto Tezuka | Stars: Reika Hashimoto, Kaori Kawamura, Shunsuke Matsuoka, Masanobu Andô

Votes: 280

18. Bodyguard Kiba (1993 Video)

Not Rated | 93 min | Action, Crime

A ex-prisoner hires the invincible bodyguard Kiba to protect him from vengeful Yakuza, while he travels cross-country to the location of some hidden loot.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Hisao Maki, Masaru Matsuda, Daisuke Nagakura, Ren Osugi

Votes: 319

20. RoboGeisha (2009)

TV-MA | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

After receiving robotic implants, two sisters compete as assassins.

Director: Noboru Iguchi | Stars: Asami, Naoto Takenaka, Takumi Saitoh, Yoshihiro Nishimura

Votes: 2,298

21. Samurai Reincarnation (1981)

122 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

The villain is called Amakusa Shiro Tokaisada. He is actually based on a real christian samurai. The movie was one of the inspirations for the game called 'Samurai Shodown' (actual spelling)

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Kenji Sawada, Akiko Kana, Ken Ogata

Votes: 746

22. Alien vs. Ninja (2010)

80 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

A comet crashes into a Japanese forest and a group of mighty ninjas must fight a group of killer Aliens before they reach their village and kill everyone.

Director: Seiji Chiba | Stars: Masanori Mimoto, Shûji Kashiwabara, Donpei Tsuchihira, Mika Hijii

Votes: 2,079

24. Sex Jack (1970)

70 min | Drama

During violent manifestations in late 1960s in Japan, a group of students who called themselves the Rose Colored Regiment hide in the house of a mysterious young man, and have sex with the same girl while waiting for new instructions.

Director: Kôji Wakamatsu | Stars: Tamaki Katori, Mizako Kaga, Etsuko Wakayama, Shigeru Ebara

Votes: 451

26. Ritual (2000)

128 min | Drama

A disillusioned filmmaker has an encounter with a young girl who has a ritual of repeating "Tomorrow is my birthday" everyday. He tries to communicate with her through his video camera

Director: Hideaki Anno | Stars: Shunji Iwai, Ayako Fujitani, Jun Murakami, Shinobu Ôtake

Votes: 1,551

27. Crest of Betrayal (1994)

106 min | Action, Drama, Horror

When Tamiya Iyemon joins the Asano Clan, he brings with him a legacy of death. Aside from Horibe Yasubei, he is the only one with fighting experience and could help the group carrying out their long-awaited vendetta against Lord Kira.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Kôichi Satô, Saki Takaoka, Keiko Oginome, Renji Ishibashi

Votes: 164

28. Pale Flower (1964)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime

A gangster gets released from prison and has to cope with the recent shifts of power between the gangs, while taking care of a thrill-seeking young woman, who got in bad company while gambling.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda | Stars: Ryô Ikebe, Mariko Kaga, Takashi Fujiki, Naoki Sugiura

Votes: 2,696

29. Sûpâ jaiantsu (1957)

49 min | Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure

The 1st film in the Super Giant movie series, in which the title hero saves the world from foreign terrorsts threatening Japan with a nuclear attack (Part 1 of 2)

Director: Teruo Ishii | Stars: Ken Utsui, Junko Ikeuchi, Minoru Takada, Shôji Nakayama

Votes: 25

30. Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (1971)

137 min | Drama, Music

An angst-ridden teen dealing with his dysfunctional family hits the streets. The story is inter-cut with various psychedelic, energetic vignettes.

Director: Shûji Terayama | Stars: Hideaki Sasaki, Masahiro Saito, Yukiko Kobayashi, Fudeko Tanaka

Votes: 1,278



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