• Gabe Powers

Grinding the Stream April 2021 UPDATES: Chinese/Hong Kong Cult Cinema

Welcome to spring on the stream! As per usual, I'm including as many movies as I can per each category as I scour Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Criterion Channel, HBO Max, Arrow, Peacock, Shudder, Tubi, Midnight Pulp (a "+" will be included wherever subscription fees apply), VUDU’s free selections, The Roku Channel, Popcorn Flix, Crackle, Dark Matter TV, Night Flight, Shout Factory TV (though most of their titles can also be watched via Amazon Prime). I've also started adding Paramount + titles


Again, be warned – all of the free apps have ad breaks (I know, it sucks) and the video quality is inconsistent from app to app. Sometimes it's genuine HD, other times, it's sub-VHS. I've also included links to my own reviews of some of these films.



King Hu Movies

  • Dragon Inn (1967) – Criterion Channel

  • Touch of Zen (1971) – Criterion Channel

  • The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) – The Roku Channel

  • Raining in the Mountain (1979) – Criterion Channel


Liu Chia-Liang Movies

  • The Spiritual Boxer (1975) – Amazon Prime

  • Executioners from Shaolin (1977) Amazon Prime and Pluto TV

  • The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) – Amazon Prime

  • Shaolin Mantis (1978) – Amazon Prime

  • Spiritual Boxer II (1979) Amazon Prime

  • Return to the 36th Chamber (1980) – Netflix

  • Legendary Weapons of China (1982) – Netflix

  • The Lady Is the Boss (1983) Amazon Prime

  • Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984) – Amazon Prime

  • Disciples of the 36th Chamber (1985) – Netflix

  • Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986) – Netflix


Chang Cheh Movies

  • The Magnificent Trio (1966) Amazon Prime

  • The One-Armed Swordsman (1967) – Amazon Prime

  • The Assassin (1967) – Amazon Prime

  • Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969) Amazon Prime

  • The Invincible Fist (1969) Amazon Prime

  • Have Sword Will Travel (1969) Amazon Prime

  • The Flying Dagger (1969) Amazon Prime

  • The Heroic Ones (1970) Amazon Prime

  • Duel of Fists (1971)Amazon Prime

  • The Deadly Duo (1971) – Amazon Prime

  • The Water Margin (co-directed with Pao Hsueh-Li and Wu Ma, 1972) – Amazon Prime

  • The Delightful Forest (co-directed with Pao Hsueh-Li, 1972) – Amazon Prime

  • The Boxer from Shantung (co-directed with Pao Hsueh-Li, 1972) Amazon Prime

  • The Angry Guest (1972) Amazon Prime

  • Man of Iron (co-directed with Pao Hsueh-Li, 1972) – Amazon Prime

  • The Pirate (co-directed with Wu Ma & Pao Hsueh-Li, 1973)Amazon Prime

  • Iron Bodyguard (1973)Amazon Prime

  • Shaolin Martial Arts (1974) Amazon Prime

  • The Savage Five (1974) – Amazon Prime

  • The Four Assassins (1975) – Amazon Prime

  • Shaolin Temple (1976) – Amazon Prime

  • Magnificent Wanderers (1977) Amazon Prime

  • The Five Deadly Venoms (aka: The Five Venoms, 1978) – Netflix and Pluto TV

  • Kid with the Golden Arm (1979) – Amazon Prime

  • Two Champions of Shaolin (1980) Netflix and Amazon Prime

  • The Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1981) Amazon Prime

  • Ode to Gallantry (1982) Amazon Prime

  • Five Element Ninjas (1982) – Netflix

  • The Weird Man (1983) Amazon Prime

  • Shanghai 13 (1984) – Tubi


Other Shaw Bros. Classics

There are so many of these available, so I’ve narrowed it down to personal favorites.

  • Princess Yang Kwei Fei (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1955) – Criterion (pre-Shaw Bros. Shaw & Sons)

  • The Twin Swords (Hsu Tseng-Hung, 1965) Amazon Prime

  • The Sword and the Lute (Hsu Tseng-Hung, 1967) Amazon Prime

  • The 14 Amazons (Cheng Kang, 1972) Amazon Prime

  • The Flying Guillotine (Ho Meng-Hua, 1975) – Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Pluto TV

  • Master of the Flying Guillotine (Jimmy Wang Yu, 1976) – VUDU Free and Pluto TV

  • The Battle Wizard (Pao Hsueh-Li, 1977) – Amazon Prime

  • Clan of Amazons (Chor Yuen, 1978) Amazon Prime

  • Flying Guillotine II (Hua Shan and Cheng Kang, 1978) – Netflix and Amazon Prime

  • The One-Armed Boxer (Jimmy Wang Yu, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Five Fingers of Death (Jeong Chang-hwa, 1972) – Amazon Prime

  • Black Lizard (Chor Yuen, 1981) – Amazon Prime



Jackie Chan Movies (see more below)

  • The Cub Tiger from Kwang Tung (Gam Yam, Ngai Hoi-Fung, and Corey Yuen, 1973) Amazon Prime and Roku Channel

  • New Fist of Fury (Lo Wei, 1976) Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Hand of Death (John Woo, 1976) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Shaolin Wooden Men (Chen Chi-Hwa, 1976) – Pluto TV

  • The 36 Crazy Fists (Chen Chi-Hwa, 1977) Tubi

  • To Kill with Intrigue (Lo Wei & Kim Jin-tae, 1977) – Pluto TV

  • Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (Chen Chi-Hwa, 1978) Criterion Channel

  • Spiritual Kung Fu (Lo Wei, 1978) – Criterion Channel

  • Fearless Hyena (Jackie Chan and Kenneth Tsang, 1979) – Amazon Prime, Criterion Channel, Pluto TV, and Roku Channel

  • The Big Brawl (Robert Clouse, 1980) Amazon Prime, Tubi, Crackle, and Shout Factory TV

  • The Young Master (Jackie Chan, 1980) – Criterion Channel, and Midnight Pulp

  • Dragon Lord (Jackie Chan, 1982) – Paramount +

  • Fearless Hyena II (Lo Wei and Chuan Chen, 1983) Criterion Channel and Pluto TV

  • Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • The Protector (James Glickenhaus, 1985) – Tubi

  • Project A: Part II (Jackie Chan, 1987) – Paramount +

  • Police Story 2 (Jackie Chan, 1988) – Criterion Channel

  • Island of Fire (Chu Yen-ping, 1990) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, Pluto TV, and Tubi

  • Operation Condor (Jackie Chan, 1991) – Paramount + and Pluto TV (US cut)

  • Police Story 3: Super Cop (Jackie Chan, 1992) – Paramount +

  • City Hunter (Wong Jing, 1993) – Amazon Prime, Popcorn Flix, Tubi, Pluto TV, and Shout Factory TV

  • Crime Story (Kirk Wong, 1993) – VUDU Free, Pluto TV, and Tubi

  • Rumble in the Bronx (Stanley Tong, 1995) – Tubi


Sammo Hung (directed) Movie

  • Knockabout (1979) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • The Victim (1980) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • The Prodigal Son (1981) – Midnight Pulp

  • Project A (co-directed with Jackie Chan, 1983) – Paramount +

  • Wheels on Meals (starring Jackie Chan, 1984) – Amazon Prime and Paramount +

  • Heart of Dragon (starring Jackie Chan, 1985) – Midnight Pulp

  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars (starring Jackie Chan, 1985) – Paramount +

  • My Lucky Stars (starring Jackie Chan, 1985) – Criterion Channel

  • Eastern Condors (1987) – Midnight Pulp

  • Dragons Forever (starring Jackie Chan, 1988) – Paramount +

  • Painted Faces (1988) – Netflix (drama based on the true childhood Peking Opera training of Hung, Chan, and Yuen Biao)

  • BONUS: Lucky Stars Go Places (third sequel in the Lucky Stars series, starring and produced by Hung, directed by Eric Tsang) Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp


Yuen Woo-ping Movies

  • The Bloody Fists (Ng See-Yuen director, Yuen choreographer, 1972) – Tubi

  • Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (starring Jackie Chan, 1978) – Midnight Pulp

  • Drunken Master (staring Jackie Chan, 1978) – Pluto TV

  • Born Invincible (Joseph Kuo director, Yuen choreographer, 1978) – Amazon Prime

  • Magnificent Butcher (co-directed with Sammo Hung, 1979) – Midnight Pulp

  • Dance of the Drunk Mantis (1979) VUDU Free and Tubi

  • Dreadnaught (1981) – Midnight Pulp

  • Legend of a Fighter (1982) – Tubi

  • The Miracle Fighters (1982) – YouTube

  • Shaolin Drunkard (1983) Amazon Prime

  • Drunken Tai Chi (1984) – Pluto TV

  • In the Line of Duty 4 (1989) Amazon Prime

  • Iron Monkey (1993) – Paramount + (US cut)

  • Wing Chun (1994) – YouTube

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (directed by Ang Lee, 2000) – Amazon Prime

  • Fearless (Ronny Yu director, Yuen choreographer, 2006) – Peacock

  • The Forbidden Kingdom (Rob Minkoff director, Yuen choreographer, 2008) – HULU and Pluto TV

  • True Legend (2010) Tubi and Pluto TV

  • The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai director, Yuen choreographer, 2013) – Netflix, Roku Channel, and Tubi

  • The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (2017) – Amazon Prime

  • Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (starring Michelle Yeoh, 2018) Netflix


Michelle Yeoh Action Movies

  • Royal Warriors (David Chung, 1986) – Midnight Pulp

  • Magnificent Warriors (David Chung, 1987) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Police Story 3: Super Cop (Jackie Chan, 1992) – Paramount +

  • Butterfly Sword (Michael Mak, 1993) – YouTube

  • The Heroic Trio (Johnnie To,1993) – YouTube

  • Wing Chun (Yuen Woo-ping, 1994) – YouTube

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000) – Amazon Prime

  • Silver Hawk (Jingle Ma, 2004) – Popcorn Flix

  • Reign of Assassins (John Woo & Chao-Bin Su, 2010) – Pluto TV and Tubi



Tsui Hark Movies (directed, written, and/or produced)

  • Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind (1980) YouTube

  • We're Going to Eat You (1980) – YouTube

  • Chinese Ghost Story, A Chinese Ghost Story II, and A Chinese Ghost Story III (all directed by Ching Siu-Tung, 1987) Amazon Prime

  • Once Upon a Time in China (featuring Yuen choreography, 1991) – Amazon Prime

  • Green Snake (1993) – YouTube

  • Knock Off (1998) – Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, and Tubi

  • The Era of Vampires (aka: Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters, 2003) – Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, and Tubi

  • Seven Swords (2005) – Amazon Prime, Roku Channel, Crackle, and Tubi

  • Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010) – Amazon Prime, Pluto TV, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi


Category III Movies

In 1988, Hong Kong introduced a rating system that included Category III. These were essentially X-rated softcore sex, nudity, graphic violence, and mention of real Triad gangs. There's a short sort of "Golden Era" of Cat III movies released between '88 and 1997, when the colony was absorbed by Mainland China.

  • The Seventh Curse (Lam Nai-Choi, 1986) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (Lam Nai-Choi, 1991) – Tubi

  • Sex and Zen (Michael Mak, 1991) – Midnight Pulp +

  • The Holy Virgin Versus the Evil Dead (Tony Lou Chun-Ku, 1991) – YouTube

  • Lethal Panther (Godfrey Ho, 1991) – YouTube

  • The Untold Story (Danny Lee Sau-Yin and Herman Yau, 1993) – Shudder and VUDU Free

  • Eternal Evil of Asia (Man Kei Chin, 1995) – YouTube

  • Ebola Syndrome (Herman Yau, 1996) – YouTube


Other Horror, Fantasy, and Cult Titles

  • The Oily Maniac (Ho Meng-Hua, 1976) – Amazon Prime

  • Bruce Lee in New Guinea (Yang Chi-yao, 1978) – Tubi

  • Last Hurrah for Chivalry (John Woo, 1979) – Criterion Channel

  • Witch from Nepal (Ching Siu-Tung, 1986) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Future Cops (aka: Super School Overlord; Wong Jing, 1993) – YouTube (MUST SEE action comedy satire of The Terminator featuring superstar actors as Street Fighter characters)

  • The Bride with the White Hair (Ronny Yu, 1993) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • The Bride with the White Hair II (Davide Wu, 1993) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • BONUS: Drive (Steve Wang, 1997) – VUDU Free and Tubi (underseen American/Taiwanese/Japanese co-production)


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