• Gabe Powers

Grinding the Stream February 2021 UPDATES: Japanese Cult Cinema

New year, new me, new you, same pandemic! It's time to revisit Grinding the Stream for February 2021. 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, Peacock, Fandor, 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). Arrow started their own paid service recently, so I'm going to start including them where applicable.


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.



Kinji Fukasaku Movies

  • Street Mobster (1972) – Arrow

  • Battles Without Honor and Humanity/Yakuza Papers Series: Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973), Hiroshima Death Match (aka: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima, 1973), Proxy War (1973), Police Tactics (1974), Final Episode (1974) – Amazon Prime, Tubi, Arrow, and Midnight Pulp +

  • New Battles Without Honor and Humanity Series: New Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1974), Head of the Boss (1975), Last Days of the Boss (1976) – Amazon Prime

  • Graveyard of Honor (1975) – Arrow

  • Cops vs. Thugs (1975) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Night Flight, and Midnight Pulp +

  • Doberman Cop (1977) – Amazon Prime and Arrow

  • Message from Space (1978) Amazon Prime

  • Virus (1980) Midnight Pulp, Popcorn Flix, and Tubi

  • Samurai Reincarnation (1981) – The Roku Channel and Tubi

  • Fall Guy (1982) – Criterion Channel

  • Legend of the Eight Samurai (1983) – Tubi

  • Battle Royale (2000) – The Roku Channel, Plato TV, and Tubi


Seijun Suzuki Movies

  • The Boy Who Came Back (1958) Amazon Prime

  • Voice Without a Shadow (1958) – Amazon Prime

  • Smashing the 0-Line (1960) – Amazon Prime

  • The Madness of Youth (1960) Criterion Channel

  • Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) Criterion Channel

  • Tokyo Knights (1961) – Amazon Prime

  • The Man with a Shotgun (1961) – Amazon Prime

  • Teenage Yakuza (1962) – Amazon Prime and Arrow

  • Youth of the Beast (1963) – Criterion Channel

  • Gate of Flesh (1964) – Criterion Channel

  • Born Under Crossed Stars (1965) – Midnight Pulp and Tubi

  • Story of a Prostitute (1965) – Criterion Channel

  • Fighting Elegy (1966) – Criterion Channel

  • Tokyo Drifter (1966) – Criterion Channel

  • Branded to Kill (1967) – Criterion Channel

  • Zigeunerweisen (1980) – Arrow

  • Kagero-za (1981) – Amazon Prime and Arrow

  • Lupin the Third: The Legend of the Gold of Babylon (co-directed with Shigetsugu Yoshida, 1985) – Amazon Prime

  • Yumeji (1991) – Amazon Prime and Arrow


Takashi Miike Movies

  • Shinjuku Triad Society (1995) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Rainy Dog (1997) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Ley Lines (1999) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, and Midnight Pulp

  • Audition (1999) – Shudder, Arrow, and Tubi

  • Dead or Alive Series: Dead or Alive (1999), Dead or Alive 2: Birds (2000), Dead or Alive: Final (2002) – Amazon Prime, Arrow (first film only), and Midnight Pulp +

  • Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Ichi the Killer (2001) – Shudder

  • Graveyard of Honor (2002) – Arrow and Midnight Pulp

  • One Missed Call (2003) – Arrow, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Gozu (2003) – Midnight Pulp and Tubi

  • Three… Extremes (anthology co-directed with Fruit Chan and Park Chan-wook, 2004) – Amazon Prime

  • Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) – Peacock, VUDU Free, Pluto TV, and Tubi

  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2007) – Fandor

  • Thirteen Assassins (2010) – HULU and The Roku Channel

  • Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Over Your Dead Body (2014) Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) – VUDU Free, Pluto TV, and The Roku Channel

  • Terra Formars (2016) – Arrow and lTubi

  • Blade of the Immortal (2017) – Amazon Prime and HULU



Meiko Kaji Movies

  • Retaliation (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1968) – Amazon Prime

  • Outlaw: Gangster VIP 2 (Keiichi Ozawa, 1968) Amazon Prime

  • Stray Cat Rock Series: Delinquent Girl Boss (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1970), Wild Jumbo (Toshiya Fujita, 1970), Sex Hunter (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1970), Machine Animal (Yasuharu Hasebe. 1970), and Beat ’71 (Toshiya Fujita, 1971) Arrow and Amazon Prime (Sex Hunter only)

  • Blind Woman’s Curse (Teruo Ishii, 1970) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, and Midnight Pulp

  • Female Prisoner Scorpion Series: #701: Scorpion (Shunya Ito, 1972), Jailhouse 41 (Shunya Ito, 1972), Beast Stable (Shunya Ito, 1973), Grudge Song (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1973) – Amazon Prime (missing the first movie), Shudder, Arrow, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi (missing Jailhouse 41)

  • Lady Snowblood Series: Lady Snowblood (1973) and Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974, both directed by Toshiya Fujita) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • (She also appears in Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima)


Toshio Masuda

  • The Burmese Harp (1956) – Criterion Channel

  • Rusty Knife (1958) – Criterion Channel

  • Red Pier (1958) – Amazon Prime

  • The Tragedy of Today (1958) – Criterion Channel

  • Outlaw: Gangster VIP (1968) – Amazon Prime


Shinya Tsukamoto Movies

  • Tetsuo the Iron Man (1989) – Shudder and Arrow

  • Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992) – Arrow

  • Tokyo Fist (1995) – Arrow

  • Bullet Ballet (1999) – Arrow

  • A Snake of June (2003) – Arrow

  • Tetsuo the Bullet Man (2009) – HULU

  • Kotoko (2011) – Arrow

  • Killing (2018) – Arrow


Kiyoshi Kurosawa Movies

  • The Guard from the Underground (1992) – Fandor

  • Cure (1997) Criterion Channel

  • Pulse (2001) – Tubi and VUDU Free

  • Doppelganger (2003) Tubi

  • Loft (2005) Midnight Pulp

  • Tokyo Sonata (2008) – Tubi

  • Creepy (2016) – Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, and Tubi

  • Before We Vanish (2017) – HULU


Samurai Franchises

  • Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice (Kenji Misumi, 1972), The Snare (Yasuzō Masumura, 1973), and Who’s Got the Gold (Yoshio Inoue, 1974) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (Kenji Misumi, 1972), Baby Cart on the River Styx (Kenji Misumi, 1972), Baby Cart to Hades (Kenji Misumi, 1972), Baby Cary in Peril (Buichi Saito, 1972), Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (Kenji Misumi, 1973), White Heaven in Hell (Yoshiyuki Kuroda, 1974) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max (the re-edited American release, Shogun Assassin, is also available via Criterion Channel)

  • All 25 original Zatoichi movies are on Criterion Channel exclusively.


Bloodthirsty Trilogy

  • The Vampire Doll (Michio Yamamoto, 1970) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Tubi, and Midnight Pulp

  • Lake of Dracula (Michio Yamamoto, 1971) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Tubi, and Midnight Pulp

  • Evil of Dracula (Michio Yamamoto, 1974) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Tubi, and Midnight Pulp



Japanese Horror, Ghost Stories, Other Weirdo Genre Stuff

This is a quite large and quite broad category, so take this as recommended movies that I assume haven’t been as widely seen as, say Ringu (1998) or Ju-on (2002).

  • Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Tokaido Yotsuya kaidan (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1959) – Criterion Channel

  • Jigoku (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1960) – Criterion Channel

  • Matango (Ishirō Honda, 1963) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1964) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Onibaba (Kaneto Shindō, 1964) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • The Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1966) – Criterion Channel

  • Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindō, 1968) – Criterion Channel

  • The Living Skeleton (Hiroshi Matsuno, 1968) – Criterion Channel

  • Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (Hajime Sato, 1968) – Criterion Channel

  • Wolf Guy (Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, 1975) – Arrow and Midnight Pulp

  • Hausu (aka: House; Nobuhiko Ōbayashi, 1977) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Evil Dead Trap (Toshiharu Ikeda, 1988) – Midnight Pulp

  • Battle Girl: Living Dead In Tokyo Bay (Kazuo Komizu, 1991) Midnight Pulp

  • Rubber's Lover (Shozin Fukui, 1996) – Midnight Pulp +

  • Versus (Ryûhei Kitamura, 2000) – Fandor

  • Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (Naoyuki Tomomatsu, 2001) Midnight Pulp

  • Karaoke Terror (Tetsuo Shinohara, 2003) – Midnight Pulp

  • Marebito (Takashi Shimizu, 2004) Midnight Pulp and VUDU Free

  • Rampo Noir (Akio Jissoji, Suguru Takeuchi, Hisayasu Satô, and Atsushi Kaneko, 2005) Midnight Pulp

  • The World Sinks Except Japan (Minoru Kawasaki, 2006) – Midnight Pulp

  • One Cut of the Dead (Shinichiro Ueda, 2017) – Shudder


Other Crime/Yakuza Movies

  • The Rambling Guitarist (Buichi Saito, 1959) – Amazon Prime

  • The Sun’s Burial (Nagisa Oshima, 1960) – Criterion Channel

  • Danger Pays (Kô Nakahira, 1962) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • Black Lizard (Umetsugu Inoue, 1962) – Criterion Channel

  • Cruel Gun Story (Takumi Furukawa, 1964) – Criterion Channel

  • Iron Finger (Jun Fukuda, 1965) – Criterion Channel

  • A Colt Is My Passport (Takashi Nomura, 1967) – Criterion Channel

  • Violence at Noon (Nagisa Oshima, 1966) – Criterion Channel

  • Massacre Gun (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1967) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp

  • Golden Eyes (Jun Fukuda, 1968) – Criterion Channel

  • Outlaw: Gangster VIP Series: Outlaw: Gangster VIP (Toshio Masuda, 1968), Outlaw: Gangster VIP 2 (Keiichi Ozawa, 1968), Outlaw: Heartless (Mio Ezaki, 1968), Outlaw: Goro the Assassin (Keiichi Ozawa, 1968), Outlaw: Black Dagger (Keiichi Ozawa, 1968), Outlaw: Kill! (Keiichi Ozawa, 1968) – Amazon Prime

  • Vengeance is Mine (Shohei Imamura, 1979) – Criterion Channel and Fandor

  • Onimasa: A Japanese Godfather (Hideo Gosha, 1982) – Midnight Pulp



Godzilla Series

  • Godzilla (Japanese: Gojira; Ishirō Honda, 1954) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Godzilla Raids Again (Motoyoshi Oda, 1955) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Mothra vs. Godzilla (Ishirō Honda, 1964) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (Ishirō Honda, 1964) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Invasion of the Astro-Monster (Ishirō Honda, 1965) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Jun Fukuda, 1966) – Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Son of Godzilla (Jun Fukuda, 1967) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Destroy All Monsters (Ishirō Honda, 1968) Criterion Channel, HBO Max, and Tubi

  • All Monsters Attack (Ishirō Honda, 1969) Criterion Channel

  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Yoshimitsu Banno, 1971) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Godzilla vs. Gigan (Jun Fukuda, 1972) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Godzilla vs. Megalon (Jun Fukuda, 1973) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (Jun Fukuda, 1974) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Terror of Mechagodzilla (Ishirō Honda, 1975) Criterion Channel, and HBO Max

  • Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (Kensho Yamashita, 1994) – Crackle

  • Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Takao Okawara, 1995) – Crackle

  • Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (Masaaki Tezuka, 2000) – The Roku Channel

  • Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (Masaaki Tezuka, 2002) – The Roku Channel

  • Godzilla Final Wars (Ryûhei Kitamura, 2004) – Crackle

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Michael Dougherty, 2019) – HBO Max


Gamera Series

  • Gamera (Noriaki Yuasa, 1965) – Arrow

  • Gamera the Invincible (American re-edit; Noriaki Yuasa & Sandy Howard, 1965) – Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera vs. Barugon (Shigeo Tanaka, 1966) – Arrow, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera vs. Gyaos (Noriaki Yuasa, 1967) – Arrow, Shout Factory TV, Plato TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera vs. Viras (Noriaki Yuasa, 1968) – Arrow, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera vs. Guiron (Noriaki Yuasa, 1969) – Amazon Prime, Arrow, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera vs. Jiger (Noriaki Yuasa, 1970) – Arrow and Tubi

  • Gamera vs. Zigra (Noriaki Yuasa, 1971) – Arrow, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera: Super Monster (Noriaki Yuasa, 1980) – Arrow, Shout Factory TV, and Tubi

  • Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (Shusuke Kaneko, 1995) – Arrow

  • Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (Shusuke Kaneko, 1996) – Arrow

  • Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (Shusuke Kaneko, 1999) – Arrow

  • Gamera the Brave (Ryuta Tasaki, 2006) – Arrow


Other Kaiju Movies

  • Rodan (Ishirō Honda, 1956) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • War of the Gargantuas (Ishirō Honda, 1966) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Daimajin (Kimiyoshi Yasuda, 1966) – YouTube

  • Return of Daimajin (Kenji Misumi, 1966) – YouTube

  • Daimajin Strikes Again (Issei Mori, 1966) – YouTube

  • The X from Outer Space (Kazui Nihonmatsu, 1967) Criterion Channel and HBO Max

  • Space Amoeba (Ishirō Honda, 1970) – Amazon Prime

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