Best Movies from Japan

by elvis smit | created - 22 Apr 2015 | updated - 13 May 2015 | Public

12 Lesser-Known Weird and Wonderful Movies from Japan BY DAVE JACKSON Read more: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2015/12-lesser-known-weird-and-wonderful-movies-from-japan/#ixzz3Y37YroOQ 15 Great Japanese Crime Films That Are Worth Your Time BY JAMIE LEWIS Read more: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2015/15-great-japanese-crime-films-that-are-worth-your-time/#ixzz3a3oY58Qh

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1. The Aimed School (1981)

90 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Mitamura Yuka (Hiroko Yakushimaru) is a normal shy middle school student that has psychic powers. When a new student with similar powers begins to show his skills, by stealing the student ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Ryôichi Takayanagi, Masami Hasegawa, Miyoko Akaza

Votes: 180

2. Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972)

85 min | Family, Fantasy

An inventor and his family try to raise funds to feed a giant monster named Daigoro so that he doesn't shrink. Meanwhile, a meteor lands into the sea bringing with it another giant monster ... See full summary »

Director: Toshihiro Iijima | Stars: Hiroshi Inuzuka, Akiji Kobayashi

Votes: 55

3. Shangri-La (2002)

105 min | Comedy, Drama

Follows the lives of a group of homeless people in Japan who run into a man who nearly commits suicide and decide to help him out of his financial troubles. Using their various ingenious ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Shô Aikawa, Shirô Sano, Yu Tokui, Midoriko Kimura

Votes: 171

4. Japanese Hell (1999)

Not Rated | 102 min | Horror

16 year old Rika wants to leave a murderous cult but she is sent to Hell where she meets demons and souls who have committed heinous and outrageous crimes.

Director: Teruo Ishii | Stars: Mutsumi Fujita, Hisayoshi Hirayama, Michiko Maeda, Yôko Satomi

Votes: 268

5. Executive Koala (2005)

Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Tamura is an average divorced salary-man in Japan - and also a man-sized, suit-and-tie wearing, bipedal koala bear.

Director: Minoru Kawasaki | Stars: Lee Ho, Eiichi Kikuchi, Arthur Kuroda, Shôko Nakagawa

Votes: 571

6. The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968)

82 min | Fantasy, Horror

Extremely fun Daiei adaptation of two shojo horror manga into a single, crazily FX-laden story about two rival, shape-shifting sisters who are on less than good terms. However, when an evil... See full summary »

Director: Noriaki Yuasa | Stars: Yûko Hamada, Sachiko Meguro, Yachie Matsui, Mayumi Takahashi

Votes: 122

7. Himiko (1974)

100 min | Drama, Fantasy, History

A freestyle, imagined telling of the life of shaman queen Himiko, who falls in love with her half-brother, making her powers weaken thus putting her position to risk.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda | Stars: Shima Iwashita, Masao Kusakari, Rie Yokoyama, Chôichirô Kawarasaki

Votes: 380

8. The Adventure of Denchu-Kozo (1987)

47 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

Hikari is a boy who is bullied and teased by the other boys at school because he has the odd distinction of having an electricity pole growing out of his back. However, one of his ... See full summary »

Director: Shin'ya Tsukamoto | Stars: Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, N. Senba, Tomorô Taguchi

Votes: 529

9. Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

150 min | Comedy

An outrageous collection of surreal, short attention span non-sequiturs largely revolving around Guitar Brother, his randy older sibling, and the pair's portly Caucasian brother.

Directors: Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki | Stars: Andrew Alfieri, Hideaki Anno, Moyoco Anno, Tadanobu Asano

Votes: 2,194

10. Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Unrated | 86 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

An evil feudal lord rapes a village girl on her wedding night and proceeds to ruin her and her husband's lives. After she's eventually banished from her village, the girl makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability and take revenge.

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuyuki Itô, Aiko Nagayama, Shigako Shimegi

Votes: 3,410 | Gross: $0.11M

11. Turtles Swim Faster Than Expected (2005)

90 min | Comedy

Suzume Katagura is a bored housewife who spends her days doing chores and taking care of her husband's pet turtle. One day she sees a wanted ad for spies. Hoping for some excitement she decides to give them a call.

Director: Satoshi Miki | Stars: Juri Ueno, Yû Aoi, Ryô Iwamatsu, Eri Fuse

Votes: 741

12. Dogra Magra (1988)

109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A young man kills his bride on the day of his marriage and goes insane. He wakes up in an asylum with no memory, left in the hands of two mysterious doctors who relate his condition with his biological identity.

Director: Toshio Matsumoto | Stars: Yôji Matsuda, Shijaku Katsura, Hideo Murota, Eri Misawa

Votes: 261

13. Fireworks (1997)

103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 25,828 | Gross: $0.23M

14. Sonatine (1993)

R | 94 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war then escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura

Votes: 16,511

15. Yasha (1985)

127 min | Crime, Drama

Shuji was once a feared member of the Yakuza crime syndicate, but he's reformed his ways, abandoned his old life and left the city for a small coastal fishing town where he's become an honest fisherman.

Director: Yasuo Furuhata | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ayumi Ishida, Hisamitsu Nakamura, Kenichi Kobayashi

Votes: 148

16. Vengeance Is Mine (1979)

Not Rated | 139 min | Crime, Drama

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the run.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako, Mitsuko Baishô

Votes: 5,405

17. Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

During the violent chaos of post-War Japanese black market, a young gangster called Shozo Hirono has to keep up with the rapid shifts of power between unscrupulous bosses.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Kunie Tanaka, Eiko Nakamura

Votes: 3,010

18. Boy (1969)

97 min | Drama

A young boy reluctantly aids his swindling father in a threatening scam.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Fumio Watanabe, Akiko Koyama, Tetsuo Abe, Tsuyoshi Kinoshita

Votes: 1,277

19. Death by Hanging (1968)

Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Kei Satô, Do-yun Yu, Fumio Watanabe, Hôsei Komatsu

Votes: 1,987

20. Branded to Kill (1967)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Kôji Nanbara

Votes: 7,316

21. Dragnet Girl (1933)

100 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A gangster tries to find redemption with the inadvertent help of an innocent shop girl and his jealous girlfriend will do anything to keep him.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Jôji Oka, Sumiko Mizukubo, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 613

22. A Colt Is My Passport (1967)

84 min | Action, Crime

A hit man is hired to kill a mob boss. After the deed is done, he and his driver are wanted dead by rival gangs who joined forces.

Director: Takashi Nomura | Stars: Jô Shishido, Jerry Fujio, Chitose Kobayashi, Ryôtarô Sugi

Votes: 1,435

23. 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: 2,721

24. Youth of the Beast (1963)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

A violent thug plays opposing yakuza bosses against each other.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Misako Watanabe, Tamio Kawaji, Minako Katsuki

Votes: 2,799

25. Pigs and Battleships (1961)

Not Rated | 108 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 1,831

26. The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

Not Rated | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A vengeful young man marries the daughter of a corrupt industrialist in order to seek justice for his father's suicide.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kyôko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi

Votes: 9,995

27. I Am Waiting (1957)

91 min | Action, Crime

A former boxer gets involved with a club hostess trying to escape the clutches of her gangster employer.

Director: Koreyoshi Kurahara | Stars: Yûjirô Ishihara, Mie Kitahara, Isamu Kosugi, Kenjirô Uemura

Votes: 630



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