Best Cult Action Movies on HBO Max (November 2022)

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Within the midst of the overwhelming choices on streaming providers, many cult movies from the late twentieth-century fall to the wayside in favor of latest motion films. From hidden gems of samurai cinema to important motion thrillers, HBO Max is a treasure trove of neglected favorites from the golden age of grindhouse theaters in addition to the heyday of dwelling video. That includes underseen style favorites and underrated motion masterpieces, this record goals to supply an entry level into the extraordinary world of cult motion cinema for audiences searching for one thing completely different from up to date franchise fare.

Editor’s observe: This text was up to date November 2022 to incorporate The Most Harmful Sport.

RELATED: 7 Finest New Motion pictures on HBO Max in March 2022


Destroy All Monsters (1968)


Run Time: 1 hr 29 min | Director: Ishirō Honda

Solid: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yoshio Tsuchiya

Half a century earlier than the Avengers assembled for Endgame, Ishirō Honda achieved probably the most bold franchise cross-overs in movie historical past with Destroy All Monsters. When a legion of aliens liberates the entire most well-known kaiju — together with Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and extra — from their dwelling on Monster Island, chaos ensues the world over. Combining the tactile attraction of early monster films with the rip-roaring ensemble motion of latest superhero movies, Destroy All Monsters captures a vital period in motion cinema historical past with vibrant manufacturing design and extremely energetic pacing.

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The Most Harmful Sport (1932)

The Most Dangerous Game - 1932

Run Time: 1 hr 3 min | Director: Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack

Solid: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, Robert Armstrong

Primarily based on the traditional story The Most Harmful Sport, this 1932 movie comes from administrators Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack, who craft a suspenseful cinematic journey throughout a time of sensible results. The Most Harmful Sport is the mysterious story of how a luxurious yacht full of passengers finds itself stranded on a distant island with an unstable hunter who reveals his most popular prey is people themselves. The Most Harmful Sport is an thrilling return to traditional cinema with stars Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, and Robert Armstrong frolicking vigorously via the scenes, chasing and being chased whereas permitting the story to unfold round them. – Yael Tygiel

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47 Ronin (2013)

Movie still of 47 Ronin

Run Time: 2 hrs 8 min | Director: Carl Rinsch

Solid: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki

In 47 Ronin, Keanu Reeves(Invoice and Ted Face the Music) stars as a person deserted, enslaved, and later enlisted for a mission to avenge a loss of life. When a samurai grasp is murdered dishonorably by a savagely ruthless, evil warlord shogun, forty-seven of his followers embark on a journey of revenge, bringing Reeves with them. Director Carl Rinsch remakes a preferred Japanese story with a stunning mystical aesthetic and gorgeous motion choreography. Masterfully shot, 47 Ronin makes use of shut fight and precision sword preventing intermingled with bigger motion sequences, whimsical components, and blazing explosions to engulf the display with an infinite visible spectacle. – Yael Tygiel

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Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

bonnie and clyde movie image
Picture through Warner Bros.

Run Time: 1 hr 51 min | Director: Arthur Penn

Solid: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael Pollard, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons

Primarily based on the real-life ruthless robbers, Bonnie and Clyde stars Warren Beatty(Bulworth) and Faye Dunaway (Chinatown) because the notorious legal couple. Following their journey of ardour and mischief, Bonnie and Clyde explores the couple from their fateful assembly to their final demise. Sandwiched between shootouts and automotive chases, Bonnie and Clyde focuses on each the crime spree these younger individuals embark on, in addition to their whirlwind romance. Beatty and Dunaway’s playfulness in these characters is palpable on display, supported by an unbelievable solid, together with Gene Hackmanas Buck Barrow. A fantastically crafted movie from Arthur Penn, Bonnie and Clyde brings historical past to life. – Yael Tygiel

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Soiled Harry (1971)


Run Time: 1 hr 42 min | Director: Don Siegel, Clint Eastwood

Solid: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino

Soiled Harry, Clint Eastwood’s most well-known movie, is an action-packed legal thriller starring the beloved cowboy as a gritty and difficult San Francisco detective decided to search out and seize a psychopathic serial killer. Soiled Harry is a groundbreaking neo-noir that set the tone and magnificence for the loose-cannon cop and rogue officer movie style, permitting Eastwood to proceed creating goalposts for cinematic historical past. Eastwood not solely starred within the film but additionally directed a sequence alongside the movie’s director Don Siegel (Invasion of the Physique Snatchers) and continued to play the position within the subsequent sequel movies. – Yael Tygiel

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First Blood (1982)

Picture through Orion Footage

Run Time: 1 hr 33 min | Director: Ted Kotcheff

Solid: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna

The primary installment of the Rambo franchise, First Blood, which was co-written by star Sylvester Stallone(The Expendables), is a couple of struggle veteran being hunted by police, army, and authorities officers. First Blood depends on gargantuan firefights, explosions, and bloodbaths to set the gratuitously thrilling tone for the motion sequence based mostly on David Morrell’s novel. Director Ted Kotcheff (Weekend at Bernie’s) types a monumental motion movie solidifying his imaginative and prescient with a younger and animated Stallone as a strong-willed and testosterone-fueled commando bolstered by co-stars Brian Dennehy(Cocoon) and Richard Crenna. – Yael Tygiel

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Goal, Burma (1945)

objective burma
Picture through Warner Bros.

Run Time: 2 hrs 22 min | Director: Raoul Walsh

Solid: Errol Flynn, James Brown, William Prince

Goal, Burma is a shifting army movie starring Errol Flynn and James Brown (Lassie). Flynn and Brown play two paratroopers who land with their squad within the Japanese-occupied Burmese Jungle with a mission to sabotage the enemy’s radar station. Though they succeed of their mission, the particular ops platoon is stranded when issues blunder their exit technique. Raoul Walsh (The Roaring Twenties) transforms California into the jungles of Asia, developing hard-hitting explosive motion flanking visceral tedium because the troop treks via enemy territory. Goal, Burma is a radical and considerate drama, revealing the heroic journey with an acclaimed efficiency from Flynn. – Yael Tygiel

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3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)

3 ninjas knuckle up
Picture through TriStar Footage

Run Time: 1 hr 25 min | Director: Sang-ok Shin

Solid: Victor Wong, Don Shanks, Max Elliot Slade, Michael Treanor

Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum return in 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up, the critically despised sequel film to a beloved early 90s comedy, 3 Ninjas. In Knuckle Up, the kick-butt children are preventing to guard a Native American village that’s being threatened by a poisonous waste firm. Child-led martial arts movies had been at an all-time excessive through the 80s and 90s (The Karate Child, for instance), permitting this film to mix into the surroundings solely to be found years later, incomes it cult standing. Knuckle Up is the perfect bridge between the unique 3 Ninjas and the trilogy’s conclusion, 3 Ninjas Kick Again. Though bursting with outdated stereotypes about Indigenous cultures, this film can also be stuffed with kicks, flips, and enjoyable stunts, as the children – performed by Michael Treanor, Max Elliot Slade, and Chad Energy – appeared to not solely be having fun with themselves however regarded fairly assured with their hand-to-hand fight expertise as properly. – Yael Tygiel

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Chungking Categorical (1994)

Chungking Express

Run Time: 1 hr 42 min | Director: Kar-Wai Wong

Solid: Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro

Primed to be a cult traditional, Chungking Categorical is a uniquely skilled story. Serving as director, author, and producer, Kar-Wai Wong crafts a fascinatingly haunting movie following two loosely associated tales. Each tales unfold as these two lugubrious Hong Kong law enforcement officials cope with love, ardour, and heartbreak. Crossing a wide range of genres, together with romance, comedy, crime, and drama, Chungking Categorical reveals melancholy He Zhiwu as his path crosses with a mysterious and alluring lady (Brigitte Lin), who occurs to be a drug smuggler. The opposite story follows Cop 663, performed by Tony Leung(Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), who loses his girlfriend, a flight attendant performed by Valerie Chow, solely to have his coronary heart awoken by a waitress at his favourite hang-out. – Yael Tygiel

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

A woman holds a word points at someone

Run Time: 2 hrs | Director: Ang Lee

Solid: Chow Yun-Fats, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang

Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a game-changer in cinematic historical past. Directed by a number of Oscar winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Lifetime of Pi) and starring Chow Yun-Fats, Ziyi Zhang, and Michelle Yeoh (All the things In every single place All At As soon as), this movie launched audiences to a global solid of actors of Chinese language ethnicity. A super movie for martial arts fans in addition to for novice viewers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a story of warriors and warrior princesses in Nineteenth-century Qing dynasty China. With extremely choreographed motion, slick sword preventing, and stunningly breathtaking results, Crouching Tiger is a beautiful and romantic journey movie. – Yael Tygiel

​​​​​​​Watch on HBO

Deadly Weapon (1987)

Riggs and Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon, holding guns

Run Time: 1 hr 49 min | Director: Richard Donner

Solid: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey

Recognizable buddy-cop sequence Deadly Weapon stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as an odd couple compelled to companion collectively who battle to compromise their particular person policing kinds whereas trying to take down a gang of drug smugglers. Additionally that includes Gary Busey (Level Break) and spawning a slew of sequel films, in addition to a three-season TV sequence, Deadly Weapon is a staple of late 80s films with catchphrases that proceed to thrive in popular culture. Written by Shane Black (The Predator) and with rumors of a fifth installment coming quickly, Deadly Weapon holds regular as a cult traditional .– Yael Tygiel

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Yojimbo (1961)

Picture through Toho

Run Time: 1 hr 50 min | Director: Akira Kurosawa

Solid: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai

Extremely rated and thought to be one in all Akira Kurosawa’s best movies, Yojimbo is the top of Japanese samurai movies. Each critically revered and beloved by generations of audiences, Yojimbo introduces Toshirô Mifune as Kuwabatake Sanjuro, a ronin warrior and drifter who frees a city from the legal gangs who rule over them by pitting the rivals in opposition to one another. Kurosawa’s signature touches are felt all through the movie, as he directed, produced, edited, in addition to co-wrote it with Ryûzô Kikushima. With old-school sensible results and realistically grounded stunts, Yojimbo is heart-pumping and earnestly touching, making it a much-watch for anybody who loves Samurai tales. – Yael Tygiel

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Kill! (1968)

Picture By way of Toho

Run Time: 2 hr 10 min | Director: Kihachi Okamoto

Solid: Tatsuya Nakadai, Etsushi Takahashi, Atsuo Nakamura, Tadao Nakamaru

Rendering the standard samurai as a wholly farcical determine, Kill!performs out as a parody of the seemingly countless onslaught of samurai movies that pervaded midcentury Japanese cinema, offering a postwar critique of an older era’s adherence to imperial custom. Starring samurai icon Tatsuya Nakadai (Harakiri) in a job that neatly subverts his main man picture, Kill! is a mandatory entry into the canons of samurai cinema and action-comedy.

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Girl Snowblood (1973)

Picture By way of Toho

Run Time: 1 hr 37 min | Director: Toshiya Fujita

Solid: Meiko Kaji, Toshio Kurosawa, Masaaki Daimon, Miyoko Akaza, Kō Nishimura

Serving as one of many major influences on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Invoice movies, Girl Snowbloodtowers above nearly all of swordplay and revenge movies from its period via its extremely stylized set design and fantastically rendered motion sequences. Primarily based on a manga of the identical title, the emphasis on intricate framing all through the cinematography in addition to the aestheticized use of blood extra intently resembles comedian guide illustrations, anchoring the movie in direct dialogue with the literary style from which it got here. Culminating in an often-replicated but by no means surpassed snowy showdown, time has been type to Girl Snowblood, permitting it to surpass its preliminary obscurity via current rereleases by Arrow Video and the Criterion Assortment.

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Lone Wolf and Cub 2: Child Cart on the River Styx (1972)


Run Time: 1 hr 25 min | Director: Kenji Misumi

Solid: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Akiji Kobayashi[

Based on a manga series of equal popularity as the Lady Snowblood series, Lone Wolf and Cub 2: Baby Cart at the River Styx is doubtlessly the most exhilarating entry in the six-part saga from the 1970s centered on a middle-aged ronin and his young son. Capturing the cataclysmic attack on communal values by a band of traitorous ninjas, Lone Wolf and Cub 2 is a taut and tight fable of the importance of unified order in the face of violent chaos. By blending the heart and humor of the titular father-son dynamics with the historicized brutality of inter-community fighting, Kenji Misumi’s masterfully balanced sequel exists in a category of its own as a deeply affecting family drama and a deeply effective action story.

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Ricochet (1991)

Picture By way of Warner Bros.

Run Time: 1 hr 49 min | Director: Russell Mulcahy

Solid: Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T, Lindsay Wagner, Kevin Pollak

The second underrated crime thriller starring Denzel Washington on this record, Ricochet is an over-the-top examination of private guilt and unprocessed ache projected via artistic motion set-pieces and a fast-talking screenplay. Fusing the narrative of false accusations from Murphy’s Regulation with the police thriller plotting of The Mighty Quinn, Ricochet is a fabulous end result of cult aesthetics. Inserting Denzel’s ex-cop lawyer in opposition to John Lithgow as a Joker-like maniac that he locked away years in the past, Ricochet is a quintessential 90s midnight film that delivers on expertly crafted motion scenes and bonkers antics all through this tightly plotted story of betrayal.

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The Capturing (1966)

Picture By way of Jack H. Harris Enterprises

Run Time: 1 hr 22 min | Director: Monte Hellman​​​​​​​

Solid: Jack Nicholson, Millie Perkins, Will Hutchins, Warren Oates

Though Monte Hellman’s acid western is extra of an anti-action film than a pure adrenaline rush like different entries on this record, The Capturing is a vital hangout film that helped set up lots of the themes that characterised the cult motion style for many years to come back. From themes of vengeance and betrayal to meditations of communal honor and private stakes, The Capturing brilliantly captures the absurdism of motion cinema with purgatorial endurance reasonably than showstopping punching matches. Starring cinematic icons Warren Oates and Jack Nicholson simply earlier than the height of their careers, this meditative temper piece is an ideal palate cleanser within the midst of the cult motion canon.

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