50 amazing films you've probably never seen

When The Last Sword Is Drawn (2003)

The Plot: When merciless samurai Sait Hajime encounters a money-grubbing fellow warrior who appears to be completely without honor, his views on loyalty and bravery are changed forever.

Why It's Amazing: As a character study, Sword is up there with the best of classic samurai cinema. And like those movies, it's both brutally violent and emotionally resonant.

It won the Best Film award at the 2004 Japanese Acamdey Awards, a prize it justly deserved.

Why You've Never Seen It: We're not sure, as it's available on Netflix. Get it watched!

The Devil's Hand (1943)

The Film: When a struggling artist buys a magical talisman, his luck changes and he finds fame and success. But a year passes, and he discovers there's a price to be paid.

Why It's Amazing: Otherwise known as Carnival Of Sinners, The Devil's Hand is an incredibly atmospheric film. Its twisting plot builds to a surreal climax that has to be experienced first-hand.

Why You've Never Seen It: It's probably better known in its French homeland, but it deserves a UK fan-base.

Return From The Ashes (1965)

The Film: Dr. Michelle Wulf survives a Nazi concentration camp, but is so scarred she's virtually unrecognisable.

Following reconstructive surgery, she tracks down her former lover Stan, who believes she's dead.

He is stunned by the resemblance, and attempts to use her in a plot to cash in the insurance he's been unable to claim following her 'death.'

And it gets more complicated from there on in.

Why It's Amazing: Full of conflicted characters--this twist-packed thriller is an unforgettable experience for anyone who's lucky enough to have caught it.

Basically, it's the best film Hitchcock never made.

Why You've Never Seen It: Currently out of print on DVD, you can probably track down a copy if you search hard enough. Failing that, hope you've got a mate who's taped it off the telly.

Cutter's Way (1981)

The Film: A gumshoe mystery without the gumshoe, Cutter's Way follows an ordinary man's attempt to solve a murder after he sees a suspect dumping a body.

Why It's Amazing: A gripping plot featuring brilliant characters wonderfully performed.

Jeff Bridges displays early promise, but John Heard really steals the show as Alex Cutter--a supporting act so incendiary, they named the film after him.

Seriously, this thing's a masterpiece.

Why You've Never Seen It: It just never developed the reputation of some of its contemporaries, which is a tragedy. But you can pick it up on Amazon at a super-budget price. Money very well spent.

The Cremator (1969)

The Film: This Czech war-parable follows 1930s crematorium worker Kopfrkingl as Nazism insidiously creeps into his life. Believe it or not, this is a very black comedy. But you'll need a sense of humour of the League Of Gentlemen to find the chuckles.

Why It's Amazing: It's mainly about the central performance with this one. Rudolf Hrusinsky's mesmerising lead is creepy, charismatic and utterly captivating. You'll be repulsed and drawn to him in equal measure--making for a unique cinematic experience.

Why You've Never Seen It: Kopfrkingl deserves the same infamy as Hannibal. The DVD's easy to get hold of, so we have no idea.

The Battle Wizard (1977)

The Plot: We're not actually sure how we're going to sum this one up.

20 years after having his legs cut-off by a warrior's laser-fingers, an evil wizard takes revenge by sending his lobster-clawed henchman to capture his enemy's son Tuan Yu, who has no interest in fighting.

Encouraged by a woman who throws snakes at people, Tuan Yu embarks on a quest to learn fighting skills.

This film also involves a scrap with a giant snake, a frog which can make you invincible if you swallow it, and a kung fu gorilla. And a wizard with metal chicken legs who can breathe fire.

Why It's Amazing: Please see above.

Why You've Never Seen It: No idea. This should be the Star Wars of kung fu cinema.

Daimajin (1966)

The Plot: When an evil army invade a small village, a vengeful stone spirit rises to take revenge.

Why It's Amazing: A kaiju flick with a difference, we love this one almost entirely because it features a giant monster statue. Which is reason enough to love anything.

Why You've Never Seen It: Godzilla and Gamera tend to overshadow the rest of the kaiju, which means there's been no room at the party for poor old Daimajin. But, to be fair, he does take up a lot of room.

Rurouni Kenshin (2012)

The Film: Based on the Manga of the same name--previously turned into anime series Samurai X--the live-action movie follows the adventures of young samurai Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sat) who's made a solemn oath to only use his sword to defend himself, never to kill.

Which would be relatively easy for you and I, but for some reason poor old Kenshin keeps on getting into fights. Lots of fights.

Why It's Amazing: If the high-concept doesn't grab you--and why would it, it's only incredible after all--then the stunning action sequences should.

From the opening war scene, to the Terminator style police station takedown, Kenshin is packed with beautifully choreographed sword-scraps.

Why You've Never Seen It: For some reason, it's never been released in the UK. But it's well worth importing.

Night Of The Devils (1972)

The Plot: When a young man wakes up in hospital, he recalls the events that led him there--events that involve a strange family with a vampire obsession.

Why It's Amazing: Essentially a feature-length version of the Wurdalak section in Black Sabbath, this weird, dark and violent film is up there with the best of Bava.

Keep an eye out for a particularly gruesome scene involving fingers. That's all we're going to say about that.

Why You've Never Seen It: It's another out of print job, but if you've got a region 1 player, you should be able to track it down.

Viy (1967)

The Plot: A flawed priest is instructed to spend three nights watching over the corpse of a witch, with only a chalk circle and his faith to protect him.

Why It's Amazing: One of the best third-acts we've ever seen, this is a hugely influential film. Every wildly shot monster battle has its roots in Viy, whether it knows it or not.

Basically, combine the energy of Evil Dead II with Guillermo Del Toro's imagination and you've got this amazing movie.

Why You've Never Seen It: Easily available on DVD, we reckon that people have written it off as a Russian fairy-tale and passed on it. If only they knew it was an awesome horror flick.

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