Top Place to Watch Martial Arts Movies Online
If you are a fan of martial arts movies, then you understand how difficult it can be to find the best source online to find them. There are several reasons for this, most notably that martial arts movies are made by different studios which means they have different outlets online. Plus, many films of the genre are independently produced and relatively inexpensive to make, meaning that even finding an online outlet for them to play on is difficult as well.
In the old days, collecting martial arts movies on VHS and DVD was an expensive task. Even if you found the films in the bargain bin, the cost of obtaining them ran into the hundreds of dollars for even a modest selection. Plus, many of the cheap movies were cheap themselves, either films that were poorly made or had lost their protective rights which mean only poor copies existed.
The advent of the internet and inclusion of video changed all that. Today, more people are downloading or streaming movies than ever before. Yet despite the advances that this delivery system offers, it is still difficult to find a substantial catalogue of films from the martial arts genre.
Why Martial Arts Movies are Difficult to Find
While it is true that virtually all major streaming services offer martial arts films, you may have noticed some films of this genre on VHS or DVD that do not appear online. The reasons are complicated, but it has to do with the nature of martial arts movies themselves and why there are so many in circulation but have yet to reach an online platform.
The greatest benefit and curse of martial arts movies is that like horror films, they do not need a recognizable star to carry the picture. This is because the action sells the movie and while many stars have come from the martial arts field, they earned their success through the genre even when they were largely unknown when starting out. Because of this, finding martial arts movies online can be quite difficult due to several factors;
- Multitudes of Independent Studios
- Foreign Distribution
- Out-of-Date Agreements
- Poor or Bad Copies of Existing Materials
- Niche Popularity
While martial arts movies are certainly well-known and enjoy plenty of popularity, it is still a niche in the overall film market. This means that for many online services, they may not be worth the extra expense of getting the rights to show them if the viewership does not grow significantly. In other words, there are not enough people to enjoy them that makes it worth the considerable effort to show the vast majority of existing martial arts movies online.
The career of Jackie Chan is a prime example of why finding martial arts movies online can be difficult. Chan began in the Hong Kong studios in the 1970s when he managed to make at least two appearances in prominent American films, one of them being “Cannonball Run” in the early 1980s. When it career did not take off in the US, he went back to Hong Kong and produced a considerable series of martial arts movies that earned him a strong reputation overseas. However, he did not become a star again in the US until the release of “Rumble in the Bronx” in 1994.
While you will find many Chan films on streaming services, they are but a small portion of his overall work. Many of his low-budget movies made from the early to mid-1980s are still not online, but some of his later, higher-budget films such as “Armour of God” for example can be found if you search online. So, it’s not surprising that a large percentage of Jackie Chan’s movies cannot be found online, and this is true of other martial arts stars as well.
Where to Look
The times are changing as more people view movies exclusively online, more companies are now offering channels that are dedicated specifically to martial arts fans. There are still choices you have to make, and you may have to pay a monthly fee, but the result is having access to hundreds of the best martial arts movies around.
What follows is a short list of channels that offers a collection of martial arts movies, some dating back to their origins in the 1960s through today. Within this list is the top place to watch martial arts movies online.
Amazon Prime – $10.99
One of the leading streaming services, Amazon Prime offers many thousands of movies as part of their package price. Within that vast library that Amazon Prime provides is a large selection of martial arts movies that you can enjoy.
What makes Amazon Prime particularly attractive is that many martial arts films in their catalogue are free to view with your monthly subscription. The films that you do have to pay rental fees are often low, such as $2.99 per film. However, it is the Prime subscription itself that offers many additional benefits, including access to free video, music, books, and delivery which is why many people join.
You can stream the movies direct to your TV using Amazon Fire and there is a 30-Day trial period for you to search out the full library to see if they have what you want before becoming committed to the subscription service. Click here to find out more about the 30-Day Trial.
If you are not happy with the number of martial arts films that Amazon Prime offers, then you might want to check out the specific Amazon channels that can be accessed through your subscription. Some are free, and some require an additional subscription price. However, they expand the number of martial arts films that Amazon Prime provides.
Con TV: For $4.99, you get a wide range of action films that includes many martial arts favourites along with other favourites. This is the “Comic Con” channel, so you can expect some sci-fi and other genres mixed into your viewing. The downside is that if you are only interested in expanding the number of martial arts movies you watch, then you are going to be overpaying for this channel. Fortunately, there is another Amazon Prime channel that is focused on martial arts.
Hi-Yah: As the name implies, this streaming channel is dedicated to martial arts films. It does cost an additional $2.99 per month, but in return you get a wide range of new and classic movies from the martial arts genre. This includes films from Hong Kong, China, and other locations that produced exceptional entertainment fare in these genres. Click here to find out more about the 7-Day Trial.
Warriors & Gangsters: At $2.99, this is not a bad addition to your Amazon Prime network. Especially because many of the films are from martial arts and related genres. Of course, you get plenty of other types of films as well, so choosing this channel will depend on your interest in getting the most martial arts movies.
Perhaps the most popular of all online streaming services, Netflix offers a vast library which includes many martial arts movies. This includes many of the films produced in Hong Kong by various studios and products from American Martial Arts movies, like the popular Falcon Rising.
You might be surprised by the number of martial arts movies that can be found on Netflix, especially if you use the search engine inside the site to look up the genre. However, it is still mostly mainstream films from well-established studios. If you already have a Netflix subscription, it may be worth checking out. However, Netflix is still not the best online source for martial arts movies.
Other Online Channels
Sadly, most other online channels that offer martial arts films are relatively few and far between. This is because they mostly focus on mainstream movies or that they have collections specific to other genres. So, while Hulu for example offers a nice amount of films in the martial arts genre, it is nowhere near as impressive compared to Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Plus, you may run into small online channels that focus only on martial arts, but their selection is usually based on the free or easy to obtain movies. This means that you are stuck with some good films, but mostly movies that are in poor shape. You may find a gem or two here and there, but for the most part they are not worth the effort.
The Best Online Channel for Martial Arts Movies
From the selection given above, the top place to watch martial arts movies online would be Amazon Prime with the Hi-Yah channel selection. While you are paying $13.99 per month, you are also getting plenty of other movies which makes this subscription service arguably the best.
Of course, there may be other streaming services that offer plenty of movies, but with the martial arts genre, you are looking for the best mixture of old classics and new favourites. Hi-Yah offers exactly that and for a price that makes it a perfect addition to your Amazon Prime membership.
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