Which Sonny Chiba Movies Are Available on Streaming Services?

Legendary actor Sonny Chiba died Aug. 19 of complications from COVID-19. He was 82 and left behind over 200 credits. Many of his Japanese movies are hard to find, but some of his biggest ones are on streaming services. Here’s a guide to the major Chiba movies you can find on streaming services like Tubi, Peacock, Crackle and more to celebrate Chiba’s life and career.

Sonny Chiba signs autographs at Paris Manga and Sci-Fi Show
Sonny Chiba | Chesnot/Getty Images

‘The Street Fighter’ and other Sonny Chiba martial arts movies are streaming for free

Quentin Tarantino informed a lot of American viewers about Chiba’s work in True Romance. Tarantino had Clarence (Christian Later) explain Chiba’s Street Fighter trilogy to Alabama (Patricia Arquette). 1974’s The Street Fighter is available on Tubi for free, with ads. They’ve also got Return of the Street Fighter, The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge, the spinoff Sister Street Fighter and many more Chiba movies.

Sonny Chiba The Street Fighter poster
‘The Street Fighter’ | LMPC via Getty Images

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Now, if you watch Chiba’s Karate movies, be prepared. They’re a lot bloodier than the Chinese and Hong Kong martial arts films of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Sammo Hung or Donnie Yen. The Street Fighter originally got an X-rating and has Chiba punching bad guys’ eyes right out of their head.

‘Kill Bill’ is on cable 

Tarantino gave Chiba a role in his own martial arts epic, Kill Bill. Chiba plays Hattori Hanzo, the sword maker who gives The Bride (Uma Thurman) the weapon she uses to take on Oren Ishi (Lucy Liu) and her guards at the House of Blue Leaves. The Bride and Hanzo share a dialogue scene, including some Japanese, in a teahouse. 

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Kill Bill is easy to find on physical media or streaming for rental or purchase. If you subscribe to Cinemax, DirecTV or Spectrum it’s available on demand. Kill Bill Vol. 1 has Chiba’s scene. 

A Sonny Chiba comedy is on Criterion Channel

The 1982 Japanese film Fall Guy won Best Film at The Japan Academy Prize. Chiba has a cameo as himself in this farce about an actor taking on dangerous stunt work to support his love life. The Criterion Channel has it.

Sonny Chiba serves up ‘Sushi Girl’

Sushi Girl is an oddball crime movie from 2012. A group of criminals, including Mark Hamill and Noah Hathaway, gather at a sushi restaurant. The sushi girl lies on the table, naked and  covered with sushi, while the gangsters do business. Chiba plays the chef who serves up the sushi. It’s an English language movie streaming free on services like Crackle, Tubi and Vudu with ads. 

Sonny Chiba got fast and furious 

After Tarantino cast Chiba as the legendary swordsman, another American movie paid tribute to Chiba’s legacy. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift sent American boy Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) to Japan to live with his father. Sean fell in with a street racing crowd, and then ran afoul of Japanese gangsters.

Chiba showed up as the elder boss. If you don’t already own the whole The Fast and the Furious series, this entry is streaming on Peacock.