Prepare for a reign of blood with some Japanese vampire movies. Unlike Western culture, Japan doesn’t have a strong tradition of Japanese mythology. Because of that, Japanese writers and directors are not as attached to vampire lore as the rest of us, which makes them take risks with vampire lore that a lot of Western writers may not be willing to take with the stories that kept them awake at night.

  1. “Blood the Last Vampire” Most movies set in the '60s train their lens on the swinging '60s. This Japanese vampire movie looks at the supernatural side of the swinging '60s. Set in 1966, the movie follows the adventures of Saya, an agent disguised as a school girl at an American navel base in Japan. Her mission: to hunt and destroy the vampires that are threatening to overrun the base and Japan. Originally, this Japanese vampire movie was an anime, but it was so bad ass that it made its way into the realm of live action in 2009.

  2. “Vampire Hunter D” This is a classic Japanese vampire movie is a must-see for fans of vampire movies and anime fans alike. After being set upon and bitten by a vampire, a young woman has only one hope to avoid joining the ranks of the undead. Enter “D,” a vampire hunter on unknown origins, who she hires to slay the vampire who bit her to help her avoid her fate as a blood sucking beast. When this movie was first released, it was a mind-blowing masterpiece renowned for its cutting age style and intriguing story line.

  3. “Hellsing” Of all of the Japanese vampire movies out there, this is one of the few that updates the traditional vampire myth to the modern age. In this movie, Van Hellsing isn’t some crusty old man running around the globe with a bunch of musty books and maps strapped to his back. In this Japanese vampire movie, he is now Prof. Integra Van Hellsing, the leader of the Hellsing organization. An elite organization dedicated to ridding England of all manner of demons. Even the relationship between Integra Van Hellsing and Dracula has been modernized; while Dracula has always been the mortal enemy of the Van Hellsing clan, in this more modern tale Dracula is transformed into Alucard, a stylish and deadly destroyer of anything that crosses his path and the secre weapon of the Hellsing organization. There have been more than a few different versions of this movie, each more bad ass than the last, so it wont matter which one you watch since they are all killer.

  4. “Vampire Princess Miyu” When you get ready to watch this Japanese vampire movie be prepared to throw away everything you thought about traditional vampire lore because nothing in this movie has anything to do with the vampire legends most of us grew up with. Yes, Miyu is immortal and she drinks blood, but she isn’t a typical vampire she is a keeper of the portal between humans and the great beyond. Along with her protector/best friend/lover, Miyu keeps creatures worse off than herself from invading the realm of man.

  5. “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” This Japanese vampire movie breaks the rules of sequels by having nothing to with the original movie it followed. Both movies are based on the graphic novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi, but the sequel sticks closer to the source material in the way the story is laid out and the way the movie is animated. While the original “Vampire Hunter D” had futuristic goth look, the sequel is much darker and takes the gothic imagery to another level, making the characters at lot more stylized and the scenery seriously creepy. The only similarity between the two films is that the plots center around “D,” his inner darkness and the fate of a young girl.