Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sister Street Fighter

The Action Mutant…
wants to own his own Grindhouse!

Sister Street Fighter

review by Joe Burrows

With her popularity rising in Japan, it was only a matter of time before Sue Shiomi got her own showcase. Sister Street Fighter was made before The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge and spawned two sequels (which have yet to be released in the U.S.). Hopefully, the American release is coming, as the plot to the first sequel is a doozy.

The Plot, as it was:
Shiomi is Tina Long, a woman who is out to find her brother, who is an undercover cop captured by a drug cartel and kept drugged in a cell. The criminals consist of many crazy cats, such as kung fu Amazon women, guys that shoot poison darts and a group of helmeted fighters lead by a guy named Hammerhead (Masashi Ishibashi, aka Junjou from The Street Fighter)! Thankfully, Tina gets aid from a female fighter or two, as well as some guy who is simply known as “The Street Fighter”. Gee, I wonder who plays him?

Don’t shoot me…I’m only the reviewer!:
Well, it’s not a masterpiece or even comparable to The Street Fighter but SSF works in its own trashy, exploitive way. Shiomi provides some fun skill in her fight scenes and she carries herself well in the lead. There isn’t much of a plot, which explains why the exploitation’s been raised up but it’s not like it had to live up to any expectations (…Last Revenge, anyone?) It keeps a fun pace and there are several unintentionally funny moments (such as a woman screaming for heroin, sounding like she’s straight out of a Reefer Madness sequel) that make this just the type of 70s Grindhouse fare to laugh at drunkenly late at night.

Body Count/Violence: 24. Cute as she is, Shiomi doesn’t finish off her opponents quite like Chiba does. The real disappointment comes in the final battle, as Tina and her friends battle the drug lord’s gang. About five minutes into the carnage, we cut to a shot of Tina meeting the drug lord on a hilltop for the FINAL final battle (though this is probably because I’m reviewing the R rated version, not the unrated one). Regardless, there are still neck snaps, swords through the head, skull cracking, poison darts, arrow shots, etc.

Sexuality/Nudity: There’s a topless stripper shot, a topless shot during a rape scene and a woman in lingerie writhing in the throes of heroin withdrawal. Nothing involving our cute hero, however (sorry, can’t help it!).

Language/Dialogue: A little stronger than in the Street Fighter series, though nothing to get worked up over.

How bad was it?:
Most agree it is awful but more of a cheerful awful than anything else. They at least seem to have some fun with the cheesiness.

Did it make the studio’s day?:
Again, no box office record but this was released in the U.S by New Line in February of 1976.

Film: **/*****
Entertainment value: ***1/2/*****

Copyright 2007 The Action Mutant.

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