Sister Street Fighter (1978)
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Critic Reviews for Sister Street Fighter
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After the immense success of the Sonny Chiba vehicles "The Street Fighter" and "Return of the Street Fighter", Toei Pictures decided to provide the hungry audiences with a female spin-off which in turn turned out to be just as popular and spawned a series of films itself. The final result may not be as good as Chiba's outings, but it still manages being a very entertaining comic book martial arts fest brimming with lovable exploitation elements. Etsuko Shihomi portrays the title character as she gets hired by the police to help them find her missing brother who somehow has ties to a drug cartel that smuggles heroin in, get this, wigs! The mission won't be easy as our drug lord has a plethora of different fighters to take sister street down, including 'Amazon Seven', an all girl squad who dress like cave women! Etsuko Shihomi was a perfect choice for the role as she is both a tremendous action star but also one of the most attractive Asian women I have ever laid my eyes upon. I'm a sucker for beautiful women that could kick my ass. Apparently she was not the first choice for the role as the character was originally offered to actress Angela Mao who gained a small following by playing Bruce Lee's sister in "Enter the Dragon." She ended up passing on the project so the role went to Sonny Chiba's star pupil at the time who was just barely 18 years old. Not only did she have one the greatest martial arts teachers proving she knew here karate but she also had the ability to do all of her own stunts. Did I also mention she's amazing to look at? Like the "Street Fighter" films, this spin-off weaves plenty of exploitation elements into the mix when it comes to nudity, extreme violence and gore. These elements is what makes me enjoy these Japanese martial arts films more than their Hong Kong counter-parts as they are a little more in bad taste. I'm sorry but I'm a sucker for when a guy hits another in the face and he spits out teach and blood. I wouldn't say this is more violent than Chiba's films (I mean "The Street Fighter" was the first film ever to garner an "X" rating just for violence) but there is still plenty of extremely violent moments with flowable red liquid. Look for the guy who gets his head completely twisted around. Inexperienced director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi was given the reigns of this film and he knows how to give it that lovable comic book feel with shaky, fast zooms. His flow the film is somewhat incoherent but then again we don't watch these type of films for coherency. We watch them for violence, bloodshed, and kick ass martial arts and this film delivers on all those accounts. Fans of Chiba will see a cameo with him in a supporting role but he doesn't play the same character he did in the "Street Fighter" films. Why would they do that? This is a spin-off so have him show up as the same character damnit! It's nice to have Chiba in any film, even if it is just a cameo, but it royally annoyed me they didn't have him return as the same God damn character. "Sister Street Fighter" is a solid spin-off from Chiba's solidified "Street Fighter" trilogy that holds its own making Etsuko Shihomi the one and only ever Japanese female action star. It's got enough great fight sequences, comic book tone, blood and other exploitation elements to make any fan of these genre films happy. Two official sequels would follow ("Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread" and "Return of the Sister Street Fighter") and one unofficial one (Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist"), all which have the loveable Shihomi return. Note: Like Chiba's "Street Fighter" series, "Sister Street Fighter" has also fallen into public domain hell here in the United States so there are plenty of shitty discs available to buy. Unlike Chiba's films, "Sister Street Fighter" has been given a few official, high quality releases from BCI Eclipse in three separate sets. The first version which only contains the English dubbed audio track is available in two separate releases: Welcome to the Grindhouse: The Bodyguard / Sister Street Fighter double feature and The Sonny Chiba Collection box set. A slightly better one which contains both the English dub and the subtitled Japanese version was also released in a box set entitled The Sister Street Fighter Collection which also includes all three sequels. All these releases are out-of-print but can still be obtained at very low prices. Just remember that are the only version worth getting in the United States, all others are complete crap!
[img]http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l241/BryceTheCyclops/Movie%20Posters/204557Sister-Streetfighter-Posters.jpg[/img] [size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white]Lee Long is an undercover police officer who is working on a major drug bust; however, his cover is blown and he is taken hostage. Longâs sister, Tina Long, is sent undercover to bust the drug gang and save her brother. Tina will receive aid from her martial arts school, including the legendary street fighter himself, Sonny Kawasaka. [/color][/font][/size] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]âYou have to deal with us now.â[/color][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]âHow convenient. Iâll get rid of all of you at once.â[/color][/size][/font] [size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white]Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, director of Tokyo Bad Girls, Delinquint Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess, Sister Street Fighter 2 & 3, Karate Bull Fighter, Dragon Princess, and Karate Bear Fighter, delivers Sister Street Fighter. The storyline for this picture is okay and along the lines of the first Street Fighter film. The action scenes are better than solid and the film does not rely upon exploitation measures to entertain the audience. [/color][/font][/size] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]âI told you to stay home. Girls slow men down.â[/color][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Sonny Chiba was brilliant in this film and his choreography was stunning; however, he is barely in the film and more of an afterthought. The main character is delivered by Etsuko Shihomi (The Shogunâs Assassins, Karate Bearfighter, and Killing Machine). Shihomi seems to have been in plenty of Chiba films (including some of my favorite: Killing Machine, Shogunâs Assassin, and Karate Bear & Bull Fighter). This is not as good as most Chiba films, but it is still entertaining.[/color][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]âPower and love are inseparable.â[/color][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Grade: C+[/color][/size][/font]
When her older brother goes missing while on an undercover assignment for the Hong Kong police, teenaged martial arts prodigy Tina Long (Shiomi) travels to Japan where the drug-ring he was investigating is headquartered in the hopes of finding him. Her search brings her into conflict with dozens of martial artists in the employ of the gangsters, including the deadly Hammerhead (Ishibashi), a sworn foe of her brother. One young girl can't possibly prevail against such an array of evil, so she is joined by two Japanese martial artists (Chiba and Hayakawa) who, although belonging to a Karate school that espouses pacifism, kicks ass every bit as effeciently as Tina. [center][img]http://www.geocities.com/nuelow/movsisterstreet6.jpg[/img] [i]Sue Shiomi is Tina, the cutest girl that ever kicked your ass in "Sister Street Fighter"[/i] [/center] "Sister Street Fighter" is an immensly amusing and entertaining martial arts film. Sue Shiomi is quite possibly the cutest ass-kicker this side of anime. Like most actors in chop-socky movies from this period, she actually knows how to fight... and the extended battle scenes are all the more entertaining for it. Another aspect of the film I found entertaining was the downright weirdness of it all. Although Tina is on a serious quest and fighting some very deadly enemies, the film has a cartoonish (and later video-gameish) quality to it that starts when she sets foot in Japan and feeds flies she skewers on toothpicks to drunken sailors who harrass her, and continues through to the film's final battle royale. We have villains with odd quirks and signature weapons or outfits, we have trap doors that Tina just happens to stand on, we have gravity-defying leaps and martial arts moves, and we have distinct "encounter areas" where Tina faces bad guys that get progressively tougher and more bizarre. The film also has a very little plot to get in the way of the fight scenes. The reason the bad guys go after Tina is flimsy in the extreme, and the ability she seems to have to pop up where needed (not to mention survive certain death) isn't explained, and the film moves so fast that the viewer doesn't really care. This is one movie where a lack of logic atually works! This is not to say that the film might at one point featured a more logical, less video-game like story progression. The cut I viewed, which by all accounts is the standard North American release, had been subjected to some fairly obvious editing. Tina's first fight with Hammerhead starts in a forested area by a fence, but one jump-cut later, they are suddenly on cliffs by the sea--a chase or the beginning of the fight is clearly missing. Several gory deaths and a very unpleasant rape scene have also been truncated or completely cut from the film. These clumsy edits have probably gone a long way to making the movie seem as cartoonish as it is. (I suspect Tina's amazing survival after falling from a rope-bridge is actually explained in a version of the film somewhere out there.) If you want to see one of the cutest martial artists to ever grace the silver screen in her first starring role--and aren't partcularly bothered by logical lapses--I recommend checking out this movie. I do want to caution those of you who might be interested in "Sister Street Fighter" because you believe it to be part of Sonny Chiba's "Street Fighter" series. The title and even the film's credits would lead you to believe that it is... and I've seen more than one online movie reviewer make a similar claim. However, the truth is that this film has nothing to do with Chiba's "Street Fighter" movies. Yes, the share several actors, including Chiba, but Chiba does [i]not[/i] play Takuma "Terry" Tsurugi. Further, the tone of this film is completely different than the grittiness found in the Street Fighter movies... they are filled with outlandish violence, but they still feel more down-to-earth than the cartoony vibe that prevades "Sister Street Fighter". (In fact, this film was the first entry in an entirely seperate series of martial arts movies that focused on Shiomi as Tina.) Sister Street Fighter Starring: Sue Shiomi, Masashi Ishibashi, Emi Hayakawa, and Sonny Chiba Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
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