Sister Street Fighter Reviews
A film like Sister Street Fighter has the same issues as every other low budget Kung Fu movie so I'll cut to the chase: the dubbing is poor although not laughable the visual quality of the camera is a little rough and the story isn't original. And also, as it serves as a spin off of the films in The Street Fighter series, Sister Street Fighter lacks the presence of Sonny Chiba. While he has a small quantity of screen time, it is way too small and is bereft of his vadass presence. While the story is all completely different , the film really shouldn't bear the name of a Sister Street Fighter because it's is the entertainment value of The Street Fighter and the punch that Sonny Chiba packed as the titular warrior. So Sister Street Fighter is a generic Kung fu movie without much of an important story with the only aspect of it that separates it from most other films of the genre is that it holds the name of being a spinoff of the popular Sonny Chiba films and has a woman as a the protagonist.
For what it's worth, Sister Street Fighter is basically an average film for the genre and should therefore please fans. It doesn't have originality, amazing acting or many iconic elements whatsoever, but when it comes to the action, Sister Street Fighter has just enough to make it as a half-decent film.
While Sister Street Fighter doesn't pack as much of a punch as The Street Fighter, it is superior to Return of the Street Fighter. Ignoring a story and focusing solely on some entertaining action scenes, Sister Street Fighter boasts appeal to fans of the genre solely on the basis of the versatility of its fight scenes which prove to be very entertaining due to the fact that they take place consistently over the storyline in a series of situations and are executed by the punch of action hero Etsuko Shihomi. Really, protagonist Etsuko Shihomi kicks a lot of ass in Sister Street Fighter. She doesn't pack the punch of Sonny Chiba, but if this film didn't have the Street Fighter name in it then it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. Thanks to Etsuko Shihomi's skilled acrobatics during the fight scenes and her ability to throw a kick and a punch fast without a second though, Sister Street Fighter proves to be a memorable action film which boasts enough action to overshadow its shortcomings in the area of storytelling originality and script writing. And the scenes at the end of the film where her and Sonny Chiba put up a fight together and render it the best way to give the film the climax it needs to finish itself off. So Sister Street Fighter doesn't have a shortage of action and it is of sufficient quality to entertain most of the time. So Sister Street Fighter serves as an effective front for Etsuko Shihomi's talents as an action hero.
The musical score is also ok. I mean it's very generic and pretty much excessively repetitive, but it keeps the mood of scenes in motion and allows for some natural tension to build, even though there really isn't much of it to build on.
So though Sister Street Fighter lacks the touch of Sonny Chiba and has all the usual shortcomings of most low budget Kung fu films, it has enough versatile action scenes to entertain.
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!
She's been asked by Hong Kong intelligence to rescue her brother, a top agent, who's fallen into the hands of some thugs.
The enemies she comes up against are laughable. They are all tough, but she strikes them down as if they are nothing. The guy with the dart gun is a prime example of the lame bad guys.
A whole crew of Thai kickboxing Amazons, all dressed for some reason like Wilma Flintstone, are wiped out by the Sister Streetfighter's sisters.
The most intense villians are a craaazeee dude with nunchuks and a guy with daggers.
The head villian has a bearclaw like the main bad guy in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.
This movie was good for many laughs, as well as some decent martial arts moves by the female star. But it's not a very good movie.