BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Sister Street Fighter Collection - Blu-ray Review

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Sister Street Fighter Collection - Blu-ray

It doesn’t take long for Sister Street fighter to kick a lot of ass.  From catching flies and throwing them down the mouths (and up the noses) of her enemies to all the strategically thrown forks, Tina (Sue Shiomi) is a martial artist badass that knows her way through a crowded room full of vipers.  Her latest assignment, involving the whereabouts of her brother Lee Long (Hiroshi Miyauchi), a martial arts champion and DEA agent of Hong Kong, is her most dangerous.  And it is the lead off adventure in a series of four karate classics starring Shiomi

"All four films are presented in their unaltered formats thanks to Arrow Video, which truly should be commended for refusing to censor any of the material and give fans of the collection some of their best remastering efforts"


Inspired the success of The Street Fighter with Sonny Chiba, the four films that makes up Arrow Video’s Sister Street Fighter CollectionSister Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter: Hanging By A Thread, The Return of the Sister Street Fighter, and the unrelated Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist – are, in their own right, classics of the campy Kung-Fu era of grindhouse filmmaking.  Outrageous wire effects, classic fight sequences, and lots of title cards are more badass fighters are introduced, Toei Company definitely knows their way around pulpy B-movie shenanigans. 

The first film deals with drug addiction and villains who wear black baskets on their head, beating up dance instructors with all sorts of different karate variations.  The team-ups, especially when Shiomi comes steps into the arena, are intense, full of freezes and zooms are well-choreographed and brutal, exciting us all with an emphasis on screaming and head-rattling beatdowns.  We even get blowgun actions through motel windows. 

Also made in 1974, the sequel to the original spinoff, Sister Street Fighter: Hanging By A Thread, involves a diamond smuggling operation that Shimoi must expose and stop.  While not nearly as great and glorious as the original film, Hanging By A Thread does tackle human sex trafficking and it does so with diamond studded flair.  You see, the girls at the center of all this moving and hustling of diamonds are smuggling the goods in their ass.  And it will take surgery to remove them . . . a surgery performed by a dude with a parrot on his shoulder.  SQUAK!  SQUAK!  Polly wants a cracker indeed!

Don’t worry, Shiomi is back with more mad skills.  She’ll need them, too, because the second film is a bit more wacky and out there than the first, inviting us into a world of magic and mayhem we’ve not yet experienced from this series.

The Return of Sister Street Fighter, appearing in 1975, brings back Shiomi and the all the blood and camp that follows her around in this series.  It is a potpourri of the first two grindhouse flicks, mixing fighting with more sex trafficking, but this time most of the criminal decisions are left to a bad guy who kills butterflies with his knife.  The bastard.  Unwilling to make a final decision, upon whomever the butterfly lands, once dead, is who he sends into battle. 

The third movie brings us gold smuggling instead of diamonds.  It also involves a kidnapping and, with some of the same stunts and wirework, it cements Sister Street Fighter’s reputation as being one hell of a wild ride through the Asian underground.  It’s not a pretty film by any measure, but none of the films are, happy to merely offer its audience over-the-top violence, a bit of nudity, and a lead actress that can kick ass and take names. Sister Street Fighter Collection - Blu-ray

The fourth and final film in the series, Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist, is notable for its directing by Shigehiro Ozawa (Street Fighter), and for its efforts to reboot the franchise into more thoughtful territory.  Considering that Shimoi doesn’t do battle until 30 or 30 minutes into the movie, this seems like one big error in judgement.  Too much is different and too much plays it safe as she is dealing with traditional roles in society rather than kicking butt.  It’s a curious item solely. 

All four films are presented in their unaltered formats thanks to Arrow Video, which truly should be commended for refusing to censor any of the material and give fans of the collection some of their best remastering efforts.  These four films have been newly scanned and are the R-rated editions of the original movies.  The Sister Street Fighter Collection is available now.

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Sister Street Fighter Collection - Blu-ray

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