You guessed it, the famous Sonny Chiba movie franchise ‘Streetfighter‘ has a movie about another character named similarly ‘Sister Streetfighter’ – starring Sonny Chiba as Sonny and Sue Shiomi as Tina.
Despite the name, the similarity in plot and the fact that it is classed as a spin off of ‘The Streetfighter’, Sonny Chiba seems to play a different character, being Sonny instead of Tsurugi.
This movie follows our main character Tina, who’s off to kill bad guys. The reason? They killed her brother, a martial arts champion. So the bad guys have prepared for this by hiring a team of deadly martial artists of many mainstream styles to combat her.
But little Tina isn’t on her own, despite being extremely skilled as a fighter and generally a tough chick, she has Sonny and a another girl also there to back her up. So being a martial arts movie, expect some nice fight scenes from these three and the many various styles they face.
One cool aspect of the movie is the style and level of martial arts action presented. It has a flow to the fights that reminds me of 70’s Hong Kong Martial Arts flicks but with straighter, more technical movements. As expected there’s some nice Karate stylings being displayed by our heroes as well as some nice Hapkido/Aikido style throws and locks before Nunchaku and Sai’s a pulled out just to top it off.
There’s even a villain named Han who wears a sharp claw as he fights, in homage to Han from Enter the Dragon!
This action is definitely the star of the film, as the plot is pretty basic and acting very standard. It does get a little ridiculous at times though, as Tina plummets to a certain death off a bridge into a lake (well, at least some crippling injuries) only to return in full fighting form some time later! I also found it amusing that Tina is out to avenge her brother who she later finds out is alive, only for him to be killed pretty much satraight away after she finds him – seems like a bit of a runaround!
Overall, Sue Shiomi makes for a fantastic martial arts actor, offering an exciting and acrobatic performance in her fights, backed by some authentic martial arts movements – after all she was a member of Sonny Chiba’s ‘Japan Action Club’ – a school for training up stunt men/women and aspiring martial arts movie stars.
Chiba himslelf takes the back seat (it’s a spin off, right?) in this film but shows up at the last moment to save the day on a few occasions, bringing his own flavour of ‘martial artiness’ to the action.
The Verdict? A classic for sure! Not one of the absolute best but a fun martial arts film nonetheless. Check it out!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
The Sister Street Fighter Collection