SISTER STREET FIGHTER

Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi Run Time: 86 min. Release Year: 1974 Language: Japanese

Starring: Emi Hayakawa, Etsuko Shihomi, Hideo Kosuge, Sanae Ôhori, Xiè Xiùróng

After the massive success of THE STREET FIGHTER, Japanese studio Toei built a new karate series around a female lead, casting a young actress who’d appeared in a cameo alongside her mentor Sonny Chiba in the origin film.

Still a teenager at the time, Etsuko Shihomi exploded onscreen and created a new character type: a tough fighter who was fierce, fearless, good-hearted, and decidedly non-sexualised — a departure from Toei’s typical formula.

Shihomi is the half-Chinese, half-Japanese Li Koryu, who travels to Yokohama to investigate the disappearance of her undercover cop brother. Li discovers a smuggling ring run by a drug lord with his own personal army of deadly fighters, and must penetrate his evil lair with the help of a fellow karate master (Sonny Chiba).

Genre entertainment of the highest order, the SISTER STREET FIGHTER films are a wild ride through some of the best exploitation cinema Japan produced in the 1970s. Funky and over-the-top, filled with wall-to-wall action, and featuring some of the craziest villains ever depicted onscreen, the series embodies female power in a male-dominated genre and is a magnificent showcase for the physical presence and martial arts skills of its lead star.

Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive

Trailer