The Premise in 30 Words (for 30 Days of Junesploitation)
Undercover agent gets caught by drug kingpin. His sister (Sue Shiomi) for some reason is the most qualified to rescue him from the criminal underworld. Sonny Chiba sometimes shows up.
The Most Junesploitation-y parts of this
It’s an unasked-for spinoff to an exploitation hit! How much more exploitative can this get? A lot more, actually. In the same way that Enter the Dragon was both Brucespoilation and Bondsploitation, Sister Street Fighter takes the beats of Street Fighter from earlier in the year, and just makes the lead female.
Just so we’re clear, I don’t have a problem with the elevator pitch of “Street Fighter, but a female lead.” Sue Shiomi (the studio Anglicized her name from Etsuko Shiomi) has legitimate martial arts skills and was trained in Sonny Chiba’s martial arts stunt school. Despite the potentially exploitative nature of having a female fighter, the movie doesn’t sexualize her with romantic opportunities or skimpy outfits; her character wears generic traditional martial arts clothing, and she’s fighting to save her brother, not a lover. Early in the movie, some punks come on to her at a diner, but her response is wordless and swift, showing off her kung fu skills by spearing some flies with toothpicks, tossing them into the mouth and nose of her assailants, and then beating the stuffing out of them.
Junesploitation means stuff that doesn’t make sense
• In another nod to their influences, the chief villain wears blades on his hand like Han from Enter the Dragon. Sadly, it’s not a blade hand; it’s blades he wears over his hand.
• Sister Street Fighter was followed up by Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread (1974), Return of the Sister Street Fighter (1975), and Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist (1976). In the meantime, she also showed up in the Street Fighter sequels, Return of the Street Fighter (1974), and The Street Fighter’s Revenge (1974).