Retro Review: ‘Lady Street Fighter’

In 1975, B-movie director James Bryan made the movie, Deadly Games. It was promptly street1locked in a vault so that nobody would have to suffer it. That is until 1981, wanting to ride the coattails of the Sonny Chiba Street Fighter franchise, Deadly Games was unleashed on the masses with a new title Lady Street Fighter.

According to Imdb, Lady Street Fighter is about, Linda Allen coming to Los Angeles from Eastern Europe after her sister is tortured to death by a mob boss. And ultimately gets entangled in a web of pimps and corrupt FBI agents. In actuality I have no idea what the hell this movie is actually about. It seems as though the film was made as just a series of scenes that never really go anywhere and somebody in an editing room threw everything together. As a result this movie is terrible on a hilarious level as everything about the filmmaking process is bottom-of-the-barrel in quality. The script is nonexistent, the directing is amateurish, the stunt work is a joke, and do not get me started on the acting.

Surprisingly with a film called Lady Street Fighter viewers will undoubtedly be surprised at the actual lack of street fighting in the filmstreet2. When it is time for the star Renee Harmon to show off her martial arts prowess she moves like a slow moving drunkard trying to imitate moves she saw in a Shaw Brothers flick. Usually a B-grade action movie can be saved by solid fight choreography and action sequences but Lady Street Fighter does not even have that going for it. Even the non-fighting action is handled with in hilariously inept fashion as a slow speed car chase ensues at one point and rather than have the cars actually run into each other the camera just zooms in on the two vehicles as they play a collision sound effect.

As mention before, Renee Harmon who plays the lead, is not exactly Bruce Lee in the fighting department but do not let that distract you from everything else about her character Linda which is terrible. At the very least you would hope that our hero Linda Allen could be a badass in the mold of Pam Grier or Dixie Peabody from Bury Me an Angel. street3Instead she allows men to grope and demean her constantly and all she does is whine about it. She develops a love interest in a corrupt FBI agent and her process of flirting apparently involves eating a celery stalk she has dipped in wine, don’t worry the movie plays this off as a perfectly normal thing to do.

Before the movie ends it promises…or rather threatens a sequel which thankfully never happened. Lady Street Fighter is truly an example of a “good-bad” movie as it’s called. It fails on every level of moviemaking and you would be forgiven for believing it was made by a (very bad) community theater group. But that is why this movie is so damn entertaining and well worth a watch for fans of bad action movies.