Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist (Japan 1976)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/16/14
Cast: Etsuko Shiomi, Mitchi Love

An unrelated sequel to the "Sister Street Fighter" series, that sadly brought the franchise to an abrupt end. Kiku (Etsuko Shiomi) is a karate expert and a bit of a tomboy. Her meddling parents are desperately trying to marry her off, which she'll have nothing to do with. One of her closest friends is Michi (Mitchi Love), and when Michi's older brother is killed in a drug smuggling related incident, the two girls swear to avenge his death. Unfortunately for them, a suave and largely ineffective police officer named Takagi gets in their way and sends them home, telling them to "behave like women should." Undaunted, Michi eventually strikes out on her own and gets kidnapped, forcing Kiku to rescue her from a movie production studio. When Kiku also gets caught, Takagi comes to her rescue and together they bring all of the villains down.

Unfortunately, it's a terrible film and a huge disappointment. Etsuko Shiomi looks adorable and much more feminine this time around, but her character is weak and she only gets into three fights. Her best fight turns out to be a practice match with Michi at the beginning of the film, which looks very authentic and hard hitting. Then it's an hour of tedium and lame humor before anything else happens. The highlight of the film comes at the very end when Shiomi unleashes a surprisingly brutal attack on the last bad guy, which is very satisfying and completely out of character with the rest of the film. The exploitation angle that defined the previous entries is completely absent, which makes this watered down attempt at a reboot completely dull and uninteresting.