Lady Street Fighter: Exploitation That Wouldn't Turn On a Lightbulb

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Lady Street Fighter

Okay, I freely admit I’m an exploitation/sexploitation, sleazy/cheesy 1970’s movie junkie, and when I saw this DVD from AGFA I thought, "Oh yeah, this will be a dandy!"

Well…

Let me start this way: this movie was made in 1977 and directed by James Bryan and was written and produced by Renee Harmon, so the credentials were there for what should have been a prime example of the genre. It ain’t, even by low standards. I give credit to AGFA for releasing it, though, as it is something to be seen…once…and then locked away somewhere.

The DVD features the movie in a new 2k scan from the only surviving 35mm theatrical trailer (one can only surmise the others were burned) and tells the story of a woman named Linda Allen (Renee Harmon) a cop hot on the trails of the thugs who killed her twin sister.

The plot doesn’t really get any deeper than that, at least not that I can surmise. It seems that her sister was hiding something, but I could never ascertain what, as the dialog was so bad. Linda goes from car chase to car chase (they must have gotten a deal on Pontiac Firebirds for the chases), fight to fight, battling it out with hooligans that I am never really able to find out what they do. I am hard pressed to call the fight scenes "fight scenes" but they make more sense than the story line--there are more holes and inconsistencies in the plot than you can shake a stick at.

The delivery of the lines was so bad that, had they been good lines, it would have been criminal. Harmon’s accent not only got in the way of her English, it was perhaps the biggest crime in the movie. Even the most “alluring” part of the movie, the exploitation, just wasn’t sexy by any means.

While, yes, there was some nudity and attempts to convey cheesy sexiness, Ms. Harmon was in her 50’s when she made this movie. Now before anyone gets mad and thinks I’m saying women in their 50’s can’t be sexy, I’m not, I’m saying Ms. Harmon here at least was not, in the way it was portrayed here in this movie. Even the stripper in the nightclub was herself in her 50s. I’m sorry but in my opinion if your going to do an exploitation movie, the starlets should be young and sexy, end of story.

The thugs in the movie were stereotypically portrayed too the point they were laughable, like in the old Bruce Lee movies.

I always try to find some redeeming value in every movie I see, but I can’t even say the music was good becasue all it was (are you ready for this!?) was a lounge lizard style rendition of Ennio Morricone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”--the same few cords over, and over, and over again. As my Yiddish friends back East would say, “Oy Vey!”

Once the movie is over we are threatened with a sequel coming soon--to which the only saving grace for that was that it was never released. But wait! Lo and behold, the the magic-makers at AGFA have included as a bonus (ha!) here: the unreleased sequel “Revenge of Lady Street Fighter” scanned in 2k also from the original 35mm negative. I know, it’s almost too much to take in!

I know what your thinking: Did he hate it that much? Well, no, I didn’t despise it, as I knew kinda what I was getting myself into when I asked to review it. But I was hoping for more--and it was that hope that kept me watching to the end. I’m as big a fan as ever of AGFA, even more so now for having the courage to release this stinker.

If you are a fan of Renee Harmon, then more power to you; you’ll love this, and I won’t begrudge you one bit for liking it. But for me, I just hope I can forget some of the things I saw. Oh, and there is even a Carradine in this movie! No, it’s not John, no it's not David, not it's not Robert. And, no it's not Keith. It's Trace Carradine. Yeah, exactly.

Extras included on this DVD:

  • Commentary track with Director James Bryan and the AGFA team.
  • Street Fightin’ trailers from the AGFA vaults
  • Liner Notes by Annie Choi of Bleeding Skull!
  • Revenge of Lady Street Fighter (1990)
Grade: 
1.0 / 5.0