The phrase “so bad, it’s good” was coined to describe works like the early ‘80s film Lady Street Fighter. The flick stars German actress Renee Harmon as Linda Allen, a woman out to avenge her sister’s death. Harmon also wrote the screenplay and produced the picture. The movie was directed by James Bryan, best-known for the low-budget slasher, Don’t Go in the Woods. Harmon and Bryan collaborated on a number of low-to-no budget exploitation films, including a few that weren’t released until decades later.
Lady Street Fighter was going to be called Deadly Games, but the title was changed in an attempt to cash-in on the martial arts craze of the 1970s (the picture has nothing to do with the series of Street Fighter films starring Sonny Chiba).
There a several obvious issues with Lady Street Fighter, but the biggest problem is that the film is hard to follow. I mean, REALLY hard to follow. Even basic plot points are unclear. Here are two synopses:
Renee Harmon’s character’s sister has been killed. It has something to do with a “master tape” that the FBI and Assassins Inc. are after. Renee shows up in Los Angeles to find out what happened. She becomes involved in a web of kung-fu fighting/car chasing intrigue that leads her right to the top. I think. (Bleeding Skull)
Plot involves an undercover female agent (with THICK German accent) assigned to kill a dirty FBI agent. The FBI agent has also been assigned to kill her. Attracted to one another, they have an affair in between car chases and shoot outs. Plot specifics aren’t explained well at all, but I *can* tell you the movie is hilarious in parts. It really is terrible. (IMDb)
A sequel is promised at the conclusion of Lady Street Fighter, though after viewing the film you’ll wonder how there could possibly be any demand for a follow-up. A sequel was indeed completed around 1990, a decade after Lady Street Fighter was released, but it stayed in the can. I recently had the, ahem, privilege to see Revenge of Lady Street Fighter, and it’s even more baffling than the original. Some new scenes were shot, which forms the basis of a new convoluted narrative, but—and you’ll probably think I’m exaggerating—around 85% of Revenge is just recycled footage from the first movie.
I shit you not!
We have something truly special for you, dear reader—the premiere of a clip from Revenge of Lady Street Fighter. It takes place during the opening moments of the film, and is part of the roughly 15% of new footage in the sequel. The segment begins with Renee Harmon, reprising her role here as Linda Allen, just after she’s received instructions on where to retrieve a mysterious manuscript—maybe?
There’s much in the way of entertaining ineptitude on display in this clip. Best to just let you enjoy with virgin eyes, without further commentary.
The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) will be releasing a restored Lady Street Fighter on Blu-ray on August 14. As a bonus, Revenge of Lady Street Fighter will be included. This will mark the first time the sequel—also restored—has been issued in any format. Pre-order the disc through MVD or Amazon.
I’d suggest first cracking a cold one before you watch these films, and then just roll with all of the craziness that’s presented. Over-thinking may result in paralysis.