Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Brief notes on Lady Street Fighter

Some time back, TCM ran Lady Street Fighter as part of TCM Underground. I wasn't aware of the film's provenance, but recorded it to do a post here.

There's not much of a plot. It starts off with a woman getting tortured to death being asked about the location of a Macguffin. More specifically, it's a stuffed dog that contains a list (I'd guess on microfilm) of hired killers for Assassins, Inc. The dead woman's sister, Linda Allen (Renee Harmon), flies in from Amsterdam to investigate and gain revenge. Any number of baddies are trying to kill her.

Also in on the case is the FBI, who have put their agent Pollitt (Jody Mcrea) on it. What the FBI doesn't know is that he's one of the hired killers, and is out to kill Linda. Meanwhile, they find out that a man who organizes bizarre sex parties might know something about the whereabouts of the dog, so Linda wangles her way into that party.

Or that's roughly the plot, if you can follow it. I found the plot a mess, and reading the IMDb reviews, I'm not alone. But the bad plot isn't the only problem. The dialogue was added in in post, and sounds terrible for it. The lighting is awful. Some of the scenes are obviously supposed to be shot day-for-night, which in and of itself isn't a big deal because lots of movies did that and even Fran├žois Truffaut knew what he was doing. But these scenes shift between looking dark and looking like daylight!

Lady Street Fighter was apparently made in the late 1970s, but couldn't get a cinematic release, so it went straight to video in 1981, hence IMDb's listing of it that way. (Indeed, the image quality made me think it was done on the sort of videotape that professional TV programs of the time used.) I wouldn't normally think about doing posts on videos, well, not counting movie clips and trailers posted to Youtube. But when I watched it, I didn't know it could be considered straight-to-video.

In any case, Lady Street Fighter is an absolute mess, but one I'm glad I watched once. It has since gotten a DVD release, but it seems rather pricey if you ask me.

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