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Overall Rating

Awesome: 34.48%
Worth A Look58.62%
Average: 3.45%
Pretty Bad: 3.45%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 11 user ratings

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by Matt Mulcahey

"The greatest hooker brawl in the history of cinema"
4 stars

If Coffy does nothing else, it proves the principle reason chick fights are so great: There’s always a chance somebody’s shirt is coming off.

And in the hooker battle royal of the century, classic Blaxploitation heroine Coffy (a 24-year old Pam Grier) takes on half a dozen angry streetwalkers, as shirts go flying, bottles are smashed over heads and fingers are shredded by razor sharp hair clips.

Though Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 are considered the forebearers of the modern bad ass female, Grier whips just as much tail and had what neither of them could muster: sex appeal.

After appearing in small parts in a series of exploitation films (including two of writer/director Jack Hill’s “babes behind bars” flicks, The Big Doll House and The Big Bird Cage) Coffy was Grier’s breakout role. She plays an emergency room nurse turned vigilante (think Charles Bronson from Death Wish, but with ridiculously large breasts) who takes to the streets to exact revenge upon the pushers and pimps who put her little sister into a coma.

This quest for retribution begins in the first scene as Grier, pretending to be a junkie who’ll do anything for a fix, lures a local drug dealer and one of his small-time pushers to a secluded apartment where she proceeds to, in close-up, blow off the kingpin’s head with a shotgun before helping the underling to a lethal dose of heroine.

Just when her revenge is seemingly complete, Grier’s cop friend Carter (William Elliot) is attacked by a pair of ski-masked, baseball wielding hoodlums in retaliation for not going on the take with the rest of the police department. With Carter now in a coma (“If he’s lucky he’ll be able to go to the bathroom by himself again,” says a doctor who apparently skipped his sensitivity training classes), Grier has an excuse to go after an Italian crime lord who’s been muscling in on the Ghetto rackets.

Though director Hill manages to fit in most of the genres clichés, with massive amounts of gratuitous violence, a few Screw Whitey speeches and every possible opportunity taken to relieve a female character of her clothing, Coffy rises above the genre by looking gritty without looking cheap and by containing performances quantum leaps above the usual Blaxploitation fare.

Despite a laughably inept scene where she pretends to be Jamaican (Pretty shitty, Man), Grier manages to be believable as the shotgun-toting hero. Booker Bradshaw adds a charming, sleazy demeanor to Grier’s Congressman wannabe boyfriend, with Sid Haig perfect as a sadistic mob henchman and Robert DoQui (complete with jumpsuits, cape and his own pimp theme song) doing his best Antonio Fargas imitation as King George.

In a genre typified by liberal doses of nudity, violence and the glorification of racial stereotypes, not to mention badly acted, cheap looking productions, Coffy stands as one of this short-lived genres best entries.

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originally posted: 03/17/02 07:41:04
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User Comments

11/08/10 Sheena This is the best revenge movie EVER!!!!!! 5 stars
2/02/10 Stefan Kucharski Good 70's film atmosphere, great story and violence 5 stars
7/04/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Not bad, but 'Foxy Brown' is better 3 stars
4/05/08 mr.mike Even better than Foxy Brown. PG is incredibly hot. 4 stars
5/14/07 smoking bogie crashing into a house and jumping out with your gun cocked? still pretty good 4 stars
11/12/03 KIRK This is one of the finest movies Pam grier has made. Film is absolutely great! 5 stars
1/18/03 Paul Coleman Great exploitative trash. Entertaining from start to finish. A must see! 4 stars
2/09/02 Jay Fox Pam Grier is one of the all time greatest blaxpoitation actresses. Jack Hill's masterpiece. 5 stars
1/14/02 Andrew Carden Too Much Nudity, but Otherwise It's A Good Time-Killer. 4 stars
9/06/01 Butterbean Blaxploitation movies mostly are crap. The exceptions were Grier's Foxy Brown and this 4 stars
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  02-Nov-1973 (R)



Directed by
  Jack Hill

Written by
  Jack Hill

  Pam Grier
  Booker Bradshaw
  Robert DoQui
  William Elliott
  Allan Arbus
  Sid Haig

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