Written and directed by Jack Hill
On Arrow Video Blu-Ray
When her sister becomes hooked on drugs and falls victim to a bad batch, nurse Coffy turns vigilante to rid the streets of the drug pushers and dealers responsible.
Blaxsploitation classic from Spider Baby and Foxy Brown writer and director Jack Hill, COFFY is a tale of one woman’s quest for justice in a world filled with drug dealers, gangsters and pimps. With the majority of the police force bribed to look the other way, the justice system is failing the working class folk and nobody seems to care except for Coffy. Determined to stop the flow of drugs in her neighbourhood to prevent more young people becoming hooked or sick, Coffy takes lethal action and won’t stop til she’s all the way to the top of the supply chain.
Pam Grier stars as the kick-ass, fiesty independent woman, Coffy. Her no-nonsense attitude, similar to that of her character Foxy Brown in the 1974 film of the same name, not only makes her an inspiring character but a likable one too that you can’t help but root for. Grier suits the powerful leading lady role down to a T and appears to relish the action scenes of which there are plenty of in Coffy. She also shows her sensual side, demonstrating an independent woman can also be a feminine and sexual character too. Smart, seductive and handy with a broken beer bottle, Coffy is one woman you wouldn’t want to cross! The film also stars Booker Bradshaw as Coffy’s politician boyfriend Howard Brunswick, Robert DoQui as pimp and drug pusher King George, Allan Arbus as Italian drugs kingpin Arturo Vitroni and cult film star Sid Haig as one of Vitroni’s henchmen who has a deadly way of dealing with traitors.
There’s never a dull moment in Coffy. Even the opening scene features an exploding head with B-movie bloodshed one of the appealing factors of the film. The viewer is treated to their fair share of action scenes too with one of my favourites featuring Coffy battling a group of high class call girls at King George’s party. There’s fisticuffs, brawling, salad bowls flung at faces, women being thrown across tables, dresses being ripped open to reveal bouncing breasts and razor blades hidden within afros. What’s not to love?!The pace is intense and never misses a beat, drawing the viewer in for a ringside seat and what a show it is! I’ve seen MMA fights that haven’t been this exciting. When the shoe is on the other foot and the antagonist is succeeding, the scenes are equally thrilling but in a more shocking manner. There’s no sitting back with this film. It definitely has you on the edge of your seat. If only these type of films were continued to be made. Thankfully we can still enjoy these Blaxsploitation classics on the likes of DVD and in this particular case, a features-laden Blu-Ray from Arrow Video.
The Arrow Video Blu-Ray of Coffy features the film in a terrific high definition transfer with clear restored mono audio. The film boasts director’s commentary audio track, an interview with Jack Hill who discusses the movie and his thoughts whilst writing it, an interview with Pam Grier on being the superb choice for these independent, strong female characters and a featurette on Blaxploitation cinema. As with most of Arrow Video’s releases, the Blu-Ray also features a trailer, image gallery, a reversible sleeve cover featuring original and new artwork by Gilles Vranckx and a collector’s booklet.
Slickly filmed and edited, Coffy is an absolute hoot and pleasure to watch. Thrilling from the get-go, the funky score from Roy Ayers accentuates the on-screen action and performances with character-centric tracks throughout. The audio, combined with the tight dialogue and stylish fashion choices, really give the film a burst of character that the viewer can instantly recognise and is now often synonymous with the Blaxsploitation genre. All of this packaged up with the solid screenplay and flawless performances makes Coffy a perfect package for fans of B-movie cinema.
Sassy, outspoken and plain darn cool, Coffy is one hip, bad-ass iconic character, and a film that deserves its place on everyone’s shelf.