What I really meant to say was that “Coffy” is one of the greatest black films ever made. The others being “Three the Hard Way,” “Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off,” “Melinda” and “Foxy Brown,” of course, in case you’re wondering.
But “Coffy” is in a class by itself, and it could only have been made at the time it was, starring the African Goddess herself Pam Grier. Can you imagine anyone making a film like this today? Who would play the lead role? Written and directed by Jack Hill, the plot is deceptively simple at first, but gets more complex as it goes on, with Grier playing Coffy, a nurse whose younger baby sister has become addicted to drugs. So she decides to go undercover to get rid of all the big dealers in town, using guns, cars, razor blades and whatever else she can get her hands on.
And of course, there’s the legendary final shocking scene, which never fails to have audiences (and especially women) cheering. Only the totally outrageous, twisted and sickly funny final scene in Grier’s and Jack Hill’s next film, “Foxy Brown,” could top it.
The film is, needless to say, extremely violent, but it has a genuine grimy, low down vibe and an energy, that practically leaps off the screen. When it first came out, not only was it a huge B.O. hit, it was obvious that there had never been anything like it before; and, honestly, there hasn’t been anything like it since. And Grier was such an overpowering magnetic and exciting screen presence that it’s no surprise American International Pictures, who made “Coffy,” immediately fast-tacked “Foxy Brown” with Grier, and Hill, once again writing and directing. Now finally, after waiting and wondering when someone was finally going to get around to doing it, comes news that “Coffy” is finally being released, remastered, and looking better than ever, on high definition blu-ray DVD on April 6.
The blu-ray will include a whole host of extras, including an audio commentary by writer and director Jack Hill, “A Taste of Coffy,” a brand new interview with Jack Hill, “The Baddest Chick in Town!” a brand new interview with Pam Grier discussing “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown,” “Blaxploitation!” a video essay by author Mikel J. Koven on the history and development of the “Blaxploitation” genre, an image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx, a booklet analyzing the film by critic Cullen Gallagher, and a profile of Grier by Yvonne D. Sims, author of Women in Blaxploitation, illustrated with archive stills and posters.
Here’s the trailer for “Coffy”:
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