BLU-RAY REVIEW: COFFY / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JACK HILL / SCREENPLAY: JACK HILL / STARRING: PAM GRIER, ROBERT DOQUI, WILLIAM ELLIOTT, BOOKER BRADSHAW, ALLAN ARBUS, SID HAIG / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 20TH
Jack Hill’s 1973 classic finally gets a worthy Blu-ray release courtesy of Arrow Videos, and it’s certainly about time. Coffy (Grier) is a nurse whose younger sister is abused by a drug pusher. Using her female charm, sassy attitude and brutal initiative, Coffy sets out on a revenge mission to take on all no-good types who happen to get in her way as she looks to get to the root out the problem, be they drug dealers, pimps, mobsters, petty criminals and more.
Ever the quick thinker, Grier’s Coffy utilises shotguns, drug-filled needles, broken bottles, razor blades, serving trays and even salad bowls as weapons as she looks to exact her revenge on those accountable. This roaring rampage of revenge (sorry, Quentin) is a hugely enjoyable one as this badass beauty infiltrates herself within the ranks of those she’s seeking, which is initially headed up by the exquisitely pimptastic King George (DoQui), before it becomes clear that there are others like scumbag mobster Vitroni (Arbus) in Coffy’s sights.
Coffy is a film that is often quoted as being the definitive blaxploitation movie, and it’s easy to see why. Pam Grier is on truly iconic form here, devouring dialogue just as easily as she smashes through the bad guys, quipping“This is the end of your rotten life you motherfucking dope pusher!” whilst firing a shotgun to the face of one wrongdoer. And that’s within the film’s opening 5 or 6 minutes.
Whilst it is very much a film of its time, for better or for worse, and there are a few so-so performances dotted throughout Coffy, the sultry Pam Grier is a force of nature in this tale of revenge, betrayal and ass-kicking. There’s an infinitely cool vibe running throughout Hill’s movie, complete with dialogue that truly bites (although Grier’s brief Jamaican accent is ropey at best). Throw in a frenetic soundtrack, wonderful fashions, ample servings of sex, Sid Haig as a snarling henchman, and a fistful of moustaches and afros, then you have a classic of its time.
Sure, certain performances don’t really stand up too well in retrospect, but Coffy is a vital film in the blaxploitation genre and beyond. With this new release, there’s some nice recent interviews with Jack Hill and Pam Grier, plus an interesting video essay on the genre as a whole from Mikel J. Koven, although the highlight of the bonus content is likely the informative and engaging commentary from director Hill.
For those who’ve never seen Coffy, this is the perfect release to pick up. As for established fans of the film, there’s likely enough here to warrant adding this new release to your collection, especially as the cleaned up HD restoration means that Coffy’s revenge mission never looked so good.
Special Features: Audio commentary with Jack Hill / ‘A Taste of Coffy’ brand new interview with Jack Hill / ‘The Baddest Chick in Town’ brand new interview with Pam Grier / ‘Blaxploitation’ video essay / Theatrical trailer / Image gallery / Collector’s booklet
SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.
CLICK TO BUY!
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: