Coffy (1973)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Blaxploitation, Crime Thriller  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Coffy is one of the more lively blaxploitation films of the period, with some silly touches like genre standby Sid Haig as a racist Russian goon named Omar, puny Arbus as the perverted gangster (he calls Coffy a "wildcat from the tropical jungle"), and a catfight in which Coffy beats up a room full of scantily clad hookers. There's also a junkie hooker whose "man" is a giant leather-clad lesbian named Harriet, and DoQui wears one of the gaudiest yellow pimp outfits ever seen on film. Like all revenge films, this one puts its protagonist on dubious moral ground. Not only does Coffy ram heroin needles into people and blow a corrupt councilman's gonads off with a shotgun, but she intentionally steals a car from an innocent bystander, and causes hooker Linda Haynes to slice her hands to ribbons just for spilling food on her out of jealousy. Coffy also gets to run over a half-blind hit man, shotgun Vitroni in his swimming pool, burn a crooked cop alive in his squad car, and repeatedly jam a bobby pin into Omar's carotid artery. Needless to say, she is not a woman to trifle with. Despite taking the moral low road, this is an outstanding exploitation film with enough violence, sadism, nudity, and social outrage to satisfy even the most demanding sleaze buff. Grier is terrific, and it's no coincidence that Quentin Tarantino released Switchblade Sisters to theaters and cast both Grier and Haig in his masterful 1997 blaxpo tribute Jackie Brown. That film also featured music by Coffy composer Roy Ayers.