Movie of the Day – Coffy
July 19, 2012 Leave a comment
After yesterday’s trip to the grindhouse theater with Machete, I just had to do another post in the exploitation genre that I love and enjoy so much. If you have read my blog for some time, or not, whatever, then you know my general affinity for the Blaxploitation genre. I have review Shaft, Superfly, Black Dynamite and even Blacula, all because I love watching people stick it to the man. Also because that genre spawned some of the best soundtracks ever. Shit I still listen to Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack in the car when I am cruising. But I do have to give some undying love to the Nubian Queen of the Blaxploitation genre, the baddest mamma in the land, Pam Grier. Coffy is the breakout role that led to her future roles in Foxy Brown and becoming the strong, force in strong willed women in cinema. She is also, still, a stone cold fox.
Her little 11-year old sister is a hopeless addict, the police can’t help, and poor Nurse “Coffy” Coffin (Pam Grier) has no choice but to take the law into her own hands. Posing as a Jamaican prostitute, Coffy infiltrates the lairs of pimp King George (Robert DoQui) and kingpin pusher Vitroni (Allan Arbus). Eventually, after her childhood sweetheart is beaten into a coma and she finds out her politician-lover (Booker Bradshaw) is involved, Coffy kills everyone with a shotgun. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
Nothing beats watching Pam Grier just bitch clap, karate chop and shotgun sex her way through countless men. I would put this on par with Death Wish in terms of violence, but not in terms of the graphic nature of the violence. Pam Grier is just mesmerizing as her role as Coffy. She is the heroine that African Americans can appreciate, the sort of bad mama jamma that exudes a strong sense of moral convictions along with sexuality that is used to her advantage. I can’t speak on behalf of an entire race, but this for me certainly made an impression in terms of strong character actors and heroines.
Coffy is an exploitative world. Violence, sex, and politics within that world is all amped up in terms of exploitation levels. All the bad guys (white people) are slimey and oppressive, while Coffy perseveres in the face of the established racism and sexism. She balances out this line between sexuality and ferocity, seemingly drifting and blurring the line between the two. She can exploit the easy weakness in horny men and then fuck them up, preferably with a shotgun to the face. She is the ideal action star, instead of the thin crop of actresses that can knock out a guy 3-4 times their size with a punch. Pam Grier sells her intensity with both beauty and brawn, the thing that is lacking in today’s female action star and this is from a character who was created in the early 70s. Grier is just a brick house in both departments that ends up being the sole reason these movies work.
Coffy paved the way for Pam Grier to usher in the strong, African female heroine. A woman who is both strong and vulnerable, but never hindered by they fact she is a woman in a predominantly male society. She knows how to manipulate in the and can duke it out with the rest of them, selling the films action sequences. If you appreciate strong female leads, then this is a must for you. If you are wanting to see the roots of Blaxploitation film and birth of the strong, African female heroine, Pam Grier in Coffy and any other of her early 70s films will be a must see.