Coffy (1973) / Thriller-Action

MPAA Rated: R for strong brutal violence, strong sexuality/nudity, language and drug content
Running Time: 91 min.

Cast: Pam Grier, Brooker Bradshaw, Robert DoQui, William Elliott, Allan Arbus
Director: Jack Hill
Screenplay: Jack Hill
Review published April 27, 1999

Pam Grier stars as Coffy, a nurse who gets fed up with the drugs and crime that all but killed her little sister and is ruining the neighborhoods of the inner cities.  She takes it upon herself to get revenge on the dealer that leaned on her sister and finds bigger fish to fry after a policeman friend gets beaten to the point of brain damage for not joining his fellow police friends in the corruption of organized crime.  

This cult favorite blaxploitation flick features a compelling story and some good writing by the director Jack Hill.  Unfortunately Hill is a better writer than a director as what could have been exciting lays lame most of the time with predictable staging and unbelievably overblown characters.  Add to this some pretty amateurish acting and you've got the makings of a pretty lacking film.  Grier shows off her worst when trying to adopt a Jamaican accent (mon), but Grier fans can rejoice that she shows her best attributes several times throughout the film to make up for it.  Some terrific songs on the impossible to get soundtrack (believe me, I've tried) by jazz/funk maestro Roy Ayers are in the mix here, which actually is why I watched the film to begin with.  Too bad they're about the only things I enjoyed (other than the aforementioned talents of Grier) in this ambitious but lifeless film.

Qwipster's rating:

1999 Vince Leo