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This Summer, Starbucks Has A Brand New Brand
When it comes to blaxploitation, a popular theme is justice. Everyone is always trying to bring justice to the streets. Everyone wants to get rid of the drug-dealers and crime. I don't think anyone wanted to get rid of them more than Coffy. She's passionate about getting rid of these people and we as an audience come to know this very quickly. This is the kind of character that only an actress like Pam Grier can truly bring to life. She's tough, but has her limits. She's mean, but can love as well. She will shoot you on sight, but she can convincingly love her sister. Pam Grier is more than your average exploitation star, and it truly shows here.
In Coffy, Pam plays Coffy, of course. Coffy is your everyday African-American nurse, until her little sister gets addicted to heroin and put into rehab. Coffy then makes it her mission to kill all of the drug-dealers responsible for getting her hooked on the stuff. Throughout her journey, she meets King George, a pimp who meets a gruesome (not to mention, unconvincing and unintentionally hilarious) death and many other strange characters.
One funny thing that I like to point out, is that we don't get to see a whole lot of the relationship between Coffy and her sister. Coffy literally has one scene with her sister and that's it. I don't even recall her sister having any sort of dialogue. Why is that funny, you might be asking? You totally sympathize with Coffy when she's doing these horrible things to the drug-dealers. Honestly, her sister could've been Hitler and we would still sympathize with her. I think this is mainly due to Pam Grier's performance and the passion she portrays. I know I sound like a total Pam Grier fan boy, but she's truly great in this. She's the best part about this movie.
What you need to remember while watching this movie is that it was made in the seventies. It was made for a seventies audience and has a seventies soundtrack (oh my God, that seventies soundtrack is fantastic. The theme song for this film is funky and awesome). I say this because if you show this film to an audience that is strictly "mainstream", they will probably not enjoy this film in the slightest. There are many aspects in this film that may seem very dated. The soundtrack and the outfits are totally seventies and if you love the seventies, you will probably love this movie and vice versa.
Another thing that I should probably bring up is the unemotionally hilarious moments. I've already talked about the death scene of King George where let's just say Burt Reynolds took great influence from it in Cop and ½. But there are also many more of these hilarious scenes. For example, there is a cat fight about halfway through the movie which I hope was intentionally funny because it gets intense. There is a character in the movie who "doesn't like getting his picture taken". This goes to the point where he threatens to cut a woman's breast off if she doesn't destroy his picture. There are many more that I dare not spoil for you. If you have a stronger stomach for scenes like these than I do, you'll get through these scenes just fine.
A lot of what I'm saying in this review is negative and it may come off as though I don't like this movie. There are actually a lot of parts of this movie that I like. I love how the movie seems to be a feminist piece like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charlie's Angels. I love the violent scenes that I can actually take seriously. Most of all, I love Pam Grier in this movie. If you like the seventies, funky soundtracks, great performances, feminine undertones, and funny scenes in the same sense of the Wicker Man, I think you'll love Coffy as much as I did. 8/10