Duke Johnson visits a small Southern town, intent on burying his brother. After the funeral, he learns that he must stay for 60 days, for the estate to be processed. A few locals convince ... See full summary »
Nurse "Coffy" Coffin leads a double life. During the day, she's a nurse at work. At night, she's an avenging angel on a personal vendetta, tracking down the drug pushers who hooked her younger sister on drugs. Along the way, she meets a honest police detective who also is leading a double life.Written by
Coffy Is The Color (Main Title)
Composed by Roy Ayers (Music) and Carl Clay (Lyrics)
Arranged, produced and performed by Roy Ayers
Sung by Dee Dee Bridgewater (as Denise Bridgewater)
Backing Vocals by Wayne Garfield See more »
The first half of this film is interesting enough, with a strong and smart African-American woman in the lead role (Pam Grier of course), using her brains and body to seek vengeance on drug dealers who messed up her sister. It has a heavy 70's B-movie vibe to it, and there were times when it felt like the feminist aspects of Grier's character were undercut by things like women's tops flying open at what seems like every possible moment. However, the film really picks up steam is in the second half, which has interesting moments in the plot, action scenes that hold together well, and a few social messages delivered as well. Seriously, if the film hadn't gotten carried away in places early on, I think it would be much better regarded, and even as it is, it feels underrated to me.
It's an action movie first and foremost, and an entertaining one at that, but I loved how it talked about the overall system of drugs, starting with poverty being a factor in the chain stretching from users to pushers to all the way back to poor farmers in faraway places, many of whom are people of color. At the top in this system are the affluent, and a chain of mostly white businessmen, corrupt police, and corrupt politicians. The film doesn't hit us over the head with this, and there are good and bad African-American characters, as well as good and bad cops. With that said, images like the rope being put around a black man's neck and then him being dragged from a car, as well as a rich white guy getting off on using slurs and denigrating "exotic" women are pretty meaningful in addition to powerful.
It's really Pam Grier who makes this film though. She simply radiates beauty and strength, and the look in her eyes at times is every bit as mesmerizing as her often talked about body. Her acting may be a little uneven in places but it didn't bother me in the slightest, and I loved her overall performance, which had high entertainment value.
My favorite quote is from the politician (Booker Bradshaw), who is an interesting character in his own right: "You know, you've been listening to my political speeches. I thought you'd be more intelligent than to listen to crap like that."
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