Coffy

Coffy

Director: Jack Hill

Cast: Jack Hill, Pam Grier, Booker Bradshaw, Robert DoQui

     
 

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Released into the DVD world as part of MGM/UA's "Soul Cinema" sub-brand, Coffy actually holds up very well for a low-budget blaxploitation effort. Credit writer/director Jack Hill and star Pam Grier for that. MGM/UA can also be given a little credit for having found a very nice print to work from -- scratches and blemishes are nowhere to be seen, and the onlySee more details below

Overview

Released into the DVD world as part of MGM/UA's "Soul Cinema" sub-brand, Coffy actually holds up very well for a low-budget blaxploitation effort. Credit writer/director Jack Hill and star Pam Grier for that. MGM/UA can also be given a little credit for having found a very nice print to work from -- scratches and blemishes are nowhere to be seen, and the only real strike against it is that it does seem to be a low-contrast print, in keeping unfortunately with the process methods of the late '60s through early '80s. Given that the print has low contrast, areas that should have solid blacks are slightly grey, and there is an overall grainy effect in less brightly lit scenes, though the image does stay reasonably sharp. Some compression artifacts are also -- barely -- visible in larger dark areas, probably because the compression engineer skimped a little on the bit budget. There is no evidence of stairstepping or edge enhancement. Colors are good, and fairly accurate for the most part, but very muted, thanks again to the low contrast. The overall image quality -- more to do with the print and budget than the DVD transfer -- is about on a par with a decently made TV movie. The image is non-anamorphic and letterboxed to 1.85:1, the aspect ratio of the movie. The soundtrack is likewise about on a par with TV movies of the day. A certain amount of clean-up has been done, along with some maximizing, but nothing else, which means that much of the mono track sounds thin and feeble, though dialogue is clear enough. There are French and Spanish tracks, both mono; the French has not been maximized, and the noise reduction on both seems to have been crudely applied. The dubbing is passable in both cases, though the Spanish track seems to have been recently redubbed -- the dialogue is considerably louder than the music and effects. Jack Hill provides a scene-specific running commentary track, providing not only production information, but quite a bit of social context and history. While his delivery is low-key and a bit droning, it's an engaging commentary that goes non-stop from first frame almost to the last. The DVD also includes a theatrical trailer and 16 chapter stops. There is no booklet or insert card.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/09/2001
UPC:
0027616857835
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

Audio commentary by the director; Original theatrical trailer; English: mono; French: mono; Spanish: mono; French and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pam Grier Coffy
Booker Bradshaw Brunswick
Robert DoQui King George
William Elliott Carter
Allan Arbus Vitroni
John Perak Aleva
Sid Haig Omar
Linda Haynes Meg
Morris Buchanan Sugar-Man
Barry Cahill McHenry
Lee de Broux Nick
Lisa Farringer Jeri
Bob Minor Studs
Ruben Moreno Ramos
Carol Lawson Actor

Technical Credits
Jack Hill Director,Screenwriter
Roy Ayers Score Composer
Salvatore Billitteri Producer
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Don Johnson Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Lohmann Cinematographer
Charles McClelland Editor
Chuck McClelland Editor
Robert A. Papazian Producer

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Scene Index

Scene Selections.
0. Scene Selections.
1. Title/Credits/Intro. [7:45]
2. First Date. [6:39]
3. Common Interests. [6:03]
4. Resisting the Take. [6:02]
5. Where's the Stash? [5:26]
6. Mistique. [7:00]
7. Oops. [3:32]
8. Wild Animal. [2:40]
9. Big V. [7:26]
10. Lynch Mob. [7:21]
11. Good With Words. [1:45]
12. Serious Business. [7:47]
13. Coffy Chaser. [8:15]
14. For You, Sis. [5:33]
15. One Big Right Thing. [4:48]
16. End Credits. [1:56]

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