Coffy

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 ...
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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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Special Features

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

  • Release Date: 1/9/2001
  • UPC: 027616857835
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: Français, English, Español
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD

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
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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Menu

Main.
Play Movie.
   Menu Group #1 with 16 chapter(s) covering 01:30:04
Special Features.
Languages.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sookie Sookie Now!

    I've always loved Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" and knew how the old blacksploitation era had brought some interesting material into the 70s and on, but til I saw Coffy for the first time a few days ago, I had no idea. I had always loved Pam Grier (mostly by her looks), but never took the opportunity to check out any of her older films, especially "Coffy" or "Foxy Brown," mainly cause I thought they would be more like the older Batman flicks, that were mainly comedies and EXPLOITATION, which wasn't something I was dying to see. I caught "Coffy" on IFC the other night and I couldn't take my eyes away, I had some duties to attend to, but I just couldn't take myself away from this film. I remember coming across it at Barnes and Noble for a special 4.99 deal and passed it up for other products, but after my first viewing, I immediately went back to purchase the DVD along with "Foxy Brown." Now I see what the hubub was and still is all about with these films. Within the first few minutes you are enduring on a wild ride that goes on for an 1hr 1/2. It's really the first of its kind with a lead role going to the ever beautiful and fabulous Pam Grier as a Strong Black Superwoman, I don't know any other films that had a character such as "Coffy" back then, even up til now, maybe that's why Pam Grier is who she is. I love how a powerful, strong, beautiful woman like Pam Grier goes from sensual/erotic to the complete opposite; psychotic/violent. She brings a lot to her character "Coffy," as she sets out for revenge after the criminals who deal drugs in her neighborhood whom got her young sister highly addicted. And what a revenge story it is, to me, it's like a 70s Urban Western. Another thing that was brought to my attention was the amount of nudity and sex. Maybe back in the day when the Rated R films were starting to be more and more produced, directors were taking it more to the max then they would for todays standards and seeing how far they could really take it. I felt like I was watching a Russ Meyer film with a lot of action and violence, but that didn't bother me. There is a bit of comedy as well, which is what I like about this film, that it has a bit of everything mixed into one; action, romance, mystery, drama, comedy, etc. So if you like any of Tarantino's work, especially "Jackie Brown," then check this out, I actually think it's just as good, maybe even a little better. If not for that, then check it out to see Miss Pam Grier kick a little ass, which is highly entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wham! Bam! Thank you, Pam!

    Maxim magazine lists Coffy as number 7 on its list of the 50 best B-movies of all time, and there can clearly be no mistake about its status as a B-movie. Pam Grier shines in this hilarious action-packed blaxploitation flick where she first got her name as a 'black pin-up queen' during the early 70's. It is apparent after watching this film that no one remembers this for the bad-acting and dialogue, but for Pam Grier herself she is one mean sister. This movie SCREAMS 'early 70's', from the afro wigs to the awesome outfits Coffy finds herself wearing whether it be at a gala for call girls or when she's undercover to kick some drug-dealer's nasty behind! This brilliant film mixes comedy right in there with the action. From the campy catfight scenes when Coffy dumps a salad bowl onto a blonde girl's head, to when King George makes his first appearance and steps out of his car in his pimp outfit, complete right down to the feather in his hat!!! Just seeing Coffy smash a wine bottle on a table to defend herself against a crack head wielding a knife is riotous enough and also goes old school by putting razor blades in her hair!!! The action is fairly consistent. There are a lot of guns firing off and endless catfights. But every time Coffy appears on screen and you just KNOW that some bad stuff is about to go down, you know that you're going to be taken for a fun ride! As I mentioned above, no one is watching this movie for an Oscar-nominated performance or even a decent soundtrack (the "Coffy" theme sung by the Gladys Knight & The Pips-wannabes halfway through the movie is timeless!!!) - You’re there to be entertained... and entertained is what you'll get, guaranteed. This is one movie where you don't have to be drunk to enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews