Coffy (1973) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

One of the American International Pictures Pamsploitation classics from the early 70's. AIP knew what they had going here, an exotic and beautiful black woman, with a great chest and a great booty, who could do action scenes. And they used it to best advantage. As they say in sports, Pam was The Franchise for AIP.

Some of the other pics in this epoch gave Pam a better chance to play roles more suited to her. In this one she is a nurse by night, street avenger by day, and she didn't seem all that comfortable with the dialogue. Basically, her avenging consisted of sleeping with all the important pushers, pimps, and dealers until she got the right opportunity to blow their brains out. She was compelled to do this because the street life turned her eleven year old sister into a junkie.

Pam's acting was still in an emerging stage back then. You won't belive the accent she comes up with when she goes undercover as a prize Jamaican ho. She pretty much sounds like William F Buckley, except she says "mon" at the end of every sentence. One time she forgot to say "mon", and then added it as an afterthought. Funny stuff. They just left it in. These filmmakers didn't believe in a lot of re-takes.

But I doubt if you would be watching this for the plot and acting and subtle artistic touches.

It's an exploitation pic, and it delivers the goods. Pam shows it all except her pubes, and does so in good light a couple of times. Plenty of other women appear topless throughout the film. My favorite scene is a mass catfight when Pam cleans house on a bunch of jealous hookers at a cocktail party. And the weaponless Pam takes on all of them at once, ala Bruce Lee, without even any Kung Fu. Although she does use Champagne Bottle Fu, and Salad Fu, and the all-important Rip Off The Other Girls Top Fu.


Plenty of nudity. Pam's breasts are seen in several scenes, including a full screen topless close up of Pam from the waist up in good light. Pam also did full rear nudity, and you'll be impressed.

Close to a dozen other women, mostly obscure white extras, are seen topless at various times, including a group catfight.

Pam has her looks, and she is great in the action scenes. She could handle a shotgun and do a shoulder roll as well as anyone, and she opened up several cans of whup-ass in the course of the picture, on men as well as women.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • Full-length director commentary

Other thoughts:
  • You have to love the song,"Coffy is the color of your skin ......"
  • The director's commentary must be the dullest thing I've ever heard. Mostly he just apologizes for not using any black people in the crew, and for not using any real black music, and for making all black people of both sexes look like Huggy Bear. And his concept of interesting anecdotes is a bit different from mine. At one point he thanks ol' Florian Zabriski or somebody, the assistant to the assistant gaffer or something, for coming up with the idea of sharpening a bobby pin on a stone. "I never could have come up with that on my own". Good stuff.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2.5/4. No other major online reviews

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.7, very high for an exploitation film.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. One of the most enjoyable exploitation films. If you don't like these, there's nothing here for you, because the production level is just dinner theater with breasts, but if you like these, it's one of the most entertaining.

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