What we have here my friends is Pam Grier’s seminal work, the one movie that is usually associated with her name when we hear her name, that movie being 1974’s ‘Foxy Brown’. Blaxploitation personified. But if you were to ask me I’m afraid that I’d have to hold up ‘Coffy’ as Ms. Grier’s magna opus of blaxploitation lunacy, probably dropping ‘Foxy Brown’ even behind ‘Sheba Baby’, ‘Black Mama, White Mama’, ‘The Arena’ and even ‘Women in Cages’ when it comes Pam Grier and exploitation glory. Not that ‘Foxy Brown’ doesn’t have its magic moments, oh no, it just might be a little overrated is all.
We have no idea what Foxy’s occupation was in this movie since we didn’t even get a hint of Foxy’s line of employment, not that this stopped her from sporting some of the hippest pants suits that the 1970’s had to offer. Basically, when we catch up with Foxy, she’s just waiting for her man Landon, now surgically repaired to be Michael (Terry Carter), to get released from the hospital so she can rock his world. Michael was working undercover to bring down some blokes who were dealing dope, but they got to the Grand Jury and now Michael has to go underground forever to avoid their reach. While this may sound like a raw deal, remember that my man is going underground with Foxy and her twins so it’s not nearly as bad as it could be.
The problem with our lover’s long term plans is that Foxy’s scurrilous brother Link (Antonio Fargas) is in deep to these drug dealers and needs a way out. Damn if he didn’t somehow recognize Michael and then preceded to dime him out. Guess who’s not gonna be palming Foxy’s twins anymore?
Now Foxy is pissed. She’s pissed at Link whose ear she shoots off, but mainly she’s pissed at the drug dealing, prostitution peddling psycho lovers Katherine (Katherine Loder) and Steve (Peter Brown). Now Foxy is going to make them pay… by becoming one of their prostitutes. It’s an exploitation movie so what else would she do? Steve the
evil drug dealer is pissed off too, but mainly because his lady Katherine has some of the baddest bitches in town littering her stable and she forces him to make out with her all the time.
Foxy’s revenge won’t come easy. We don’t know why it won’t come easy when we see what a weak ass set of drug dealers Katherine and Steve happen to be, but it won’t come easy. Betrayed, strung out and gang raped by hillbilly’s, it won’t be easy. Until the Soul Brothers of Mayhem come on board to extend their community service outreach program. Even though the soul brothers did something in this movie that I don’t think any man would do to another man, no matter what he did.
‘Foxy Brown’ was directed by Jack Hill, who should be in somebody’s hall of fame somewhere considering the classics he has given us over the years. Plus Jack is still alive at the tender age of 79 though they haven’t let him direct a movie since 1982’s ‘Sorceress’, which was written by current schlock director Jim Wynorski and considered one of the worst movies ever made, which obviously means I will put everything in my life aside to track this masterpiece down. Why have they kept Jack away from the camera for 30 years? Certainly not because of his work on ‘Coffy’ and ‘Foxy Brown’ which are arguably, though not much of an argument, the directors finest work and some of the finest examples of the white guy helmed exploitation movies that came out of the seventies.
There are similarities between ‘Coffy’ and ‘Foxy Brown’, starting with of course Pam Grier and her freakish genetics. Second to none. Also we mentioned in our comments about ‘Coffy’ that Ms. Grier wasn’t much of an actress back in ’73, and the year that passed during the time this one came out didn’t allow her to become much better, but who in their unholy right mind would cast Pam Grier in a 1970’s exploitation film because of her ability to act. That’s crazy talk right there. Besides, we had the late Katherine Loder and her stage training to majestically overact for us. Also similar were the almost completely nonsensical storylines, Jack Hill’s scattershot story telling style, lots and lots of suspect action, plenty of other titties to gawk at if you got tired of looking at Pam’s for some unknown reason, and a load of seventies styled dialog which will make you weep if you spent any time back in that amazing decade.
However while the core exploitation elements are all there, the thing that makes ‘Coffy’ the superior movie in my opinion were the bad guys. The heavies in ‘Coffy’ were a trip in how ridiculously evil they were, like something out of a Bullwinkle cartoon, where Katherine and Steve we actually kinda whiney and lame. Katherine Loder was a good actress and all, but she was no Shelly Winters (Cleopatra Jones) when it came to chewing up scenery and yelling out racial slurs, Peter Brown did a little better when it came to yelling offensive racial epithets, but he too was a little on the weak side. I don’t know why Jack Hill didn’t just expand Sid Haig’s role from ‘Coffy’ considering how rotten he was in that movie. He was in this one too, more for comedic relief and he was funny, but we like Sid more when Sid is being bad.
A 70’s era Blaxsploitation film starring a primo seventies hot mama would have be pretty awful for us to crap on it, and we’re looking straight at you ‘T.N.T. Jackson’, but ‘Foxy Brown’ is still near the top of the pile. It’s just no ‘Coffy’. Or ‘Three the Hard Way’. Or ‘Truck Turner’ is all we’re saying.