The Baddest One-Chick Hit-Squad that ever hit town – She had body men would die for . . . and a lot of them did!
Tall, gorgeous, outrageously built, and believably ferocious, Pam Grier became the undisputed queen of blaxploitation movies as a result of her role as Coffy – a dedicated and attractive young nurse whose 11-year-old sister gets involved in drugs and is eventually hospitalised by contaminated heroin.
Coffy sets out – with a loaded shotgun – on a mission of vengeance and vigilante justice, killing drug dealers, pimps, and mobsters who cross her path, determined to stop the drug trade once and for all.
First, she lures pusher Sugarman (Morris Buchanan) into a bedroom, blows his head off with a shotgun, and then forces his driver to give himself a fatal shot of heroin.
Coffy’s boyfriend, Howard Brunswick (Booker Bradshaw), is a city councilman who is pals with Ramos (Ruben Moreno), a former policeman who is now a racketeer.
Carter (William Elliott) is a young black cop whose partner, McHenry (Barry Cahill), Coffy suspects of being crooked. She learns from Carter that McHenry is working with the drug mob and that the Mister Big is a Las Vegas gangster called Arturo Vitroni (Allan Arbus).
McHenry sends two hoods to silence Carter. They rough up Coffy and batter Carter so he will never be the same again.
Coffy discovers from a prostitute called Priscilla (Carol Lawson) that a big shot dope distributor and pimp, King George (Robert DoQui), works for Vitroni, but before Coffy can leave, a huge black lesbian attacks her. She escapes and contrives to meet King George, luring him into a boudoir where she takes the heroin which he has hidden and substitutes plain powder for it.
Knowing that one of King George’s girls, Meg (Linda Haynes), is going to attack her, Coffy puts a razor blade in her afro. In the wild fight that follows, Meg slashes her hands.
Vitroni watches the battle with relish and decides he wants to have sex with Coffy. But just as Vitroni is about to practice his particular perversion on Coffy with a revolver, Nick (Lee de Broux) bursts in and saves the situation.
Blaming King George, Vitroni has the distributor/pimp killed.
Howard Brunswick is summoned to a hideaway, where he finds Vitroni, McHenry, Aleva, Nick and Ramos. They figure he must have been in on the plot to kill Vitroni and test him by bringing Coffy in front of him and accusing him of sending her to shoot Vitroni. Brunswick – who, it turns out, has been collaborating with Vitroni all along – says they should kill Coffy.
They put Coffy in McHenry’s police car and give her what they think is a fatal shot of heroin (it’s actually only the harmless powder which Coffy substituted in King George’s bedroom) and when Omar starts to have sex with her, she stabs him in the throat with a bobby pin she has sharpened. He begins to bleed to death.
Pursuing Coffy, Nick is hit by a car and killed. When McHenry tries to run her down, she eludes him, and he drives off the end of an uncompleted freeway, plunging to a fiery death.
Coffy steals a car and crashes into the hideaway, where she kills Aleva by running into him and despatches Ramos and Vitroni with a shotgun. At Brunswick’s beach house, she shoots off everything that was where his crotch used to be . . .
Coffy has successfully destroyed all those who destroyed her sister.
Thanks to strong roles like this, and awesome acting smarts to match them, Grier became a cult star. Two decades later, Quentin Tarantino would give her a new lease of life in Jackie Brown (1997).
Lee de Broux
Dea St. Lamont