Coffy (1973)

This is the first blaxploitation movie I’ve ever seen, and if other blaxploitation movies are as good as this, I should definitely look for more. From beginning to end, “Coffy” is a goddamn blast (pun intended): Pam Grier has an extraordinary amount of screen presence thanks to a combination of charisma and striking beauty, and she wears this movie like a glove throughout. This is all about Grier, all the time: She’s in just about every scene, and she remains as enigmatic and fascinating to the audience as she does to her potential victims. In between scenes that practically reek of social indignation at the horrors of the drug trade, there are segments that are both laugh-out-loud funny and downright rattling, sometimes at the same time thanks to a combination of darkly effective humor and occasionally shocking violence. It’s the kind of movie that probably plays really well with a midnight movie crowd that’s enjoying altered states, so if that sounds like a good time to you, then you should seek it out as soon as possible.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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