Coffy (1973)

Australian label Umbrella Entertainment has taken us back to the grit and grime of the Los Angeles streets circa 1973, thanks to their restoration and release of Jack Hill’s blaxploitation cult classic, Coffy.  This release is only available through the Umbrella webstore so scoop yours up quickly!

Before you start struttin’ around town, wearin’ your high heels, and thinkin’ you’re hot shit, just remember that Coffy did it first. Before Alicia Keys sang about a girl on fire and before Bryce Dallas Howard earned street cred for outrunning dinosaurs in high heels there was 1973’s Coffy. Pam Grier, excuse me, where are my manners? The beautiful and talented Pam Grier stars in Jack Hill’s film and kicks a whole lot of ass as she, single handedly, delivers a swift and furious vengeance against those who would do her harm as she avenges the death of her sister.

"everything in Coffy works and never feels disingenuous to its Blaxploitation genre"

Hill’s oft-quoted vigilante flick is condemned for being insensitive to damn near everyone and everything. Well, duh.  That's its purpose.  It is a script so full of stereotypes that it actually invents some of its own with hilarious results. Yet, everything in Coffy works and never feels disingenuous to its Blaxploitation genre so rooted in its era. From the opening sequence in which Nurse "Coffy" Coffin (Grier) cons two men into thinking it’s their lucky day only to kill them both (one with a pretty gory shotgun blast to the face) to the closing as one man loses his junk to her wrath, Coffy never shies away from its exploitation swagger. It is a revenge film that wears no disguise and doesn’t bat an eyelash as it squashes Texans, Hispanics, Italians, lesbians, the police, the media, prostitutes, and Sid Haig under its knee-high boots.

Coffy, crusading solo for the honor of her strung-out sister, carries her then-unfashionable anti-drug message straight to the streets. She’s not afraid to get dirty either. The men don't get all of the fun.  She uses her sexuality like candy to lure a pimp named King George (Robert DoQui) and Mafia boss Arturo Vitroni (Allan Arbus) out in the open. Her targets are plenty and she tackles each one with an unmatched skill set that no one is prepared for. She goes from sweet to sassy in seconds and, sometimes, without a stitch of clothing on at all. Coffy (1973)

Yet, when her police friend Carter (William Elliott) bites it, she realizes how far she must go to put an end to the cycle of violence and the drugs that have wrecked her city. Co-starring Sid Haig and Booker Bradshaw, Coffy is one fell of a genre flick that, in spite of its low budget and sexually provocative nature, only gets better with age. It helps to have the funked-out non-stop groove of Roy Ayers’ score in the background, too.

Hill, under pressure from American International Pictures to deliver this exploitation flick months before a similar-themed film, Cleopatra Jones, hit theaters, actually delivers a better genre flick than I think many expected. Coffy became the hit no one expected and Cleopatra Jones fizzled. Black audiences ate it up. White audiences did, too. Hell, audiences of all colors and cultures continue to lap Coffy up like milk.

Grier, who hitched her star to this particular type of role in later films like Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, and Sheba, Baby, is seriously off the chain with a genuine attitude that most cannot pull off. She hides nothing and remains vulnerable.  There is a rawness to the Grier and, if you couldn’t tell from Quentin Tarantino’s underappreciated Jackie Brown, she is still in possession of it.

Coffy is a favorite of Tarantino’s. You should probably check it out, too. And Umbrella Entertainment, with this blu-ray release, makes it possible once again. As the infamous tag says, “They call her Coffy and she'll cream you!”

5/5 beers


Coffy (1973)

Blu-ray Details

Umbrella Entertainment Exclusive / Blu-Ray +Book +Rigid case +Slipcase +Poster +Artcards

Home Video Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- April 26, 2024
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region B

Hailed as one of the most groundbreaking works of the Blaxploitation genre, Coffy has been described as a favorite by Quentin Tarantino.  Director Jack Hill’s gritty portrayal of urban decay, intense action sequences, and unapologetic approach to addressing societal issues of the time, is celebrated as a classic.  Coffy (Pam Grier) is a dedicated and passionate nurse who seeks revenge on the drug dealers who have devastated her community. When her younger sister becomes a victim of the drug trade, Coffy takes matters into her own hands, going undercover as a vigilante to dismantle the criminal underworld. As Coffy infiltrates the narcotics ring, she uses her intelligence, beauty, and martial arts skills to navigate a dangerous and corrupt world. Along the way, she forms alliances with both law enforcement and the criminal elements, blurring the lines between justice and revenge.


Presented in 1.85:1, Umbrella Entertainment gives audiences a great look at Coffy.  The detail and clarity of the picture is impressive and the color grading, which really makes the deep reds pop off the screen, does well in really showing off the atmospheric grime of a Los Angeles which no longer exists.  Black and brown levels are solid throughout as Coffy goes about getting drugs and thugs off the street.


Blasting away at the walls, the 2.0 Mono (Dual Mono) gives us a strong sense of the power of grindhouse cult classics.  It won’t win any awards, mind you, but the front-loaded power on display is far from weak.



  • See Special Features for the details.

Special Features:

This is a limited edition numbered release and it comes with a 48-page book, a rigid slipcase, classic poster, 8 replica lobby cards, and the following supplemental items.

  • 8 replica lobby cards
  • A3 reversible poster
  • Limited Edition Numbered release
  • Audio Commentary with writer/director Jack Hill
  • “A Taste of Coffy” interview with Jack Hill (18:49)
  • “The Baddest Chick in Town!” interview with Pam Grier on Coffy and its follow-up Foxy Brown (17:38)
  • ‘Baadasssss Cinema’ feature length documentary by Larry Cohen (58:00)
  • NEW! Pam Grier trailer compilation

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details

Coffy (1973)

MPAA Rating: R.
90 mins
: Jack Hill
Jack Hill; Pam Grier
Pam Grier; Booker Bradshaw; Robert DoQui
: Action | Crime | Thriller
She's the Godmother of Them All
Memorable Movie Quote: "She's a wild animal! I've got to have that girl, George! Tonight!"
Theatrical Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 11, 1973
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 26, 2024
Synopsis: A sexy Black nurse takes vigilante justice against inner-city drug dealers after her sister becomes their latest victim.


Coffy (1973)