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‘Coffy’ (The Greatest Black Film Ever Made) Finally Coming to Blu-ray in April

'Coffy' (The Greatest Black Film Ever Made) Finally Coming to Blu-ray in April

O.K., O.K. I
admit that I did exaggerate somewhat. What I really meant to say was that “Coffy” is one of the greatest black films ever
made. The others being “Three the Hard Way,” “Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off,” “Melinda” and “Foxy Brown,” of course, in case you’re wondering.

But “Coffy” is
in a class by itself, and it could only have been made at the time it was, starring the African Goddess herself Pam Grier. Can you imagine anyone
making a film like this today? Who would play the lead role?

Yeah, right.
You see what I mean?

Written and
directed by Jack Hill, the plot is deceptively simple at first, but gets more
complex as it goes on, with Grier playing Coffy, a nurse whose younger baby sister
has become addicted to drugs. So she decides to go undercover to get rid of all the big
dealers in town, using guns, cars, razor blades and whatever else she
can get her hands on.

And of
course, there’s the legendary final shocking scene, which never fails to
have audiences (and especially women) cheering. Only the totally outrageous, twisted
and sickly funny final scene in Grier’s and Jack Hill’s next film, “Foxy Brown,” could top it.

The film is,
needless to say, extremely violent, but it has a genuine grimy, low down vibe
and an energy, that practically leaps off the screen. When it first came out, not
only was it a huge B.O. hit, it was obvious that there had never been anything
like it before; and, honestly, there hasn’t been anything like it since. And Grier was
such an overpowering magnetic and exciting screen presence that it’s no
surprise American International Pictures, who made “Coffy,” immediately
fast-tacked “Foxy Brown” with Grier, and Hill, once again writing and directing.

Now finally, after waiting and wondering when someone was finally going to get around to doing it,
comes news that “Coffy” is finally being released, remastered, and looking
better than ever, on high definition blu-ray DVD on April 6.

blu-ray will include a whole host of extras, including an audio commentary by writer and director
Jack Hill, “A Taste of Coffy,” a brand new interview with Jack Hill, “The Baddest
Chick in Town!” a brand new interview with Pam Grier discussing “Coffy” and “Foxy
Brown,” “Blaxploitation!” a video essay by
author Mikel J. Koven on the history and development of the “Blaxploitation” genre,
an image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned
artwork by Gilles Vranckx, a booklet analyzing the film by critic Cullen
Gallagher, and a profile of Grier by Yvonne D. Sims, author of Women in
Blaxploitation, illustrated with archive stills and posters.

there is a catch… but don’t despair.

The blu-ray
is being released by the British DVD label Arrow Films, who previously released “Foxy Brown” on blu-ray back in 2013, which means that the “Coffy” blu-ray disc will
be Region 2. So, unless you live in the U.K. or Europe, or own an all region
blu-ray player (like me), you won’t be able to play it on your domestic Region 1
blu-ray player, here in the U.S.

However, all
is definitely not lost. Because Arrow Films recently opened up a U.S. headquarters, and will start releasing domestic Region 1 Blu-ray DVDs beginning in March.
Though “Coffy” is not on their list for their March and April U.S. releases,
there’s no reason to believe that they won’t be releasing it here, later
this year.

And the
other real possibility is that the American Shout Factory label, which has released
a number of AIP films from the 70’s, will release “Coffy” on blu-ray here. When
Arrow announced a few months ago that they would be releasing the “Blacula” horror films in the U.K. I predicted that Shout Factory would soon follow suit.

And sure
enough, just two weeks alter, Shout announced they were coming out with the Blu-ray “Blaculas” in Feb. So it’s very possible that “Coffy” is on their “coming soon”
list, along with “Foxy Brown,” which has yet to come out on blu-ray in the U.S.

Here’s the trailer
for “Coffy”:

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