Monday, June 23, 2008

The Cinema - Pam Grier's Shining Moment

Jack Hill's 1974 blaxploitation epic Foxy Brown is completely dominated by the great Pam Grier, who didn't do anything this good again until 1997, in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown.

Foxy's boyfriend, an undercover federal agent, must undergo radical plastic surgery so he doesn't get rubbed out by the drug and prostitution gang he helped finger, but unhappily Foxy's useless brother, the shiftless Link (played with spastic intensity by Antonio Fargas) figures it out and spills the beans. The boyfriend gets rubbed out, and Foxy goes on the warpath.

She signs up with the bug-eyed madam who provides the financial cover for the drug ring, and her first gig is a tag team deal with a fat judge who is supposed to go easy on a couple of street dealers the next day - if he has a good time that evening.

Well, the judge winds up with no pants on in the hotel hallway, with grim women hacking at him with their umbrellas. Must have been rainy in southern California that day.

The bad guys twig to her activities, kidnap her and send her off to some crappy rural outpost in the care of two goobers who tie her to the bed and get her addicted to heroin. This does not faze Foxy, who blows them up and then seduces the pilot of the drug plane, so she can wipe out the rest of the gang (with the help of some righteous brothers from the neighborhood).

This is no way to treat a lady, as the goobers discover a few minutes later

And to add insult to injury, she cuts off a particularly personal part of the anatomy of Steve, the sleazy drug kingpin and reluctant lover of the bug-eyed madam. She then busts in and gives the jar containing the unit to the bug-eyed m., prior to shooting her.

Steve thinks he has the upper hand, but Foxy and her two friends get their revenge

Pam Grier is in terrific form in this one. Not only does she have world-class chestal appendages, but the girl can act.

And for once the dialogue isn't completely cringe-inducing. Neither is anything else. It's actually a pretty good film by normal, non-CACA standards.

By CACA standards it is stellar: Bazooms galore; plenty of soul brother dialogue; not too much plot to get in the way of the story; non-elective surgery; kung fu; brawl in lesbian bar; airplane propeller meets bad guy's head; a terrific soliloquy by Antonio Fargas while wearing gaudy pants.

This one will endure, so it receives the coveted Iron Coil.


Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Your post provoked some memories! I remember seeing this film as a little kid. I clearly recall seeing the hotel hallway scene. Pam Grier...what a woman. A far cry from the skinny bimbos of today.

Tony Ventresca said...

I had no idea this movie was so good. I'll have to find a copy somehow.

In my mind, the best thing Tarantino's ever done was the scenes with Pam Grier and Robert Forrester. Those scences are so good it's hard to believe they came from him, but then he had two tremendous actors to make it work.