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Film Review: Foxy Brown (1974)

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SYNOPSIS:

A voluptuous black woman takes a job as a high-class prostitute in order to get revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.

REVIEW:

If ever you find yourself hankering for a serving of pure 70’s, there is non better to fill that hunger than the 1974 Blaxploitation film “Foxy Brown”. At the time of this review, I had not spent much time exploring this specific genre of films (especially the cult classics). However, it was long overdue that I do. The film “Foxy Brown” is most noted for it’s lead star Pam Grier who fits the film’s title description quite well. “A whole lotta woman” as they call her, Foxy is usually pretty busy saving her drug dealer brother from harm or simply looking sexy in the smattering of outfits she appears to don in the course of the movie. “Foxy Brown”, the movie, is lot of fun to watch if only for the dialog and 70’s flair that seems to be copied but never quite mastered in alot of grind house film releases that features black talent at their core.

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Pam Grier, the star attraction sits somewhere in the center of playing a tough-as-nails femme fatale to being obviously featured  for her quite noticeable assets. Grier succeeds in bringing a unique flair to screen that would equally place her at the center of her cult status stardom in years to come. A beauty to behold, Pam wastes no time in flaunting her sexiness to the thrill of movie goers from her era.

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The streets are tough and Foxy seems to know her way around. When her agent-boyfriend is taken down by the gang who he is trying to put away, it ignites a revenge streak that has Foxy working her way thru the syndicate to inflict the same damage they left on her. Her plan? to infiltrate the prostitution ring and inflict a little payback in any way she can. The film rests sharply on segments of violence, sex, and black-empowered culture that actually places the black gangs as the heroes to this story. “Miss” Katherine Wall (Kathryn Lode) runs the local drug and prostitution ring in union with her lover Steve Elias (Peter Brown). Their thugs-for-hire have no problem doing the dirty work at the threat of their own lives. Violence scenes make for some pretty quirky practical effects.

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Once Foxy starts unloading her vengeance on the ring, she is quickly brought down and thrown to the wolves. Captured and beaten she is taken out to an off road ranch for the “boys” to have their way with her thru rape and forced heroin injections. Though this is only when the film starts to really take form as Foxy manages to claw their eyes out and set the rest to flame. She plays it cool and calculated despite the hardships she must endure along the way. In the end, the film manages to drum up a few quite memorable moments as it works its way thru the sexiness of our lead actor and her knack for payback.

The film which has made it way over the year thru various levels of formatting, can now be enjoyed on restored high definition thru Olive Films bluray release. The release lacks extras and subtitles but still delivers its core product with care for its cult followers in this official bluray release of the film.

Research reveals this release was originally intended as a sequel to the earlier film “Coffy” (back in the day). While we “get” that Foxy is a tough chick, we never quite learn of what she actually does that serves as a basis for her skill. Fans of Grier, will of course make the connections, though it is recommended that viewers take in a few Pam Grier movies to get her rhythm and flavor.

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Those who have been holding off on diving into blaxploitation are seriously missing out if they haven’t at least given Grier’s films a proper viewing. A surprise bonus for me was seeing a much younger Sid Haig (with hair) playing the screen role of Hays. With a cool soundtrack and plenty of edgy dialog interchanges, “Fox Brown” is surely a treat…. You might even say its “dynamite!

Foxy Brown is now available on bluray per Olive Films

Release Date: June 9, 2015

Rated: R

Runtime: 92 minutes

Year Filmed: 1974

Screen: 1.85:1, Color

Languages: Engllish

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