06th Jun2013

‘Foxy Brown’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, Peter Brown, Terry Carter, Sid Haig, Juanita Brown, Harry Holcombe | Written and Directed by Jack Hill


With Shaft hitting it big in the cinema in 1971, grabbing an audience spanning both age and race, producers scrambled to find the next big blaxploitation franchise and star. In walked Jack Hill with his 1973 effort Coffy. Starring Pam Grier as a vigilante nurse, the film was a runaway hit for American-International Pictures who commissioned Hill to come up with a follow-up. Originally conceived as a sequel to Coffy, AIP decided at the last minute it did not want to do a sequel and thus Foxy Brown was born…

Foxy Brown stars Pam Grier as the street-smart yet intensely sexy titular character, whose undercover-agent boyfriend is gunned down on the orders of evil drug kingpins. Racked with grief and anger she stops at nothing to exact a thrillingly brutal revenge. After linking her boyfriend’s murder to a so-called “modelling agency”, Foxy poses as a prostitute to infiltrate the company, saving fellow black women from a life of drugs and sexual exploitation in the process.

It’s an indisputable fact that Foxy Brown is one of the greatest Blaxploitation films of all time. Not only that but it features the stunning Grier in a stupendously varied range of Seventies threads while righteously kicking villainous white butt at every opportunity. It was, and is, a once in a lifetime role and one that enshrined Grier in the hearts and minds of film fans everywhere – including some, like Quentin Tarantino, would would go on to write characters and produce films inspired by the genre, the actress and the character.

This new Blu-ray from Arrow Video is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with a print that is easily the best the film has looked in some time, with minimal print damage (and I mean minimal) and no signs of excessive DNR or sharpening. Special features on the blu-ray include an audio commentary with director Jack Hill; vintage trailers; new video piece with clips from interviews with the legendary Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, actors Austin Stoker and Rosanne Katon, and film scholar and filmmaker Howard S. Berger; video interview with actor Sid Haig; video interview with stuntman Bob Minor; and a collection of posters, publicity stills, and lobby cards. As is usual for Arrow Video releases, there’s an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Josiah Howard, author of “Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide”, a new interview with Pam Grier by Jack Hill biographer Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters, as well as a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress.

With a cracking soundtrack, some incredibly non-PC storytelling (including an epically violent “whites vs blacks” finale) and a bad-ass heroine Foxy Brown is unmissable stuff for exploitation and action movie fans alike.

Foxy Brown is released on Double Play Blu-ray and Blu-ray Steelbook on June 24th by Arrow Video.

***** 5/5


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