Foxy Brown (1974)

Foxy Brown (1974), written and directed by Jack Hill.

Pam Grier returns in a film similar to Coffy (1973) (abundant nudity, violence, pretty lame humor), but slower starting, less funny, and more by the numbers. The final 25 minutes are an intermittent blood bath. It was originally intended to be a sequel, but the sales department at American International decided that sequels weren't selling.

The DVD has a good commentary track by the director. He agrees that Coffy (1973) was the better film. This time he had a smaller effective budget because he and Pam Grier were making more money. A lot of the actors were stunt men who worked for less. The stunt women in the lesbian bar fight had a good time with it.

The modeling agency/prostitution ring/dope importing thugs are particularly pathetic this time. I remember Peter Brown as one of the rangers from the Laredo series. Here his man-parts are cut off by Foxy's black-power community watch allies. The director says he had to put in extra violence in a trade with the studio so they would allow him a nonviolent subplot. He suggested this scene as a joke and they went for it.

Also with Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear!). Pam Grier contributed some of her own bits: picking up the razor blade with her tongue and making a weapon from wire coat hangers.

Huge building sign in the background of an early scene: "Leather Products: HOLSTERS".

The director stresses how important it is for writers and directors to see films in a variety of theaters and neighborhoods. Otherwise you don't know how the audiences are really responding. He has studio stories about being a director for hire without creative rights in low-budget genre films: how one actress got a part because the execs wanted her husband for another film, how the film editor was somebody's son-in-law. The only thing AIP liked about his work was that he brought the picture in one day early: 17 days of filming. They thought he was a genius for that.

Funky score by Willie Hutch. Jack Hill said that because of time constraints other people handled locations, costumes and music, things he would orginarily do. Quentin Tarantino told him that Jackie Brown was named for him and this film.