There are arguably lots of reasons viewers might choose to avoid Foxy Brown in 2015—it’s dated, it’s cheap, it’s rife with exploitation-movie sleaze, it’s part of a genre that can be tough to enjoy in the current cultural climate—but any and all objections to Jack Hill’s 1974 blaxploitation classic are overridden by one simple, determining factor: Pam Motherfucking Grier. Grier is the undisputed queen of blaxploitation, a title unofficially bestowed in the mid-1970s when she starred in two classics of the genre, Coffy and Foxy Brown. Foxy Brown’s thin revenge narrative, about a woman posing as a prostitute to seek revenge on the mobsters who killed her boyfriend, is quite similar to the previous year’s Coffy—Foxy was originally intended as a sequel to the earlier film, then retrofitted as a stand-alone feature—and the two films frequently get lumped together when citing or referencing Grier’s undeniable badassitude... a fact Quentin Tarantino capitalized on when he paid blatant homage to both with 1997’s Grier-starring Jackie Brown. Unlike that much more palatable-to-the-mainstream tribute, Foxy Brown is a proper blaxploitation movie, which means it’s teeming with tawdry sex, gleeful violence, casual racial slurs, and degradation of many stripes—but Grier not only salvages these questionable assets, she sells them, mainly through sheer presence and, yes, sex appeal (along with a parade of excellent ’70s outfits and hairdos that are all fairly entertaining in their own right). It’s an unapologetically, undeniably nasty little movie, but it’s become a cult classic for a reason: The action and fight scenes go all-in, Grier is can’t-look-away mesmerizing, and the scenes of Foxy enacting revenge on sexual predators and other villains—particularly her iconic final act—are, well, rousing, to say the least. Set your squeamishness aside and judge for yourself when it airs at 5:40 p.m. Eastern on Indieplex.
May 28, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day