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By Jerry Renshaw

Foxy Brown

D: Jack Hill (l974) with Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, Peter Brown, Kathryn Loder, Sid Haig

Word on the street is, you don't mess around with Foxy Brown! She's sexy, she's bad, she'll give you the worst beating you ever had! Pam Grier is Foxy, bent on revenge against the mobsters who rubbed out her government-agent boyfriend. Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas plays her shifty brother, into the mob for 20 grand on a coke deal, who sells out Foxy's boyfriend to get the goons off his back. Director Hill (Spider Baby, Switchblade Sisters) keeps the plot going as fast as a speeding Sedan deVille (it seems like it's only about 45 minutes long) while the budget limitations give the overall look of a Mannix episode. There's grotesque Seventies fashions aplenty, a disgustingly kinky relationship between the nasty-looking mob boss and her gigolo boyfriend, big cars, big guns, big hair, and lots of wah-wah guitar soundtrack. Foxy uses her sturdy bra as a shoulder holster for her small caliber automatic (later concealing it in her Afro), opens up a king-size can of whupass in a lesbian bar and uses her considerable feminine charms to dupe some chump bad guys. Like Switchblade Sisters, there's a feminist element as well, as Foxy uses her brains as well as beauty and guts, biding her time, waiting to get all her ducks in a row before clinching her plan. Also, Foxy enlists the help of a Panther-esque "neighborhood committee" to provide the muscle to get her revenge on the baddies (another similarity to Hill's other film). Predictably, the story builds up to a torrent of violence and gunplay by the end (including death by airplane propeller). This is fun action sleaze from the classic era of drive-in blaxploitation films, driven by the no-nonsense direction of Jack Hill, and did well enough at the box office to help put the still-gorgeous Pam Grier on the map. Don't miss it.

Still thinking about those over-the-top directors? Here are some other turds... ah, titles that are worth bugging your video store about:

Robot Monster

D. Phil Tucker (1953)

Grade-Z nonsense about a man in an ape suit wearing a diving helmet and battling post-nuclear-war humans. Watch for his war-surplus radio, which emits bubbles while in use. Originally in

The Flesh Eaters

D. Jack Curtis (1964)

Plane crash survivors (including an ex-Nazi) fall prey to parasites that dine on them. Audacious ending!

The Frozen Dead

D. Herbert Leder (1967)

Deadpan Dana Andrews keeps a room full of leftover Nazis on ice and powers them with a severed head in a developing tray. Turgid, but worth seeing.

The Killer Shrews

D. Ray Kellog (1957)

Dogs dressed in fangs and wigs terrorize Texas. Produced by Ken "Festus" Curtis.

The Giant Gila Monster

D. Ray Kellogg (1957)

Teenagers, rock & roll, hot rods, and rear-projection lizards come together in the companion piece to The Killer Shrews.

The Corpse Grinders

D. Ted V. Mikels (1971)

Bodies get shoved in one end of a box, and cat food comes out the other. Kitties turn into vicious killers.

The Cape Canaveral Monsters

D. Phil Tucker (1960)

Zombie car-crash victims piece together their wrecked Buick to sabotage the U.S. space program. Baffling.

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