A nurse, named Flower Child Coffin but usually referred to as 'Coffy', seeks revenge against the people responsible for her younger sister Lubelle's heroin addiction and the widespread violence that exists in her city. Under the guise of a prostitute willing to do anything for a drug fix, she lures a drug pusher and a mob boss to their residences, killing them. After the killings, Coffy returns to her job at a local hospital operating room.
After her shift, Coffy’s police friend Carter offers to drive her home. Carter is a straight-shooting officer who is not willing to bend the law for the mob or the thugs who have been bribing officers at his precinct. Coffy doesn't believe his strong moral resolve until two hooded men break into Carter's house while she's visiting him and beat Carter severely, temporarily crippling him. This enrages Coffy, giving her further provocation to continue her work as a vigilante, killing those responsible for harming Carter and her sister.
Coffy's boyfriend, Howard Brunswick, is a city councilman. Coffy admires Brunswick for his contributions to the community. Brunswick announces his plan to run for Congress, and his purchase of a night club. Coffy is pleased with these developments.
Coffy's next targets are a pimp named King George, one of the largest suppliers of prostitutes and illegal drugs in the city, and Mafia boss Arturo Vitroni, a criminal associate of George's.
Coffy questions a former patient of hers, who is a known drug user, to gain insight into the type of woman King George likes and where he keeps his stash of drugs. Coffy shows no sympathy for the drug-addled woman and is abusive to her as she looks for answers. Coffy is on a mission of revenge and no one will stand in her way. With the information she gets from the woman, Coffy tracks down George and poses as a Jamaican woman looking to trick for him.
George is immediately interested in her exotic nature and hires her. One of the prostitutes becomes jealous when she sees King George taking an interest in Coffy. Later that day, Coffy and the other prostitutes get into a massive brawl. Coffy wins out, which attracts mob boss Vitroni who demands that he must have her that night.
Coffy plans to murder Vitroni and just when she is about to shoot, she is overtaken by his men. She lies and tells Vitroni that King George ordered her to kill him, which makes Vitroni order George to be murdered. Vitroni's men kill George by lynching him by the neck from his car, which they drive through an open field.
Coffy then discovers Brunswick, her clean-cut boyfriend, is corrupt when she's shown to him at a meeting of the mob and several police officials. He denies knowing her other than as a prostitute and Coffy is sent to her death. Coffy uses her sexuality to seduce her would-be killers. They try injecting her with drugs to sedate her, but she had replaced the illicit drugs with a sugar solution earlier. Faking a high, she kills her unsuspecting hitmen with a pointed metal wire she fashioned herself and hid in her hair.
Running to avoid capture, Coffy carjacks a vehicle to escape. Coffy drives to Vitroni's house, murders him, and then goes to Brunswick's to do the same. He pleads for forgiveness and just as she is about to accept, a naked white woman comes out of his bedroom. Coffy shoots Brunswick in the groin. The film then closes with Coffy walking along the beach having avenged her sister.
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