Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cinema de Bizarre Review of the Week: Mad Foxes (1981)

Directed by Paul Grau

Starring José Gras ("Hal Walters"), Laura Premica ("Silvia Godo"), Andrea Albani ("Babsy"), and Peter John Saunders

Running time: 01:16:48
Country: Spain, Switzerland

MAD FOXES is a sleazy revenge movie involving a group of rowdy bikers with a Nazi fetish and a womanizing bachelor who's forced to get in touch with his violent side. Oh, and there are a couple of Krokus songs in the movie too. When the film opens we're introduced to lead character, Hal, who's taking his girlfriend out to a nightclub to celebrate her 18th birthday (mind you, Hal is in his late 20s or early 30s). Character development? Fuck that shit! Throughout the film, there's not a lot of information provided on Hal other than the fact that he has a different girlfriend for every day of the week, but in the opening nightclub scene it's at least revealed that he has "fans". So apparently he's famous, but for what I have no idea. Whatever the case, as Hal and his barely-legal babe leave the club, they're brutally assaulted by a biker gang in a scene that will prove to be shocking for anyone who goes into this with no expectations - and even with the anticipation of a nasty exploitation movie, it does go just a bit too far. Despite the fact that there's rape involved, it's almost amusing to watch because of how absurdly it's presented. It's hard to take this biker gang seriously when one of them has pig-tails and another looks like his entire body is vibrating as he's penetrating Hal's gal.

What ensues is a lot of back-and-forth between Hal and the biker gang as they try to one-up each other at everyone else's expense. Hal first recruits a Martial Arts instructor to get revenge on the bikers, and so they - along with the instructor's entire dojo of Gi-wearing Karate practitioners - show up at the bikers' lair (which looks like an amphitheater) and hand them their asses in one of the most sloppily-choreographed brawl sequences I've ever seen (most of the Karate kicks look like goose-steps). The bikers later recover and go after certain people who are close to Hal, with the film getting progressively more violent as it builds to one of the most unexpected was-that-supposed-to-happen? endings I've ever seen.

What I described above might make this sound like just another in a long line of exploitation movies that revolve around revenge, but you really have to see this film to truly appreciate how "special" it is. For one, it has - hands down! - the most hilarious dubbing I've ever heard in a film. EVER. There's never a point in the film where the voices even come close to matching the lips of the actors (all of whom were speaking Spanish when shooting the film), and even the voices themselves add to the overall hilarity. If someone were to watch this movie unaware of the fact that it's foreign, they'd probably think the dubbing was some sort of joke, as in a group of people got drunk and recorded themselves ad-libbing every single line in the film. Speaking of which there's some awesome dialogue like:

Silvia: "Would you mind giving me a lift?"
Hal: "You mean take you?"

While it's incredibly entertaining, the problem with the dubbing is that it's such a huge factor in the film's presentation that it's quite possible it would have the feel of an entirely different film if one were to watch it in its original Spanish language. It's almost impossible to judge this film when it comes to the acting and the screenplay, because unless you've seen the original Spanish-language version and can understand the language (or if someone out there has made accurate fan-subs), who's to say that most of the bad dialogue wasn't improvised or exaggerated by the voice actors? Regardless, there are moments of bat-shit insanity throughout the film that defy language, and to even get into them in detail would be quite the task. Nazi fetishism, graphic sex, a pointless scene of BDSM, tons of ultraviolence, genital mutilation, bikers who barely know how to operate motorcycles, poorly-executed Karate, a protagonist who impresses women by shooting at commercial airplanes. And Krokus! MAD FOXES is a must-see for fans of biker movies and bizarre exploitation.

Make or Break: The first rape scene. There are a lot of great scenes throughout the film, but it's the first rape scene outside of the nightclub that lets you know exactly what kinda film you're in for, and it also establishes the idiotic bikers rather effectively.

MVT: The sleaze. The sex and violence in the film make it memorable. True, a movie of this type should have sex and violence anyway, but the fact that it's taken to the extreme on a few occasions, with seemingly no governor in regards to how far the filmmakers and actors were willing to take it, makes it that much more memorable than your average exploitation movie. Otherwise, I'd go with the dubbing, but that's not so much a credit (or discredit depending on who you ask) to the film itself as it is the product.

Score: 6.5/10 - However, If I were to rate this movie based entirely on its own merit, I'd give it an 8.75/10.

The Disc: Anamorphic widescreen! It's a DVD rip and great quality, albeit a tad compressed-looking. The sound is great as well. English language with no subtitles. Judging by the DVD menu that pops up after the end of the film, it looks to be a rip of the German release. It should also be said that the film is uncut. The running time for the film is approximately 76 minutes, but there's an extra 13 or 14 minutes of trailers, which are worth checking out if you wanna see Lina Romay and Brigitte Lahaie naked, as well as one or two other films starring a few of the actors from MAD FOXES.

Cinema de Bizarre
MAD FOXES on Cinema de Bizarre

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