Bite Size: Mad Foxes (1981)

Hal (José Gras, Hell Of The Living Dead) is exactly the sort of idly rich, middle aged man you’d expect to see in a fully kitted out Corvette. His smirk is semi permanent, his paunch is beginning to overtake the waistband of his polyester pants and the brittle swoop he thinks passes for bangs is drifting into combover territory with each passing second. He’s got a date in the passenger seat, a pretty brunette named Babsy (Andrea Albani), who he is taking out to a disco to celebrate her 18th birthday. The car, the date that is likely less than half his age, and the hair metal — because he’s not a posturing relic, he’s a cool guy who is very badass and listens to Krokus— turned up to 11 on the soundtrack firmly establish Hal as a cliche covered in spray tan.

Idling at a stop light to make out, Hal gets into a verbal altercation with some Nazi styled bikers, speeding off to the disco before things escalate. The bikers make chase, but are forced to abandon their mission when one of their number meets a fiery end smashing into a parked car. Hal and his girl drink and dance until closing time, to find the remaining bikers waiting for them in the parking lot. They beat Hal senseless, and brutally sexually assault the virginal Babsy.

Considering Hal himself was openly attempting to get a teenage girl drunk with the purpose of deflowering her, he’s only a hero when grading on this very specific Nazi inflected curve. Gathering a dojo of kickboxers the following day, Hal crashes the biker funeral, and team “slightly less awful” forces the rapist to choke on his own castrated genitals. This kicks off an ever escalating war of violence and vengeance between the biker gang and the bleached blonde blowhard, at the expense of every other character (a term I use extremely loosely) in the film.

Mad Foxes (original title: Los violadores) was a Spanish/Swiss coproduction produced by veteran scuzzmeister Erwin C. Dietrich and green as grass writer/director Paul Grau. The pair must have had a good working relationship, in the sense that each man’s influence is clearly stamped on the final film. The movie is both cartoonishly sleazy and an international monument to inexperience. Even the basic rape revenge narrative structure slips away like a thief in the night, the victim never seen again. Instead the film becomes a dick size contest between two factions of terrible people, where everything escalates quickly, but there’s no actual tension.

The film never had a proper US theatrical release, and was quickly censored or banned in multiple other countries. Mad Foxes primarily made its reputation as a boundary pushing cult item via home formats, probably given more cache than it strictly deserves by being placed on Section 3 of the UK’s video nasties list.

Like a lot of word of mouth and moral panic fueled films, Mad Foxes is less than the sum suggested by pithy description of its component parts. For every Dolemite level ineptitude filled kung fu battle royale, death by toilet grenade, or cheapjack bloody squib massacre there is an equal and opposite passage that’s interminably dull.

There are some slight joys to be had in the film’s shoddy construction and inexplicable audio visual choices, from putting a Nazi biker in a codpiece and pigtails to a dub track that constantly has characters inanely chattering over each other. As violent and scuzzy as the more action oriented segments are, it gets harder and harder to take any of it seriously in light of all of the goofy padding that surrounds them. There’s a step by step narration of how to fill a glass at a bar, a weird fog shrouded sock hop dance number, and Hal’s mother muttering to no one about the joys of Polynesia.

While the parity of male and female nudity is unusual to note, the sex and skin on display goes full bore on sleaze without being remotely titillating. The film opens with a genuinely disturbing sexual assault and tosses in some fetish fueled shock in the third act, but the “romantic” scenes of Hal the ersatz playboy’s conquests are arguably just as filthy. Whether it’s playing footsie under the dinner table in dirty athletic socks or having softcore coitus in a suspiciously yellow tub of bathwater, rarely has sex looked so decidedly unsexy.

Mad Foxes is worth a single viewing as a curiosity, as it is perhaps the only rape revenge biker softcore Nazisploitation kung fu flick in existence. However, the overall viewing experience is oddly toothless and puerile, like watching a petulant child string together overheard swear words for reaction’s sake for 80 overlong minutes. In trying to be everything, Mad Foxes manages to accomplish nothing notable at all, committing the cardinal sin of exploitation cinema. There’s a genuinely notable level of blood, boobs, balls, and bad taste in this movie, and it still manages to be boring.



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