There exists the saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, that seems to have been made for Paul Grau’s Mad Foxes, because what a treasure it is indeed- although I am sure there are many who would disagree. In fact I would go as far as to say, there is trash, and then there is Mad Foxes– which brings a whole new level to the word. Reviewing this film is one of those cases where words (almost) fail me. Just how do you describe (possibly) the world’s best exploitation film? Such is the intensity of its power to entertain, based on its utter ineptitude, it’s difficult to summon the right prose to convey just what lies inside this tawdry little gem. On that note I have made it my unofficial mission in life to urge as many people to watch this film as humanely possible.
Exploitation cinema represents the last bastion of unadulterated entertainment in the cinematic universe. When film started out it was in the domain of the travelling sideshow, not academic circles. Cinema was pure enjoyment and nothing more. Somewhere along the way everyone got a bit lost, and people started to take things way too seriously. Academics and critics started analysing things far too much, and for some reason someone decided it was a good idea to establish a scale on how to judge good and bad cinema. Exploitation gave the power back to those who were considered the cine-illiterate under this scheme and stood in opposition to these more ‘intellectual values’. Exploitation with its off the cuff independent filmmaking didn’t play into mainstream norms, but wielded its wand of freedom to just enjoy the ride. Under this domain anything is possible and the medium has been a proud promoter of just about everything that defies the margins of good taste since its inception. It is sad that this pure spirit seems to no longer exist in today’s society which is dominated by political correctness. But at least we still have the legacy exploitation left behind and of course Mad Foxes which could not have existed anywhere else other than its time and place.
While the exploitation of old has flown in the face of just about everything to deliver a massive dose to ‘F you’ to the moral majority, nothing in my humble opinion comes close to Mad Foxes– everything else just pales into insignificance in the face of this magnificent beast of a film. I often find myself wondering if this was the intention of the filmmaker. If you look at the producer Erwin C Dietrich he certainly wasn’t a man opposed to controversy- working on a number of features with auteur Jess Franco, to produce some of Franco’s sleaziest works; like the still banned in the UK Women of Cell Block 9 (1977), and Doriana Grey (1976). Dietrich also established himself in his own right as a director of sexploitation films. So whether this was a calculated move is something that interests me, but whatever the reason, Mad Foxes is a film that shows absolutely no restraint when it comes to delivering its message.
The plot is so simple it is pure genius; a game of one-upmanship between a suave guy who is a bit of a douche and a gang of Nazi bikers who are just as horrendous. This begins over a car chase that sees one of the bikers expire in a ball of flames- because that happens all the time when you crash into parked traffic at thirty miles an hour. There are no heroes to be found just lots of chaos and people getting killed. It shouldn’t work, but strangely it does, and I defy any lover of trashy exploitation to sit through a screening of this film and not applaud at least several times at the sheer audacity of it all. Although tonnes of people get killed or violated- or both- in horrific ways, the icing on the cake: no one touches the sports car at the centre of it all- because the filmmakers obviously could not afford to have it damaged in any way.
What the filmmakers lacked in money they made up for by wielding a pair of 20 foot balls when it came to script, in the process creating what can be described as a festival atmosphere in this jamboree of sex and violence. Mad Foxes covers the gamut of balls out mentality; using rape, and then a revenge killing- including an on-screen castration in which the victim gets the hacked off appendage stuffed in his own mouth- to really get the debauchery off to a good start. What follows is a series of scenes- enhanced by awful dubbing- that spiral out of control and keep on flying until the weird, yet memorable, climax explodes in your face. In amongst this are kung-fu fight scenes so badly choreographed they look like they are filmed in slow motion, a gym full of homoerotic body builders being blown to smithereens with a grenade, then later a man on the toilet sharing the same fate. There are graphic sex scenes, lots of; including one that involves two people dressed in full Nazi uniform indulging in a bit of S&M under a swastika flag, before getting killed. A sweet old wheelchair bound lady gets blown across the room as a machine gun round is fired off into her chest cavity, and even the hapless gardener gets a set of his own garden shears rammed down his throat- and this is just scratching the surface. I will leave readers to discover the rest of the fun on their own as I am sure you get the idea.
Final mention however goes to the epic 80’s heavy metal ballad that blasts out intermittently Easy Rocker, by Krokus, which once witnessed this will ensure that for the rest of your days you will be compelled to sing this song out loud at the mere mention of this film. That is if you decide to check out Mad Foxes, but after reading this I am hoping you will realise you owe it to yourself to pick this up today.