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  Mad Foxes Do Behave
Year: 1981
Director: Paul Grau
Stars: José Gras, Laura Premica, Andrea Albani, Peter John Saunders, Brian Billings, Hank Sutter, Garry Membrini, Ana Roca, Diana Miller, Irene Semmling, Mary-Ann Vaughn, Guillermo Balcázar, Eric Falk, Helmi Sigg
Genre: Action, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hal Walters (José Gras) is a middle-aged playboy who always manages to charm the ladies, as he has recently with eighteen-year-old virgin Babsy (Andrea Albani) who he treats with a ride in his swanky white sports car tonight. As they stop at the traffic lights, he takes a chance to have a snog with the girl, but this catches the attention of a biker gang who happen to have pulled up behind him, and one of them taps on the window. He winds it down and is insulted and spat upon, so once the lights turn green he forces a biker off the road - the hapless tough crashes and his motorcycle explodes, which his cohorts fail to be impressed by, making up their minds to get their revenge should their paths cross with Hal again...

The phrase "must be seen to be believed" seems to come up time and again with Mad Foxes, which was always intended as exploitation fare but as with surprisingly few of its kind it attained a kind of feverish lunacy all the way through rather than suffering the longueurs that occur even in the most trashy of this brand of film, and more often in the laziest, "Will this do?" strain. It could be the fact that this lasted barely an hour and a quarter, but it raced through some of the worst taste setpieces the eighties ever saw, and bear in mind that this decade was no stranger to crimes against cultural decency, but even so there would be few prepared for precisely how moronic this became, and how it would wallow in depravity.

Most films doing that are purposefully hard to enjoy, yet here a curious naivety emerged early on, like it had been conceived by an innocent trying to prove they were worldly and knew all about how terrible people can be. If the Swiss-Spanish team who conjured this up genuinely believed life was like this, then more pity them, though that was hard to believe, more likely they were endeavouring to create an entertainment for grown-ups that was so idiotic you would be best to check in plenty of IQ points at the door before you went to see it. Nobody here behaved sensibly, it was all there for effect, but for that reason the fun, such as it was, for bad movie fans was very present, as you had to assume they were at least partially serious.

Thus the cinematic equivalent of someone showing you the contents of their mouth while they were eating: shock and disgust were the order of the day, but in the stupidest manner possible. Certainly along with that came scenes and shots that worked against the film's reputation as a laff riot - Babsy gets raped by one of the gang, for instance, which is far from hilarious. Yet that was the tone, of upping the ante so far that they went too far; it is potentially a good move to make your biker movie full of mayhem, so a school of the worst martial artists you've ever seen attacking the bikers really is very funny, but the sequence is capped off with the head biker getting his genitals cut off and crammed into his mouth. You needed a strong sense of humour to still be chortling away after that kind of brutality.

The plot, such as it was, proceeded as a tit for tat between Hal and the leather-clad, intermittently swastika-sporting gang, but even then fell victim to the need for padding out an already slim running time with extraneous scenes furthering that story not a jot. Early on we visited a nightclub where we were "treated" to a lengthy sequence of fifties rock 'n' roll dancing accompanied by a synth approximation of same, but more often director Paul Grau opted for sexual content, with Gras coupling with co-star Laura Premica (never in another movie - how could you better this, after all?) who played the woman he picked up at the beach and took home to his parents at their mansion house in the country. Then again, there were also bits and pieces of randomness such as Hal firing a shotgun at a passing passenger jet, or the bikers putting off one of their members (naked) from having a slash outside a rural tavern, essentially a wealth of scenes that had you wondering how anyone in their right minds could have considered worth including as entertainment. But it was this delirium that made for a compulsive watch, so, um, one supposes that was the idea and Mad Foxes was actually artistically successful? Only if you set your threshold for quality very low. Recommended to the seasoned trash fan - and nobody else. Music by a selection of Euro-rock bands.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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