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MAD FOXES (1981)
aka LOS VIOLADORES, STINGRAY 2
Directed by Paul Grau
Written by Paul Grau, Hans R. Walthard, Melvin Quiñones, Jaime Jesús Balcázar
Starring José Gras, Laura Premica, Andrea Albani, Peter John Saunders, Brian Billings, Hank Sutter, Garry Membrini, Ana Roca, Diana Miller, Irene Semmling, Irene Semmling, Guillermo Balcázar, Eric Falk, Helmi Sigg, Paul Grau, Antonio Molino Rojo, Hans R. Walthard
While MAD FOXES leans more towards Grindhouse exploitation rather than straight edge horror, I’m pretty sure horror fans will be interested in this grimy, cheesy, perverse, and action-packed film. After watching, I couldn’t help but feel that many of today’s cinematic hero directors and producers may have seen this film and incorporated elements into some of their films.
Hal (Jose Gras) and his girlfriend are targeted by a biker gang outside of a nightclub. After he is beaten up and she is raped, Hal calls in his buddies at the kung fu club to enact some vengeance upon the gang. This takes out most of the gang save four of the toughest ones, who track down Hal and murder his family. Then Hal goes on a rampage with his car and takes on the gang again himself. It’s a never ending cycle of violence that plays out rather brilliantly.
OK, you have to look past the bad acting and low fi effects to enjoy this one. But if you do that, I think you’ll find a lot to like about MAD FOXES. It’s brash, offensive, and all kinds of wrong. Hal has, like, three girlfriends in the film (of course, he loves all of them dearly), so even the hero isn’t squeaky clean or your typical hero type. But beyond that, there’s actually a pretty resonant comment on how violence begets violence and no one is the winner when things get physical. It’s a simple, but powerful message that is driven home in the sleazy violence that occurs all through this film. There is very little time to catch one’s breath before the carnage begins anew and I was kind of taken aback at how well this film escalates and pulls out all the stops. Just when you think the violence is over and there is no one left to kill, more show up and get into this melee. It’s simply astounding.
There are specific scenes in this film that stand out to me as influential to modern filmmaking. The break neck pace of the film reminds me of the full throttle narrative FURY ROAD. The film places the camera on the hood of the car, giving the viewer a view of the front of the car and the road ahead. This is a shot seen right at the beginning and returned to numerous times in the film as if this is a story that is always moving forward and never looking back to absorb all of the horrifying actions that have occurred. This exact same shot can be seen in films by Tarantino (DEATH PROOF seems to be heavily influenced by this film) and even the iconic driving scenes from most of the Cohen Brothers films. While this isn’t a perfect film, it does seem to be one that has blazed a scar into the world of cinema.
Once seen, it truly is hard to forget MADFOXES. It’s got all kinds of wrong going on like Nazis, S&M, mass murder, sex, kung fu, ‘splosions, more sex, and more murder. It’s not for the sensitive. It’s not for the folks who like their films crisp and polished. But it is a grindhouse film like few others I have ever seen. It definitely will leave an indelible mark on your psyche after viewing. MAD FOXES is kind of a mess of a film, but still it communicates it’s message amazingly well and ends up being a speazy, but fun dive into the wacky world of Grindhouse!
Extra points for the inclusion of a Krokus song over the opening credits. Here’s a semi-safe for work trailer!
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