BERT AND DARYL ARE DYING TO MEET YOU
This Pair Are A Hitchhiker’s Nightmare
Long before auteur Paul Thomas Anderson was giving audiences a peek past the peckers and poonani of the flourishing porn business to show the dark quicksand within the landscape of the sunny San Fernando Valley circa late ’70’s/early 80’s, the sleazy side of the SoCal suburbia was given its true big screen debut upon the dawn of the 80’s with FOXES.
FOXES provides a raw, real view of Valley milieu as ground zero for the big divorce boom of the late 70’s spawning the rise of the Latchkey Kid Generation from the familial collateral damage aftermath bath. So true in its depiction following our mostly well-to-do four female crew forced early into the adulthood pool, the movie could very well be considered a documentary.
Before British television commercial helmer Adrian Lyne pulled a cinematic hat trick by directing three seminal 80’s flicks by way of FLASHDANCE, 9 1/2 WEEKS, and FATAL ATTRACTION, he made his directing debut with FOXES. This was before MTV planted its flag on the moon and arguably made the biggest change to the terrain of entrainment since the color TV. From FLASHDANCE onward, Lyne drank deep from the music video as montage.
However without those tools of trade at his disposal, Lyne resorted to using a lot of the natural light, capturing Jodie Foster and her party-girl pals dappled in the warm southern California sun. It works on a subtle symbolic visual for the surrogs bond blanketing them from harm. Sisterhood turned surrogate family.
Tragically, it’s not all sun and games for the Foxes. When darkness falls in the Valley, the skeezy creeps and predatory freaks come out at night. And then there’s the diabolic alcoholic duo Daryl and Bert. They’ll like you. It’s just they have kinky way of showing it.
“Are We Going To North Hollywood?”
From the very moment the couple speak to one another, smiling as if in on some dirty joke, it tells the audience the type of cahoots this duo are into. Even the way Daryl says “Hi” to Annie. It’s like he’s Jeff Bridges from STARMAN, still trying to approximate human warmth. Unfortunately for Annie, she’s too loaded to initially notice. That is until Daryl breaks out the Barcadi and really starts the party..
Suddenly, the movie went from from FOXES, a coming-of-age drama to transforming into cautionary horror story, THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS. Director Adrian Lyne deftly ratchets up the tension through the use of classic horror genre music cues to infuse Annie’s growing uneasiness at Daryl’s increasing sleaziness.
Just check out the way Daryl reacts after belting back some booze. It’s such an odd array of cray cray displayed across his face. It’s almost as if the human mask Daryl’s wearing is about to slip as he struggles to get a grip. Enough for Annie to deem him and Bert as “weird.” It’s just too late. The party girl sealed her fate upon getting in the car with these two wackadoos.
After the crash, what follows in a flash are a series close-up quick cuts of Annie in the ER, doctors and nurses working to save her. There’s no sign of Daryl and Bert. Were they hurt or dead as Dillinger, down for that last nap in the dirt? It’s almost as if the scary pair just… vanished into thin air.
Who knows, the creepy couple could be out there right now. Roaming the San Fernando Valley. Never aging. Never sober. Feeding off the alcohol content in the blood of hitchhikers, hobos, and those annoying sign spinners seen on street corners. Perhaps the ones capable of stopping them are the remaining three Foxes and skateboarding sidekick Scott Baio.
Ohhh shit! Hold on. I think Takedown….yep, Takedown just came up with a solid sequel idea for FOXES 2: Avenging Annie. Get me Jodie Foster on the phone! STAT!