Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Fox Affair (1978)

If you stumble onto blurbs about this low-budget thriller set in disco-era New York City, you’ll encounter tantalizing but contradictory data—some sources describe this as blaxploitation, while others suggest a girl-power actioner. In truth, The Fox Affair tells the uninteresting story of two sleazy con artists—glorified pimps, really—who seek help from a young woman of their acquaintance after a Far East deal goes south, causing enemies to send an assassin from Hong Kong. (All the main characters are white, by the way, so its a mystery how the blaxploitation mislabeling originated.) The young woman from whom the con artists seek aid is Felicia Fox (Kathryn Dodd), a former beat cop now working as a meter maid but also, apparently, moonlighting as an escort. It’s all very murky, especially since Felicia doesn’t appear until the movie is halfway over. The Fox Affair is a hodgepodge of drab dialogue scenes, inept action beats, and sexploitation. One long scene comprises the main characters leering at naked women through a two-way mirror, and another involves musclemen preening for naked ladies in a steam bath. (One fellow brags about his high-protein diet: “I ate three chickens last night!”) Since the leading actors are as forgettable as their characters and the rudderless storyline, the only interesting thing about The Fox Affair is the snapshot it provides of how vulgar people with money lived in late-’70s Manhattan: chrome furniture, feathered hair, shaggy rugs, tailored suits, and way too much machismo.

The Fox Affair: SQUARE

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