EAT AT THE BLUE FOX (1983)

Two things are done extremely well in the opening of Eat at the Blue Fox, Dick Aldrich’s (credited as Damon Christian, natch) 1983 follow-up to Titillation. The first thing is that a hot, sweaty, south of the border atmosphere is immediately established with a fade-up sex scene between Frank James and Desiree Lane. The second thing it does with uncanny skill is clue the viewer in that a little of Ron Jeremy’s wisenheimer, master of ceremonies routine is probably going to go a very long way.

Set in a Mexican border town where corrupt law enforcement puts the squeeze on Rick Simpson (Ron Jeremy) and his impossibly popular club, Eat at the Blue Fox is a slight, daffy, but ultimately charming sex picture that wins the day on a jovial, relaxed vibe that refuses to take anything seriously and some impressive, low-budget production values that really adds a great deal to the proceedings.

Eat at the Blue Fox begins with a prologue in which Rick is closing the season at the Blue Fox with the hopes of escaping Mexico with Cid (Pamela Mann), his girlfriend, who, along with Darlene (Desiree Lane) and Millie (Theresa Jones), is part of the trio who work the stage at the club. When T.M. (Gerald Graystone) rounds up the dancers and throws them into jail, Rick is left with a shuttered club and trapped in Mexico. After hatching an elaborate plan to re-route business to the club, Rick schemes further to get Cid out of the clutches of T.M. and get the hell back to the United States.

Eat the Blue Fox re-teamed screenwriter John Finegold with Aldrich, the former having written Titillation and Ms. Magnificent, the ill-fated but fun Superwoman film produced by Aldrich. While Titillation did a fine job imitating the noirs of the 40’s, Eat at the Blue Fox feels like more of a lark; a high-concept combination of the funky location raunch of Porky’s and the trapped, star-crossed lovers of Casablanca. There isn’t much of a story here and, to the degree that there is a story, it’s both confused or arbitrary. Rick wants to leave Mexico with Cid but is trapped by T.M.’s shady government. When he is in financial ruin, he decides to get back on his feet and reopen the club… just so he can re-escape with Cid? Aye, caramba.

And unlike Titillation, there is not one strong female performance to match Jeremy’s talent as a comedic actor. Pamela Mann is sweet-natured but she lacks a great deal of confidence. But since this isn’t REALLY Casablanca and she doesn’t REALLY need to be Ingrid Bergman, she serves the film well and her two sex scenes are rather excellent. Better on measure is Theresa Jones who is nonetheless stuck in a third-banana role. Desiree Lane is fine but even flatter in tone and conviction than Mann. Kitten Natividad pops up in an amusing non-sex role as Fluff, the club’s cigarette girl who also offers hot towels and blowjobs to the club’s patrons. Though she is used for comedic relief only, its arguable that this is a better vehicle for Natividad than Titillation in which her softcore sex scene was cross cut with Angelique Pettyjohn’s hardcore sex scene creating a contrast that, despite Natividad’s glowing, wide-smile charm, she couldn’t help but lose.

Even though his incapability to not ham it up undermines the purposefully unfunny-funny role he’s given, Jeremy is quite charming in the lead. Hell, it’s worth it just to see his ecstatic, on-stage introduction to Jose Molina (Lazaro Valdez in a fantastic comic turn) which could power four city blocks with its bonkers electricity. In terms of his physical contributions to Eat at the Blue Fox, perhaps too much is asked of Jeremy as he has to roll through three different sex scenes in a span of twenty contiguous minutes of screen time, having to completely cheat his finale with Pamela Mann. His overuse is actually crucial to the plot but it causes the film to tread a little water a bit too early, especially glaring since his opening romp with spunky Kimberly Carson is completely inessential to the story. Luckily, a humorous, well-executed, and enthusiastically performed threesome involving Herschel Savage, Ray Wells, and Theresa Jones shows up at just the right moment to add some much-needed variety and lift to the film.

The third act sex show involving Jerry Davis and Taren Jacobs is also a fine piece of action that looks pretty organic and the scene with Blake Palmer and Pamela Mann that closely follows is also an dynamic setup (and, I ask you, who doesn’t love a loud bed?). However, as fine as most of the sex scenes are, there is little getting around the fact that they’re filler that have been attached to the skimpiest of plot outlines. Additionally, the film dips into the lowest of lowbrow humor with an overlong gag involving a whole audience with a case of explosive diarrhea versus the club’s one bathroom, and a gross jar of pickled eggs are utilized for an even grosser payoff (though it’s kind of worth it to hear Desiree Lane intone “Fucking die!” with admirable gusto).

Though he wasn’t as seasoned as his peers, Aldrich learned a trick or two by watching other professional filmmakers pass through his bubble. Along with the expertly crafted atmosphere in the first scene, Aldrich also allows for some subtle dolly movements and a well-timed rack focus. The sets are all well-dressed and all of the lighting in the film is very well done, especially the Frank James and Blake Palmer sex scene. And, in one inspired shot, Aldrich employs a tire and some forced perspective and framing to (successfully) sell the illusion of a parked airplane which feels like something out of an early James Cameron or John Carpenter film.

With its incredible closing song (I want a soundtrack album made from Randy Rivera’s tunes ahora) to go along with all of the enjoyable elements within the film, Eat at the Blue Fox paces itself over the finish line without being too spectacular or flashy but is nevertheless an undeniably sweet-natured and entertaining time.

(C) Copyright 2022, Patrick Crain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s