The Fox Family Review
Marketed as something akin to Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show or Takashi Miike's Happiness of the Katakuris, The Fox Family is actually a good deal more conservative and sweet than both those films. Even if its central characters are looking to harvest human livers so that they can be transformed back into human form themselves, there is very little in the eventual message of the movie that could be described as controversial or radical. In fact, even given the unusual form of mixing horror, comedy and musical, the story is simply that of a basic outsider comedy.
The edginess of the setup, the circus setting for the domestic scenes, and a compassion for those at the edges of society make this terrific fun and heartwarmingly camp. Dance sequences replace riots and homelessness, serial killers and tenacious detectives are side issues, and the human race is eventually at no threat from these dimensional interlopers. Everything is just super. The songs and the comedy celebrate the business of being human with foibles, pratfalls, and obsessions aplenty. The outsider family provide some raucous humour when they try to fit into the modern world and prove themselves far from ideal family entertainers when an audience of sprogs ends up covered in arterial spray.
Despite their higher role in the food chain the Foxes end up liking humans and respecting human life too much in order to fulfill some of their destiny, and the nonsense for what passes for importance in human society is forgotten and replaced by tales of love and acceptance. It's rather hard not to get caught up in the pastel shaded kitsch and sheer joie de vivre and those who want something less conformist will have to look elsewhere as the nuclear family is eventually held up as the model for us all, human or not.
Candy covered nonsense with more than a few good gags, The Fox Family is well worth hunting down.
The Disc - Terracotta give the film a NTSC presentation which accounts for the running time and for what is a rather strong transfer which boasts excellent colour balance and very good contrast. Edges are clean enough and the deliberate softness may cause there to be a little less detail, but this really is very nice. The audio track is strong too, it sounds a little muffled at the very start but clarity improves dramatically to make the songs jaunty and very hummable(I know!). There's some good use of effects in the surround mix but this is an unfussy mix which keeps voices at the front and the music covering the side and rears. The English subtitles carry a couple of grammatical errors but they are optional and generally strong. The only extras on this dual layer region free disc are two trailers for other Terracotta products which are of much poorer visual quality.