Biker Fox is a character ... whatever that means

Biker Fox

on September 14, 2010 by Sara Vizcarrondo
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A documentary partially financed by its subject, Biker Fox sometimes resembles edgily comic docs like Chicken Ranch or Grey Gardens, films that make the privilege of being a protagonist seem fraught and exploitative to an audience that watches the subject think himself king for a day. A salesman of used muscle cars parts in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Biker Fox recently discovered the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle and daily exercise, specifically riding his BMX around town. With camera work so inexpert and behavior so absurd you can't classify this as a serious documentary or a mockumentary (inadvertently, it can't help but be both), part of the joy of this film is how impossible it is to put it in a box. Built for fame on the cult circuit, this film could score huge numbers on DVD, where word of mouth and person-to-person circulation could make it a phenomenon of considerable proportions.

From the first moments, both the film and the protagonist are impossible to categorize. Biker Fox addresses the camera as if on a cooking show: he's barbecuing burgers and hot dogs (which he intermittently calls "boogers and dogs") and in the patchy light he looks like he might be wearing a bad wig (it's not a wig). Repeatedly we see things that resemble fraudulence or falsehood but aren't quite. Biker looks in the mirror and preaches personal affirmations to his image about being a star, random feral animals wander up to and into his home, he yells at his customers over the phone: it's not until act three that you stop asking "is this guy for real?" Taking sojourns into Oprah-styled, self-help lecture/confessional monologue, Biker explains that he was previously overweight and went "number two a lot and had pain in all my orifices" and it's the newfound joy he has for cycling and clean living that's inspiring his malformed bits of commonsense wisdom (even though it's not all sense). He calls himself "Gay-Go-Lucky" and we can't be sure if it's another of his misused vocab flubs or if he's performing a brand of masculinity that's as outré and over-the-top as High Drag. He sits outside his garage for countless hours, feeding the resident raccoons dog kibble and whispering kindnesses about the beauty of God's Creatures via voiceover, meanwhile the raccoons eat from his hand and he screams "OW!" and "Shit that's sharp!" as the animals grab the kibble from him a little too hard. Surrounded by the raccoons he idealizes, Herzog's words about Timothy Treadwell seem close in memory. Though nothing as dire as Treadwell, this guy is documentary gold.

Biker Fox (aka Frank Paul DeLarzalere) is an Internet personality and a reported troll. Biker Fox, the movie that represents him, is an ass-backward masterpiece. The film vacillates from laughable to austere without a breath between. Though it makes no stabs at irony, the movie will be most attractive to crowds who love and/or tolerate that quality in their media, but what sets it apart is precisely the fact it operates so far outside of the predictable tongue-in-cheek. Biker Fox (man and/or film) operates in an atmosphere all its own. Performance does play a part: this is not Frank Paul DeLarzalere this is Biker Fox. Which of the two possesses the anger issues that get him arrested multiple times in the dour third act is anyone's guess. Director Jeremy Lamberton, who also ran camera on Winnebago Man, handed the camera over to Biker Fox a lot, in fact it seems like the footage we see is principally the product of Biker Fox or his helmet-cam. The poverty of this footage (deliberate or otherwise) is part of why the film's unclassifiable; it makes the film appear, at face value, indistinguishable from whatever crap home movie Biker might make of himself in the interest of extended YouTube fame, and who says the film won't be used for those purposes anyway? The editing, however, belies the surface amateurishness. Ultimately, the joy/suffering of Biker Fox revolves around our orientation to the man: Do we think he's a parody or is he "the real thing?" "Are we laughing with him or laughing at him? Ultimately, for as much as Biker Fox is unclassifiable, its audience sure seems to be.

Contact: Jeremy Lamberton jeremy@jeremylamberton.com
Director: Jeremy Lamberton
Producer: Todd Lincoln
Genre: Documentary
Rating: Unrated
Running time: 90 min
Release date: September 10 NY

 

 

Tags: Jeremy Lamberton, Todd Lincoln
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