Furs on Film – Mad Dog Time

Personal challenge: post a film from the 1990s. Check. So how does one get Ellen Barkin in a couple big fox stoles in the middle of the worst fur fashion drought since, well, between the Ice Age and the early 1900’s? Apparently it requires an alternate universe… and no concept of pacing.

Mad Dog Time – The Film

Let me mention up front the general consensus seems to be that this is not a good film at all. To be frank, even on fast forward, this thing looked boring. It’s basically a series of conversations that, sometimes, end in some guy getting shot. I believe it’s supposed to be a call back to more classic gangster films, but with the bold artistic vision of nothing remotely interesting happening. Did I mention Ellen Barkin in fox stoles? Yes, let’s get to that…

Mad Dog Time – The Furs

Ellen Barkin is featured in 2 large fox stoles, one white, one black, as she plays a gun moll named Rita Everly. Fox furs and gun molls are the one classic combo the film got right.

We start with this black fox stole, probably the best for her character, though the combo with the little black dress makes the wide shots a little hard to discern.

There are better shots, fortunately, at the club where much of the action, er events, er… people talking endlessly, takes place.

I’m fond on this shot, showing Rita has the good taste to keep the stole in place at the table and not relegate to the chair back as so many have done before.

A great deal of fast forwarding later, we see Ellen in stole 2, this one white fox.

This one doesn’t interfere with the front of Rita’s dress.

I know this looks mildly interesting, but don’t be fooled. Granted, gun moll Rita is actually holding a gun while nicely showing off the white fox stole in the process.

This shot sums up the film. There was a really long conversation that ends like this. If you think action = “casually shooting from a seated position” then this was the roller-coaster ride of 1996. I’ll stick with pre-Windtalkers John Woo.

Rita makes out alive to live happy ever after with her gangster boyfriend. I guess… Honestly, I don’t care. Ellen Barkin looks wonderful in the white fox, that’s all that matters.

Hey, it’s a film from 1996 with big fox stoles in it, that’s really all that needs to be said regarding why the film is “notable.” Sure, it kinda cheated with the whole “alternate universe” thing, but lets face facts, the 90’s managed to excise fur even from period pieces. If they’d done a docudrama on the making of The Mad Miss Manton in 1996, it wouldn’t have a single guard hair in it.

Fur Runtime: approx 5 minutes
Film Runtime: 93 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 5%

The full gallery is here: Fur Fashions of the 1996 film Mad Dog Time.

Now for a little attempt at reader interactivity. Comment on this post with your “best” fur film from the 1990s. I’m honestly curious to know what other gems (however dull) might be hiding in that steaming pile of a decade.

10 Comments to “Furs on Film – Mad Dog Time”

  1. In regard to your note about 1990s fur films, I am no expert but is there such a thing? You can probably find more fur in films from the 1890s.
    I do apologise for my crass remark but why wash out of a thimble when you can bathe in champagne?

  2. Heh, it’s true, there are far more useful cinematic veins to mine, but it’s a “challenge”, and who knows, there may be some spectacular gem buried somewhere in the mountain of 90’s suck.

    If a reader knows of such a gem, then share it with us, and if I can find it, I’ll post it. It’ll be “other” thing from the 90’s I post, because at the moment, this one is pretty much “it.”

    Note the “gems” I’m looking for are fox, lynx, or chinchilla.

  3. I can’t find any photos, but there’s a fur coat featured in Sister Act. Briefly, but it’s a pretty major plot point.

    This has nothing to do with films of the 90’s, but there’s a spectacular use of fur in Lady in the Dark starring Ginger Rogers. She has a dance costume featurning a mink skirt and bolero jacket. I think there may also have been a muff.

  4. Sister Act does ring a bell, though I’ve never seen it, I recall some shots of a decent fox, yes.

  5. Start at 3.20

  6. Nice fox… better if wasn’t just dragged around like luggage. Dying a mink purple also pushes it to “mildly interesting.”

    Well, nobody said this would be easy… I bet the script was written in the 80’s, and filming it in the 90’s resulted in that.

  7. Have you tried these films?

    Midnight Blue (’97) which has Annabel Schofield in four different Fox Furs including an extended sequence right at the start lasting for about 20 minutes, a brief sighting in the middle & finally two more at the very end. For a bonus, a walk-on wears another one about a third of the way into the movie.

    Casino (’95) with Sharon Stone as the main Fur Wearer. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–q_CCRzyu0 for the Important Bits from the film.

    Rocky V (’90)although it is probably one of the last Fur Movies to be filmed in the ’80s; Still it does have Delia Sheppard in Fox about half way through the film, IIRC, and then Richard Gant (I don’t know how you feel about seeing Blokes in Fur in the Movies.) for the street brawl at the very end. I think Delia also wears a Fur in that bit, but the focus wasn’t on her so it was a bit difficult to see her.

    Alice (also ’90) has Mia Farrow in a Mink, but the Fur Watching emphasis is for once on the extras & the walk-ons in this movie. What was Woody Allen playing at when he directed it??!

    If you can find it, there’s also the Dutch B/W version of Venus in Furs (’95; http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0111602/) which loosely follows the book.

    My full Fur Movies list can be found at http://uk.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=703026

  8. First off, apologies for the delay, you got caught in the spam filter. Second, thanks for the link to your list, always appreciate seeing what others have compiled. Nice to compare notes, so to speak.

    Midnight Blue… got me there, I recall some of the clips and it was very, very nice, definitely puts Mad Dog Time to shame. That being said, I’ll have to finally switch to DVD caps if I want to post it.

    Casino is a period piece, but a valid entry. If anyone isn’t going to have authenticity compromised by the “prevailing winds” of fashion, it’s Scorsese.

    Rocky V cuts it close, but it qualifies. I think maybe it was Stallone’s apology for making a movie about Russians in Siberia in 1985 and not having a single fur in it… Admittedly I crushed hard on Delia Sheppard, mostly because of the hair.

    Alice I haven’t seen, but you’re not doing any favors by saying mink, heh.

    And it wouldn’t be hard to be more faithful to the book than Franco’s version. Granted, I’m not a fan of the book myself.

    Thanks for the list, and reminding me about Superman Returns. Heh, bet that was a callback to the original film that Richard Donner didn’t much care for…

  9. I’m watching the last scenes of this movie right now. It’s a piece of shit.

  10. Oh yes, it certainly is. There’s no reason I’d suggest subjecting yourself to it outside of heavy use of the “fast forward” button for the parts where Ellen Barkin isn’t draped in thick fox fur.

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