The Foxy Merkins Pokes Fun at the Lesbian Hooking Subculture


The Foxy Merkins would have made an idiosyncratic and amusing short film; at 80 minutes, it’s a one-joke comedy that quickly overstays its welcome.

Madeleine Olnek’s low-fi indie opens with an attempt by overweight, inexperienced, sloppily dressed lesbian hooker Margaret (Lisa Haas) to seal a deal with a customer — a task that ends hilariously when Margaret, hearing nearby sirens, abruptly flees the scene. Margaret is soon taken under the wing of Jo (Jackie Monahan), a more experienced streetwalker who teaches her where to sleep (in a Port Authority bathroom), where to hide her tequila (in the bathroom’s stall), and how to attract patrons, which she’s soon doing with increasing frequency, if not much in the way of profit.

The film’s funniest gag involves the idea that the epicenter of lesbian hooking is Talbots, whose gift cards are doled out as payment by Margaret’s clients.

Yet besides poking fun at the proclivities of its chosen subculture — including “merkins,” which Margaret learns from a park salesman (Alex Karpovsky) are “toupees for vaginas” — there’s almost nothing to The Foxy Merkins, especially once its non sequiturs run dry and all that’s left are recurring Margaret-is-nude gags and equally tiresome clichés about finding happiness and love.