Film 114 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1932’s “Freaks”. From the director who brought us “Dracula” one year prior, this film is based on Tod Robbins’ novel “Spurs” as well as director Tod Browning’s experience at working with a travelling circus from the age of 16. The original version was considered too shocking to be released, and no longer exists. I, personally, didn’t think it was all that shocking. If I had watched it when the film was released then I may have a different opinion. At no point during the film that I felt like they “Freaks” were treated differently to ordinary humans. I was slightly confused at one point as there were two women who looked the same and I had no idea who was the good and who was the bad. I also found myself enjoying this. I wouldn’t have minded if it went on for another few minutes. My only guess that the bit they removed from the original film was what Hans and his gang did to Cleopatra to make them “one of us”. I would recommend giving this a watch. It’s only an hour long. Just don’t watch it before you go to sleep. That would be my only advice. If you haven’t seen this film then you can find the full film for free on Vimeo. In 2003, Ed Gonzalez from Slant Magazine had this to say about the film, “Calling it a mere ‘masterpiece of shock cinema’… seriously underplay[s] the film’s blistering humanity.” Fun fact – This film was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years because it was deemed to exploit it’s cast. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1932’s “Freaks”.
Film – Freaks
Year – 1932
Director – Tod Browning
Written by – Tod Robbins
Staring – Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
IMDb Rating – 8/10
My Rating – 7/10
Length – 64 min
Genre – Drama, Horror, Thriller
Reading… Lots of it
Frankenstein was a freak?!?
There is quite a lot of reading – I feel like I’m back in history class
That took 2 minutes 30 seconds to read
We open with a sword swallower talking about what we’re about to see
“Offend one and you’ll offend them all”
How did two babies become owners of a circus?
Wait… Those aren’t babies!!! – I feel so embarressed
Stop laughing at me because I’m small
I think my husband’s cheating on me
Why does everyone sound either German or French?
That’s the worst rendition of “Ring Around the Rosies”
I don’t want to say anything bad about them incase I come across as a massive asshole
That man has no legs!
Half woman half man?!?
Excuse me while I lock this seal in a cage
Time to flirt with the promotor and get a pay raise
You’re leaving? No… I’m kicking you out!
She’s now insulting a clown who can’t talk
Turns out he can talk and he’s called Frozo
How did his face paint turn from white to natural skin colour?
She’s clearly upset about being dumped
Hello sisters who are still connected
Hello stuttering man
These two are getting married soon
I think this woman will flirt with any man
“I’m not hungry” – FEED ME SIX EGGS
KISS ME BITCH
Half man half woman see this and gets punched in the face for it
Back with the promotors
Don’t tell me about smoking cigars
FIVE SUGAR CUBES IN YOUR COFFEE!!!!
Don’t talk with your mouth full of food
I’m not singing today, I have too much washing to hang out
The promotor’s wife has a chat with someone about her husband possibly cheating on her
She’s clearly faking that shoulder injury
She said “massage my shoulder” but he’s actually massaging her lower back
Frozo chats with the woman and Johnny (the man with no legs)
Frozo’s upset that she didn’t laugh at his gag
Someone’s just given birth to a baby girl
Back with the soon to be married couple
It’s taken me 28 minutes to find out the normal woman’s name – It’s Cleopatra
That guy can light a cigarette with just his head (he has no arms or legs)
Frozo’s very keen on buying women hats with feathers on them
Cleopatra and the promotor have drinks
It’s taken me 31 minutes to know the promotor’s name – It’s Hans
Let’s have a chat with me naked in this bathtub
Turns out Frozo is building a bathtub car
KISS ME BITCH
KISS ME AGAIN
She clearly wants to shag anyone
The stuttering man is upset that his wife spends the night reading
He and Frozo see Hans and Cleopatra on a date
Later that night, Hans and his wife have a chat
She knows everything about him and Cleopatra
I think they just divorced each other because of Cleopatra
Hans’s wife has a chat with Cleopatra about Hans
Oops! She just called him “A Dwarf”
So… She wants to marry Hans because he’s rich
Time to dinner
She just drugged Hans’s drink!
Jesus!!!!!! He just swallowed a sword!!!
And he’s licking fire
Hans is clearly drunk
Cleopatra just kissed her lover in front of Hans
Now I think about it, Cleopatra is quite drunk as well
“One of us”
Fuck that! I’ll throw the beer all over her
She and her lover are clearly mocking them
The two of them and Hans try to patch things up
Frozo watches on from outside
I think Hans just called off the wedding
And…. He’s just passed out
Better be nice and take him to his bed
It turns out Hans was poisoned
Everyone watches on as Cleo’s other lover gets a telling off
What did she just shove down her pants?
Whatever she just gave him, he just spat it straight back out
Shhh…. We’re playing hide and seek
Looks like Hans has a plan he wants to forfill tonight
Time to put the plan into action
Don’t mind me! Just hopping to a different cart
Hans knows about the bottle she’s been drugging him with
Frozo tries to save the day but gets burnt
He eventually wins after Cleopatra’s other lover gets stabbed and attacked
Everyone else goes after Cleopatra
Back to modern times with the sword swallower from the beginning
What the fuck did they do to her?
Back with Hans who gets a visit from his ex-wife
Let’s leave them to chat