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Old 02-10-2007, 11:48 AM   #1
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Default Freaks (1932)

I'm almost possitive that just about everyone here has seen this movie. Saddly for me though, I only JUST saw it last week on AMC.
I gotta say, it didn't really scare me at all, well up until the end, the end is pretty scary, but all that aside, the story is what really grabbed my attention.
This whole family of real freaks find out the trapize woman is trying to swindle some inheritance money from the "head freak" by marrying him.
I mean, it just awakens the morbid curiosity in your body to watch this knowing that this chick is gonna mess up and get hers.

I wouldn't really label this a horror movie, but it did deliver on a level that I'm sure most people would have turned it off, while people like us would enjoy the story for what it is all the way to the finish.


Now why was this movie banned for so long? Because of the real freaks? Because of what happens in the end? Because of what the seemingly lovely woman tries to do to one of the freaks? This part never made much sense to me. There really isn't anything THAT wrong with the movie to where I can possibly see why it was banned.

All in all though, a great watch, and I can't wait to own it on DVD.....If i ever can find it.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:44 PM   #2
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sadly i havent seen this movie yet. as for why it was banned for so long your guess is as good as mine dude.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Wow, a Freaks thread! No horror board should be without one. One of my favorites, and a movie that absolutely couldn't get made today. Oh, they could tell the story with make-up and CGI doing most of the freaks. But that's what gives Freaks its power. You KNOW they're real. And that fact affects how you see and react to the movie. And helps you overlook some of the weaknesses of the movie, like how some of the freaks clearly can't act (or even speak clearly). And I never completely got the ending (spoilers follow). I mean I get the point, and "twist" by turning Cleopatra into a freak was great. But how a "chicken-woman" :confused: Maybe they tarred and feathered her, along with breaking her legs? Or maybe its a leap into fantasy, with some kind of magic involved? I don't know ... it's these little things that I spent too much time thinking about as a kid (and still do)

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I wouldn't really label this a horror movie, but it did deliver on a level that I'm sure most people would have turned it off, while people like us would enjoy the story for what it is all the way to the finish.
Better late than never to discover Freaks. I think your assessment is good. True, most of the running time it plays as a melodrama, only turning into something resembling a horror movie by the end. But I think designating Freaks as a horror movie is fair. The movie does generate the emotion of horror in the audience, and isn't that what horror movies are all about?

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I'm Now why was this movie banned for so long? Because of the real freaks? Because of what happens in the end? Because of what the seemingly lovely woman tries to do to one of the freaks? This part never made much sense to me. There really isn't anything THAT wrong with the movie to where I can possibly see why it was banned.
Well, I think its a combination of the real Freaks, some of the more sordid aspects of the story, and the grotesque ending. Even today, this movie manages to grab people. In the 30's, can you imagine how much it knocked people on their asses? Even though it was "pre-code" Hollywood, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable. Once movies were heavily censored in the mid-30s its no surprise this got shelved. And at the time, people didn't have a problem with the banning. Freaks was a terrible flop in its time - people couldn't get past the repulsion factor. The movie sadly pretty much derailed Tod Brownings career.

An interesting bit of trivia: one of the cut scenes that seems to be lost shows the fate of the strongman. There they showed (spoiler hidden since it talks about the ending): the guy still alive, but singing soprano. Implying that the freaks castrated him That was seen to go WAAAY over the line, and they just left audiences to assume he got killed.

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All in all though, a great watch, and I can't wait to own it on DVD.....If i ever can find it.
Why can't you find it? It's in a very nice special edition DVD that's currently available rather cheaply pretty much everywhere that sells DVDs.

Last edited by ZantiMisfit; 02-10-2007 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:19 PM   #4
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I don't know man, I've searched Best Buy and Circait City and cam up with nothing.
I can't even find this movie on Limewire....
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:21 PM   #5
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I've never seen this movie.

Call me Santa Claus:
http://www.deepdiscount.com/viewprod...ductId=5787356
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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I don't know man, I've searched Best Buy and Circait City and cam up with nothing.
I can't even find this movie on Limewire....
Try online. Amazon, Deep Discount DVD ... they all have it. Place your order at DDD and it's $12.49 with free shipping.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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rock on, thanks for the link. This movie is so hit.
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:01 PM   #8
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Wow, a Freaks thread! No horror board should be without one. One of my favorites, and a movie that absolutely couldn't get made today.
You know it's been remade? I was walking through Block Buster and saw a movie called Freak Show. I picked it up and it said right on the cover that it was made in the same stying as Tod Browning's Freaks. Such bullshit, it looked like a cheap rip-off.
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:01 PM   #9
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What made Freaks so controversial was its timing. That era knew of the existence of outcasts, but only as sideshow ornaments to laugh at. Seeing these people as normal human beings who could love, sickened the viewers.
It challenged the public, and people don't like having their eyes opened.
Imagine a film portraying blacks as more than servants, etc, from that era. Same conclusion. Birth Of A Nation sums that up.
Freaks is out in the U.K.
If you haven't seen it, it's well worth viewing. It's a rare movie that lives up to its hype.
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R-13 View Post
You know it's been remade? I was walking through Block Buster and saw a movie called Freak Show. I picked it up and it said right on the cover that it was made in the same stying as Tod Browning's Freaks. Such bullshit, it looked like a cheap rip-off.
I came across a review of a 60's movie a while back for a movie called She Freak which seems to be a remake of Freaks...
http://monsterhunter.coldfusionvideo.com/She_Freak.html
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