Archive | March 7, 2014

Recommended Cult Classic: “Freaks” [1932]

The Movie “Freaks” – Why It’s A Cult Classic

Gooba – Gobba
Gooba – Gobba
One of us!
One of us!

What does it all mean?!

I own this movie, and it’s hard to believe it was made in 1932. It’s an honest and literal look into the world of 1932 circus-folk. Generally speaking, circus employees are often counted as weird, offbeat, dirty, homeless “freaks” who don’t fit into mainstream society, but this movie showcases their lives as defying those stereotypes. That said, the characters in the movie aren’t just characters – they really WERE “circus freaks”! The more appropriate name is “side show performers”. There are dwarves, a strong man, bearded lady, acrobats, hydroencephalics, armless and legless people, Siamese twins, and a hermaphrodite (Josephine Joseph). Considering many of the “actors” were not, they’ve done a great job.

There are some people who see this movie as very disturbing – it can be unsettling to see people with severe deformities. However, I enjoy the humanity of it. At the end of the day, we’re all people.

I won’t spoil the movie for you, but it’s main theme is that you can’t judge a book by its cover, several layers deep. Fascinating study of human and inhuman behavior. The above scene is in reference to the circus people accepting an outsider into their tight-knit group.

“One of us! One of us!” – now you’ll know where it came from!

Pop culture reference: South Park episode – John and Patsy Ramsey

And, of course, the Simpsons did it!

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