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Freaks [Import]


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Product Details

  • Language: English, German
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JH9W

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 30 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Freaks will always be a unique film. The film is a mix of a fictional story brought to life with real life oddities. The story takes place with a traveling Circus. The Circus people are very much their own community. The "Freaks" of the circus stand out even from the other circus folk. They are still made fun of and lied to. Olga Baclanova plays Cleopatra, an evil trapeze artist. She takes advantage of a midget named Hans, stealing him away from his fiancé and taking his money. Unfortunately she did not consider the loyalty and capabilities of these abnormal people. She and her lover pay a great price for there ignorance. The "Freaks" of the circus eventually live happy and Cleopatra the fate of those she tormented. The Director Tod Browning has brought some the most famous sideshow attractions of that time, including Frances O'Connor (armless girl), Peter Robinson (human skeleton), Daisy and Violet Hilton (siamese twins), and Johnny Eck (boy with no legs), to name only a view. He brings this incredible cast of real-life sideshow freaks for this bizarre and fascinating film. The epilogue was clearly added to the film after its creation by its conflicting words. It made points that were later proven false by the story. It said that the oddities longed to become beautiful but this was never promoted in the film. The story was well based but not acted well, possibly due to the fact most of the cast where not professional film actors. The scenes were often over acted most of the time with more then enough enthusiasm from the characters. The visual scenes themselves where quite pleasing. The sets did a good job of bring out the conditions that the circus people lived in.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Unknown Filmmaker on Oct. 22 2003
Format: DVD
For anyone who thinks "Freaks" is merely exploitation, guess what? You're right. Cinema is all exploitation. To exploit means "to make the most of" or "achieve highest expression," and that is exactly what director Tod Browning does with his 1932 masterpiece, "Freaks." He takes a rather simple story: greedy trapeze artist foiling a love-struck midget into a marriage of convenience, and makes it special. First, he populates it with real-life "freaks," (a term that in today's p.c. world makes one shudder) allowing them to speak their own voices. Sure, their acting is not exactly Oscar-caliber, but neither is that of the ensemble cast of Visconti's neorealistic, "La Terra Trema," and yet, the latter film ranks amongst the world's all-time greats. Browning's film is not a horror film by any means. It may be frightening or disturbing, but its effectiveness stems from a deeper realm of cinematic mastery. Browning seems to use more artistic freedom here than he had been allowed in his earlier Universal classic, "Dracula," and the result is pure magic. While "perfect" is not an adjective that one would readily apply to "Freaks," (and by the way, even "Citizen Kane" contains some interesting technical and/or creative flaws), let it be said that like other chilling classics, such as Herk Harvey's "Carnival of Souls" (1960), and Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960), "Freaks" may well be one of the most inspirational movies for aspiring filmmakers and avid film buffs ever made. It is complex in its simplicity; it is tragic in its purity; and ultimately, it is the stuff that celluloid dreams are made of... just ask David Lynch if "Freaks" entered his mind while he was making "The Elephant Man."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "dubberuckie" on Feb. 4 2002
Format: VHS Tape
They say people ran screaming out of the theatres when this movie was first shown back in the 30s. What they don't tell you is that this is not a horror movie. This movie is actually intended to show real freaks in real life; the story plot is probably the most unrealistic part of the movie, even though it's standard soap opera and you might even watch this same plot on TV today.
What makes this movie interesting isn't the plot, it's the actors, or I should say the people acting out the story. Because most of them aren't really acting. The leading villainess is probably an actor, I don't know. And there are probably a few other real actors here. But most of the "actors" are real freaks: the pinheads, the midgets, the siamese twins, the human torso. The pinheads don't need to act out their confusion and inarticulation; it's real. The midgets don't have to act out their social isolation. The siamese twins don't have to act out their physical and mental fusion. And the human torso doesn't have to practice lighting a cigarette with no arms and no legs to make it look real.
Because these "actors" are real freaks. And, more importantly, they are real human beings. Which is why the title "Freaks" is so ironic; this is a movie about human beings who also happen to be freaks.
Seventy years ago, people ran away screaming because they didn't want to believe it was real, and this movie was banned for a long time. Today, I'd like to think that people watching this movie have more understanding about the real message in this movie, that a human freak is not just a freak, but a human being also.
This is not a horror movie. And it's not an exploitation movie. It's in a category all by itself. It will fascinate you and repell you, and hopefully make you think.
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