Reading the reviews here, I really didn't expect much from Freakshow. But I was surprised by how well it held me, and the number of entertaining little touches in what is obviously a very, very low budget effort.
There's not much in the way of "real" freaks here, although there are genuine human oddities scattered among the cast members. And this has to be the only movie I've ever seen about a traveling carnival that never showed a single crowd scene or, indeed, even a single customer coming to visit (looking at the rickety old ferris wheel they had, I doubt it was approved for people to ride on).
But that being said, the photography and art direction were surprisingly good, the period soundtrack was suitably haunting, and the performances were entertaining (if not always professional). A standout was Christopher Adamson in the role of the ringmaster, dripping with squint-eyed malice as well as dripping from numerous boils and ulcers.
The sex and violence aren't really too graphic until the final "transformation" scene, which is so over the top that it seems grafted on from another movie. I think the movie would actually be stronger if it simply implied what was about to happen to the "victim"...and then showed us the results.
I bumped this up to 4 stars to help counterbalance some of the other reviews, and also because I think that within the constraints of a very low budget, the filmmakers did a nice job. Also, the DVD has some nice bonus features.
So don't expect a lot...but don't necessarily write Freakshow off, either. I'm glad I didn't!