Freaks (1932) - Tod Browning

Freaks is one of the most talked about horror movies of the 1930's. Tod Browning's sideshow horror flick offended many and melded many specifics from Grindhouse/Exploitation and Mainstream Horror. Fresh off of Dracula, Browning still has that flair and streak that gets lost in many mainstream artists. It feels like he made enough money with Dracula to afford making this masterpiece. Like a pet project that he finally got to work on.

It's not the most well acted film and its certainly isn't cinema at its finest. It features actual sideshow attractions from clowns, strong men, and bearded ladies to little people, quadriplegics, and pinheads. That alone was enough to drag in audiences. The storyline behind it is nothing to shake a stick at. It has teeth all on it's own and actually shines through as the best piece of the film, the screenplay.  

The plot revolves around a lady trapeze artist who marries the leader of the circus. However, she is really sketchy. Is she faithful? Does she have a plan? Well of course she has a plan, if she didn't their wouldn't be a movie now would there. She is having an affair with the strong-man of the circus, and the two plan to kill the little guy. The movie teaches you not to judge by looks as the real "Freaks" are the two most normal people in the movie. So lets just say, the tables get turned, watch and enjoy.

One scene that is burned into every one's mind, that has seen the film. Is the scene where all of the freaks are sitting around a table, eating dinner and drinking wine. They genuinely accept the trapeze artist as one of them and sing a song for her. "We Accept Her! One of Us! We Accept Her! One of Us! Gobble, Gobble! We Accept Her! One of Us!" They sing this over and over and over again and it is so damn scary for some reason. 

One of Us!

  • Tod Browning was actually in a circus when he was young
  • The movie uses a pretty gruesome ending, but they also filmed a "Happy" ending. 
  • Filmed in Culver City, CA
  • The film was banned in quite a bit of places including the UK.