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Tod Browning's somewhat overvalued shocker, set amid the segregated population of a carnival sideshow. Stiff, heavy-handed, preachy, and often, with its primitive 1930 soundtrack, inaudible; but also curious, compassionate, and unsettling. Certainly not one of Irving Thalberg's run-of-the-mill projects for MGM. (1932) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated NR

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2

So shocking (even today) it ruined Tod Browning's career, tho it solidified his legend. The film was considered "lost" until turning up at college campus screenings in the sixties and seventies. Now, it's so well-known and oft-seen that even the Simpsons have spoofed the disturbing "one of us, one of us" chant, but it's one film that truly earns its status as a cult icon. Almost everybody who views it will find at least one scene/image seared in their memories forever -- for me, it's the "freaks" crawling thru the mud and rain, carrying weapons in whatever manner their twisted forms allow, on their way to commit vengeful murder...well, that and the armless & legless Caterpillar Man rolling (and lighting!) a ciggie with his lips!

March 8, 2010

Nevermind that Zippy the Pinhead comics might never exist if it weren't for how the Freaks characters with microcephaly were seared into the psyche of cartoonist Bill Griffith!

March 9, 2010

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