Saturday, October 31, 2015

Freaks (1932)

“They're going to make you one of them, my peacock!”

            Happy Halloween my fellow film fanatics! Hope you are celebrating safely and fun or if you have already celebrated today that you had a good time. Today I will be celebrating by attending my first YouTube convention, StreamCon NYC! So far it has been a ton of fun!
            For Halloween I decided to finally watch the classic 1932 film Freaks. Another fellow film fanatic has been telling me for a while to watch Freaks. It is also a classic film I have heard about over the years especially since Irving Thalberg produced and I enjoy learning about him. I have read that it was horrifying and disgusting. Well, horrifying and disgusting according to 1930s standards. I had to see what the big deal is with this film and why it has such a reputation.
            The film begins with visitors of a circus gathering around a pen. A lady cries out in horror. A man entraps the visitors around the pen with the story of the horror they are repulsed by.
            The beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra is the object of the midget Hans. Hans does have a fiancée in fellow midget Frieda. They are both part of the sideshow freaks. Frieda is distraught because Hans has not been paying attention to her. His object of desire has been shifted to Cleopatra. Cleopatra decides to mess with Hans. Frieda decides to have a talk with her rival. She reveals to Cleopatra that Hans has come into an inheritance. Cleopatra is messing around with another performer called Hercules and she gets the idea to marry Hans then poison him and get his money.
            Hans and Cleopatra get married. During the party Cleopatra starts poisoning Hans. The group of freaks decide to make her one of them even though she is normal. She cannot handle that they are trying to make her a part of their group and in a drunken stupor admits to being in love with Hercules and kisses him. All the freaks leave the table.
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            Hans soon become sick and he catches on that his new wife is trying to poison him. The freaks turn on Hercules and Cleopatra. They turn over their wagon and chase her down in the rain.
            The woman the visitors are looking at is Cleopatra. She has been turned into a human duck with her legs missing and the rest of her body deformed.
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            Freaks was alright. I can see why audiences were grossed out by it when it was first released. None of the people with disabilities and deformities were tolerated or in the open. The first two minutes of the film is dedicated to an explanation of why these people with deformities and disabilities are considered freaks and what has happened to them throughout history. It is really sad looking at this film and the explanation today. For me looking at Freaks today is disturbing because, as I said, it is sad to see the way the “freaks” were portrayed. I am only going to suggest Freaks for major classic film fans or if you enjoy learning about Irving Thalberg and want to see the films he produced. 
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