Written by: Ophelia
There was an article written around Halloween time that listed the best horror flicks every created and 'Tod Brownings Freaks' was included. When I eventually got around to renting this gem from the 1930s, I soon discovered why it was held in such esteem. Originally banned as an 'affront to morality', this movie has been underappreciated for far too long and I thank the author of the article to recommending this movie. It is indeed a great piece of cinema.
The plot revolves around the lives of a group of carnival employees. The group is segregated into "the normals" and the "freaks".The normals are the regular people while the freaks are those who often suffer from various medical syndromes causing alterations in their appearance and sometimes behavior.
In the story, sideshow performer and midget Hans falls in love with the evil and manipulative Cleopatra, who uses him to acquire his inheritance money. However, the freaks aren't as easily pushed around as she and her co-conspirator and lover Hercules believe. The film presents harsh realities about the false nature of appearances and serves up an alternative to modern Hollywood shallowness with the assertion that the most beautiful among us, can also be the ugliest.