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Transcript - Freaks (1932) - Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 2009

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James Rolfe: It's Cinemassacre's "Monster Madness". I have to admit, this is a tough one to talk about because it's such a strange story. Basically it's about sideshow performers; real deformed people who are being mistreated.

Knife-throwing dwarf (Jerry Austin): Gooble, gobble, gooble, gobble. 

James: The main character is a little person named Hans, who marries a big person named Cleopatra. But she's just a greedy bitch and all she wants is his money. 

Cleopatra: Freaks! 

James: It isn't really a horror film until the last scene where the quote on quote 'freaks' make their revenge.  "Dracula" director Tod Browning chose to cast real carnival performers. The most striking being a man with no legs, and a man with no arms or legs. Watch him light a cigarette. 

Rollo (off-camera, while we watch the man with no arms and legs light a cigarette): We're only killing time with this circus. We've got bigger time to follow-- 

James: And could this guy be the basis of Porky Pig? 

Roscoe: Ah, phew! You're always using that for an excu- for an exc-- for an alib-b-b-bi. 

Porky Pig: Good afternoon, ladies and ge-gen-gent-gen-ge-ge-- Good afternoon, folks! 

James: Well, "Freaks" came out in 1932 and the first "Porky Pig" cartoon was in 1935. Makes me wonder… 

For 1932 this movie was so shocking that it was banned. With a title like "Freaks" most people saw it as an insult to people with abnormalities. It wasn't until decades later when people finally start to see it and understand what it was about. It's a movie where the normal people are the bad guys, and asks the question "What does it mean to be 'normal'?". 

What sticks out to me is the final horror scene where they're crawling in the rain under carnival wagons. And with no musical score to compliment it only makes it more haunting. God, that's so creepy… 

It tells a unique story. It's bizarre, entertaining, but only suffer from one thing; being ahead of its time. 

– Link to video (cinemassacre.com)

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