ByDan White, writer at

Film 114 in the "1001 Films to See Before You Die" challenge is 1932's "Freaks". From the director who brought us "Dracula" one year prior, this film is based on Tod Robbins' novel "Spurs" as well as director Tod Browning's experience at working with a travelling circus from the age of 16. The original version was considered too shocking to be released, and no longer exists. I, personally, didn't think it was all that shocking. If I had watched it when the film was released then I may have a different opinion. At no point during the film that I felt like they "Freaks" were treated differently to ordinary humans. I was slightly confused at one point as there were two women who looked the same and I had no idea who was the good and who was the bad. I also found myself enjoying this. I wouldn't have minded if it went on for another few minutes. My only guess that the bit they removed from the original film was what Hans and his gang did to Cleopatra to make them "one of us". I would recommend giving this a watch. It's only an hour long. Just don't watch it before you go to sleep. That would be my only advice. If you haven't seen this film then you can find the full film for free on Vimeo. In 2003, Ed Gonzalez from Slant Magazine had this to say about the film, "Calling it a mere 'masterpiece of shock cinema'... seriously underplay[s] the film's blistering humanity." Fun fact - This film was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years because it was deemed to exploit it's cast. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1932's "Freaks".

Film - Freaks

Year - 1932

Director - Tod Browning

Written by - Tod Robbins

Staring - Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova

IMDb Rating - 8/10

My Rating - 7/10

Length - 64 min

Genre - Drama, Horror, Thriller

Reading... Lots of it

Frankenstein was a freak?!?

There is quite a lot of reading - I feel like I'm back in history class

That took 2 minutes 30 seconds to read

We open with a sword swallower talking about what we're about to see

"Offend one and you'll offend them all"

How did two babies become owners of a circus?

Wait... Those aren't babies!!! - I feel so embarressed

Stop laughing at me because I'm small

I think my husband's cheating on me

Why does everyone sound either German or French?

That's the worst rendition of "Ring Around the Rosies"

I don't want to say anything bad about them incase I come across as a massive asshole

That man has no legs!

Half woman half man?!?

Excuse me while I lock this seal in a cage

Time to flirt with the promotor and get a pay raise

You're leaving? No... I'm kicking you out!

She's now insulting a clown who can't talk

Turns out he can talk and he's called Frozo

How did his face paint turn from white to natural skin colour?

She's clearly upset about being dumped

Hello sisters who are still connected

Hello stuttering man

These two are getting married soon

I think this woman will flirt with any man

"I'm not hungry" - FEED ME SIX EGGS


Half man half woman see this and gets punched in the face for it

Back with the promotors

Don't tell me about smoking cigars


Don't talk with your mouth full of food

I'm not singing today, I have too much washing to hang out

The promotor's wife has a chat with someone about her husband possibly cheating on her

She's clearly faking that shoulder injury

She said "massage my shoulder" but he's actually massaging her lower back

Frozo chats with the woman and Johnny (the man with no legs)

Frozo's upset that she didn't laugh at his gag

Someone's just given birth to a baby girl

Back with the soon to be married couple

It's taken me 28 minutes to find out the normal woman's name - It's Cleopatra

That guy can light a cigarette with just his head (he has no arms or legs)

Frozo's very keen on buying women hats with feathers on them

Cleopatra and the promotor have drinks

It's taken me 31 minutes to know the promotor's name - It's Hans

Let's have a chat with me naked in this bathtub

Turns out Frozo is building a bathtub car



She clearly wants to shag anyone

The stuttering man is upset that his wife spends the night reading

He and Frozo see Hans and Cleopatra on a date

Later that night, Hans and his wife have a chat

She knows everything about him and Cleopatra

I think they just divorced each other because of Cleopatra

Hans's wife has a chat with Cleopatra about Hans

Oops! She just called him "A Dwarf"

So... She wants to marry Hans because he's rich

Time to dinner

She just drugged Hans's drink!

Jesus!!!!!! He just swallowed a sword!!!

And he's licking fire

Hans is clearly drunk

Cleopatra just kissed her lover in front of Hans

Now I think about it, Cleopatra is quite drunk as well

"One of us"

Fuck that! I'll throw the beer all over her

She and her lover are clearly mocking them

The two of them and Hans try to patch things up

Frozo watches on from outside

I think Hans just called off the wedding

And.... He's just passed out

Better be nice and take him to his bed

It turns out Hans was poisoned

Everyone watches on as Cleo's other lover gets a telling off

What did she just shove down her pants?

Whatever she just gave him, he just spat it straight back out

Shhh.... We're playing hide and seek

Looks like Hans has a plan he wants to forfill tonight

Time to put the plan into action

Don't mind me! Just hopping to a different cart

Hans knows about the bottle she's been drugging him with

Frozo tries to save the day but gets burnt

He eventually wins after Cleopatra's other lover gets stabbed and attacked

Everyone else goes after Cleopatra

Back to modern times with the sword swallower from the beginning

What the fuck did they do to her?

Back with Hans who gets a visit from his ex-wife

Let's leave them to chat



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