Freaks ranks among one of the most controversial films to date because of the usage of real circus "freaks" in the film. At the time, parading around people with deformities next to "normal" people and then subjecting the public to view it on film was a horrendous act-more horrendous than calling people with deformities freaks I guess. Sad though it is, the final scene in this movie landed it at #15 on Bravo's scariest movie moments list.
The film is short- just about an hour long and tells the story of a band of circus freaks, who unite to seek revenge on a woman who had plotted to kill the leader of the performers and take his money. Cleopatra is a trapeze artist, cleverly nicknamed the flying peacock. She is courted by a sideshow midget named Hans and soon learn he has a large fortune. Plotting with her lover Hercules, Cleo marries Hans then tries to poison him. When the other performers learn of her plans they confront her and chase after her one stormy and rainy night. We soon learn that the freaks have turned her into a human "chicken" and now she is on display as a sideshow exhibit, looking like this.
The scene that Bravo highlights is pretty creepy and so wrong. The array of sideshow exhibits in this movie is startling and just knowing that these aren't special effects is pretty amazing. Perhaps the most mind boggling is the human torso, a man with no arms or legs that can role his own cigarettes,
I guess what made this scary to most people were the freaks, but now nothing really can shock us anymore so the film is a bit dated. I still think the last scene is pretty darn good though, and call me crazy but seeing a bunch of legless and armless people, pinheads, and human torsos runing after you with knives is a bit scary.
Buy Freaks at Horror Movie Empire