“Freaks” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 26
“And now folks, if you will just step this way, you are about to witness a most amazing, the most outstanding living monstrosity of all time.”
I suppose the most outstanding thing about Freaks is that they hired actual carnival performers to star in the film. It’s unsettling, but then also played often for laughs – or perhaps that’s just because of the stilted delivery of the dialogue by most of the inexperienced cast. Part of the charm, I suppose?
A product of its time, to be sure, and a fine example of pre-code Hollywood pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable as a film. Just not sure how great of a movie it is…
Freaks was at the time of this review at #147 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #338 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Freaks vs. Deadpool
I wasn’t gaga over Deadpool like some were. Yes, it’s an example of a success where all signs pointed to failure, but I don’t think it’s quite as incredible as people seem to think it is. Its importance will wane. However, Freaks didn’t really flip my kilt either. Could almost go either way. I’ll take Deadpool for now, for at least showing Hollywood that R-rated action/comedy/superhero can be profitable, and preferred.
Freaks vs. The Wolfpack
A documentary against a narrative feature always makes for a tough decision on Flickchart, but I really got drawn into this odd tale of a low-income family ruled by a socially isolationist tyrant. The Wolfpack gets my vote.
Freaks vs. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Probably fun when I originally watched it, but has since become utterly forgotten in the ol’ memory banks. Freaks wins for at least being memorable.
Freaks vs. Swingers
Ugh. Swingers. Yeah, I’ll take Freaks.
Freaks vs. Glory Daze
An early Ben Affleck gen-x-ish comedy-drama. Meh. Freaks wins.
Freaks vs. Bridesmaids
I don’t like Bridesmaids one bit. Unfunny. Lazy. Freaks takes it.
Freaks vs. Harry and the Hendersons
Absolutely Harry and the Hendersons. Man-in-suit! Practical effects! A gem from the 80s. Probably needs to be higher on my chart.
Freaks vs. Toy Story 3
A lot of other folks seem to have really enjoyed the third Toy Story, but man… it’s such a downer, and dark, and depressing, and almost oppressive in its tone. It’s like Pixar was having a bad day at the office and it culminated in the film. Freaks is going to beat Toy Story 3.
Freaks vs. Religulous
Wow, another doc. I like Bill Maher and his no-nonsense attitude. It’ll win the matchup.
Freaks is now ranked #1116 out of 1466 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next up is Ed Wood. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.