W: Willis Goldbeck & Leon Gordon [based on the short story
"Spurs" by Tod Robbins]
DP: Merritt B. Gerstad
Ed: Basil Wrangell
Wallace Ford (Phroso), Leila Hyams (Venus), Olga Baclanova
(Cleopatra), Rosco Ates (Roscoe), Henry Victor (Hercules)
Freaks is a unique picture which has a sub genre all to itself
and can only loosely be considered a horror film due to its filmmaking style.
Filled with a cast of real life circus performers with
deformities, the plot follows a trapeze artist who plans on marrying and subsequently murdering the circus owner for his inheritance, news which displeases the rest of the troupe who try to put
an end to her nefarious plans.
Filmed and released prior to Hollywood's production code,
Freaks was hugely controversial at the time of release and was subsequently banned, only to later be released with over 20 minutes cut. Despite being now hailed as a masterpiece of cult cinema,
Tod Browning's career never recovered following this film and the original version is thought to be lost forever.