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5. Freaks (1932 – Todd Bowning)

A strangely beautiful horror film, this movie captured a very common interest of its time: ‘circus freaks.’ The director, Tod Browning, was incredibly daring with this melodrama that cast a variety of disabled people commonly considered ‘abominations.’ It subtly mocked society’s perverse fascination with the outcasts, while it played on the fear they would turn on their detractors. The freak-show stars had strange chants and motions that sought to cast them as mysterious creatures. Released in 1935, Freaks become a surreal iconic among its select fans.


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