"Gobble-gobble... we accept her... one of us," goes the haunting chant of FREAKS. Yet it would be decades before this widely banned morality play gained acceptance as a cult masterpiece.
Tod Browning (1931's DRACULA) directs this landmark movie in which the true freaks are not the story's sideshow performers, but "normals" who mock and abuse them. Browning, a former circus contortionist, cast real-life sideshow professionals. A living torso who nimbly lights his own cigarette despite having no arms or legs, microcephalics (whom the film calls "pinheads") - they and others play the big-top troupers who inflict a terrible revenge on a trapeze artist who treats them as subhumans. In 1994, FREAKS was selected for the National Film Registry's archive of cinematic treasures.