This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Revenge of the Freaks

There was a movie called Revenge of the Nerds. It's always easy to root for the underdog. That was a popular movie back in the day.

Later on in life a show emerged called Freaks and Geeks. I could relate to it. I was a child of Generation X. I was kind of a hybrid of freak and geek. I would probably have been considered a nerd in high school. In college I would probably have been given a mild freak rating.

How could I not like that show? SCTV's Joe Flaherty starred. Plus, a very adorable type of freak-geek hybrid was the lead character, the brunette chick below.

I found a very good movie last night. It was from 1932 and directed by the same cat who came up with Dracula. It was called Freaks. It used real carnival performers as the actors, e.g. little people, others missing assorted body parts, the bearded lady, and even those who suffered from microcephaly, a condition which led to those afflicted being described as pinheads.

It's 100 degrees today here in Boston. I'm sweating buckets. But I'm happy. The other day was National Laundry Day. Yesterday was National Dishwashing Day. Things have been getting accomplished.

I'm into free speech, but I am not a masochist. That is why I have put a quick stop to sadistic posts being allowed here. I feel free after deciding to ban those people. I'd rather have a slower comments section than put up with the bad guys trying to mess with me on my own turf.

The downside of having comment moderation seems to be a glitch, where it appears there are no comments even when some exist. But when it's steaming hot like this, you can't sweat the small stuff, or your apartment will become flooded.

Eventually I'll reopen posting without moderation and simply zap any future troll spam after the fact. I don't need to have a big blog. One pleasant result of using blogger has been various posts have trickled in from time to time from bloggers I don't know. It's like they somehow found the place and subject at hand and felt inspired to add something. I'd rather have that traditional kind of place than have the sadists thinking there's a point in their sticking around in an attempt to make me feel like crap. Life's too short to suffer fools.

This movie's only about sixty minutes. There are a lot worse ways to spend an hour than watching it. The big ending is not for the squeamish, and it is not disappointing if you can stomach some horror. They don't make them like they used to, especially during the pre-code movie years from 1929ish through 1934.

(Sorry, the video is now unavailable)


the_last_name_left said...

I've actually seen that freaks movie. It was part of a series of banned films shown on TV for the first time. LOL - of all the films you mention, this is the only one I ever saw. haha. See, I've got taste! :D

When I was younger a book on the characters in the film came into my possession somehow. Some amazing people in there - one guy, the human caterpillar had no arms or legs, and was dressed in a little sleeping bag affair - but he could roll a cigarette using his lips, and he could light it too, using matches. All by himself. Freaks, sure, but.....something very inspiring about them too.

I love John Hurt as John Merrick. "I am not an animal!" John Merrick was more human than those whom exploited and reviled him.

socrates said...

You hit the main point. Despite most of the "freaks" being tough to look at without cringing, they were every bit as worthy as anyone else to live, breathe, and pursue happiness.

When I first started watching Freaks, I thought there was some kind of trick photography going on, because the little guy looked so much like a two year old.

Unfortunately the sound quality was off, but I still liked it.

It's nice how those old movies don't go on for hours. One hour and a bit more is perfect.

I don't think too many present day movies or those from the last decades are worth anyone's time. Bah Humbug to them! Look at the horror films from yesteryears to today. I'm not saying all the oldies were good. But there's that Old Dark House I told you about. Island of Lost Souls. The Invisible Man. There's even one called The Most Dangerous Game, where some sick hunter hunts humans on his island. The lost souls one was about Dr. Moreau turning animals into human freaks. Invisible Man was pretty good. I thought it'd be stupid. But it's quite a clever set up.

There's just something very basic or primal in the old movies versus those of the last decades.

Maybe you've heard of Cape Fear. That's the one where Robert De Niro is terrorising a family. I finally got to see the original with Robert Mitchum. I used to think De Niro was the greatest actor of all time. I was wrong. I didn't have the knowledge base to say such a thing. Now I think Robert De Niro is overrated, basically a Little Italy, New York-styled schtick, currently a has-been who's best run was over thirty years ago. I think he owes gratitude for his success to Martin Scorcese, at least as much as he does for any "God-given" talent and hard work.

I now personally see all sports and entertainment as a big scam. I always have actually. But then again, I still find myself enjoying them from time to time. This is the most difficult legitimation crisis to untangle myself from. I too much enjoy that which I deplore. Damn human condition! Or as youse guys from over the pond say, "Crikey."

Sports is easy enough to quit. I haven't bought a ticket to a game in over a decade or two. I no longer read or watch it like I used to. And for movies, I think I'm finally starting to get this new fad out of my system. The problem is the things are right there for free at youtube.

Finding a good movie, however, is like trying to find new oil. It may be there, but it's going to take a lot of time and effort to find it and maybe not worth the hassle.

I remember The Elephant Man. That's the same theme, you're correct.

I know these are only movies, but I like how we are able to get a glimpse of how things used to be in real time, even if they're just depictions or whatnot.

It's too bad Freaks ruined Browning's career. I thought it was going to be a junk piece of film. The thing was pure genius. He also had the balls and decency to offer acting roles to real life people with abnormalities. At the same time, there were dumbass racists stil promoting blackface.

I won't give away the ending to Freaks, but for a rare moment, I actually enjoyed an ending. That movie would have never been allowed to be seen, if it had been made a few years later after the Hays Code kicked in. One wasn't supposed to get away with anything, even if a transgression could be somehow morally justified.

As for the man without legs or arms (Torso Man), that was incredible how he could light his own cigarette. Little moments like that stood out. That's a nice little movie, and it's no surprise to me that you saw it and vividly remember it and with what seems a touch of fondness.