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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2003

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Broadway Stunner: $8M ‘Side Show’ Reboot Will Shutter January 4

12 December 2014 7:30 AM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Second Update, 7:29 a.m. with link to Today show appearance.

Update, 5:25 a.m. with more information below:

The musical that poignantly poses the question “Who will love me as I am?” got its answer last night: Very few.

Tough business.

Side Show, the $8 million reboot of  a 1997 flop about freak-show legends Daisy and Violet Hilton, helmed in his Broadway debut by Dreamgirls and Gods And Monsters director Bill Condon, will fold after the Sunday, January 4 matinee, the producers announced this morning. The original production also closed on January 4 — 1998, after 91 performances, a record the new version will not match. After successful tryouts at the La Jolla Playhouse in California and the Kennedy Center last summer, the heavily revised show opened November 16 at the Jujamcyn-owned St. James Theatre to several glowing reviews, including a rave from the New York Times’ Charles Isherwood:

“Being a freak is virtually the new normal, »

- Jeremy Gerard

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American Horror Story Freak Show episode 9 review: Tupperware Party Massacre

11 December 2014 11:10 PM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

American Horror Story villain Dandy is so wildly entertaining, it's almost a distraction from the rest of the show...

This review contains spoilers.

4.9 Tupperware Party Massacre

As American Horror Story gains traction and propels itself towards a season finale like an out-of-control carnival ride, it feels as though there's a certain loss of poise. Perhaps it's due to the fact that our hero, Jimmy, is an aimless drunk who is distracted by grief and the gigantic bosoms of the side show's new fat lady. Perhaps that's due to the fact that Stanley and Elsa's complicated plot to capture and decapitate the twins continues to run into complications. Perhaps it's due to the fact that the show's biggest villain, Dandy, is so wildly entertaining that it's distracting from the rest of the show.

After opening up with Twisty as the focus, the show has become the Dandy Mott Murder Hour, and »

- louisamellor

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Let’S Talk About American Horror Story: Freak Show

22 November 2014 12:18 PM, PST | iconsoffright.com | See recent Icons of Fright news »

We’re over halfway through the fourth season of American Horror Story and Ryan Murphy has once again served us a peculiar plate of camp, horror, and recycled storytelling.  Of all the horror television shows out there, the only one I follow religiously is Ahs.  Perhaps it’s my small obsession with Frances Conroy or the show’s intentional game of horror movie “I Spy With My Little Eye,” but Ahs is something that can do no wrong in my world.   Ahs: Coven was critically believed to be the weakest season so far, but I still couldn’t get enough of it.  I feel the same way about Freak Show, if not more.  Sure, the season suffers from some of the traditional problems of Ryan Murphy’s other shows like derivative story lines, one-dimensional characters, cheap scares, wasted cameos, and over stylized cinematography, but there’s this strange allure »

- BJ Colangelo

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Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

31 October 2014 3:21 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman, »

- Andre Soares

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40 Great Horror Films for the Halloween Season Part 2

17 October 2014 6:17 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Movies 30-21

30. The Sixth Sense (1999) directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Before he spiraled into a critical nose-dive from which he’s yet to recover, M. Night Shyamalan was heralded as the next great American filmmaker. (No, seriously.) Before his gimmickry become obvious–all the twist endings, the important details withheld, trickery in lieu of genuine cleverness–Shyamalan crafted a genuine masterpiece that remains as potent as ever, regardless of the spoiling of its sneaky surprises. Bruce Willis has never approached the grace and subtlety of his performance here; his empathetic, sorrowful turn as a child psychologist searching for redemption deserved an Oscar nod. Maybe he woulda gotten one had this movie not come out in the insanely good movie year of our lord 1999. Willis is matched every step of the way by Haley Joel Osment, giving one of the great childhood performances, and lending credence to lines that could have »

- Greg Cwik

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American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: Playing Chicken

15 October 2014 8:16 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

In this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, the arrival of Ethel’s ex, hot-tempered strongman Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis), set off a power struggle so intense, it left one member of Elsa’s troupe headed for the big top in the sky.

Who basked in the glow of the spotlight for the last time? Read on; I’ll tell you…

Misery Has Company | As “Massacres and Matinees” began, it seemed as if everyone was suffering. Tormented Twisty the Clown distracted himself from his woes by visiting a toy store to continue his murder spree. But there »

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11 Freaky Pop-Culture Sideshows

9 October 2014 7:30 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

American Horror Story: Freak Show debuted last night, heir to a long legacy of stories built around the weird world of sideshows and human oddities. If Ahs has whet your appetite for more of the same, step right up and peer behind the curtain for 11 strange and splendid displays of fiction at its freakiest. Freaks Based loosely on Tod Robbins’s 1923 short story “Spurs,” Tod Browning’s 1932 pre-code horror flick stands alone as a subgenre of one. Freaks is notable mostly for its inversion of the traditional evil-freaks-versus-good-guy-normals: In Freaks, the human oddities and sideshow performers are sympathetic and humanized as they face off against a predatory trapeze artist and her strongman boyfriend. The movie was a spectacular flop — it all but destroyed the career of Browning, who had directed Bela Lugosi in Dracula the year prior, and was blamed for at least one miscarriage when it was »

- Rachel Edidin

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Recap Season 4, Episode 1: 'Monsters Among Us'

8 October 2014 4:00 PM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

"American Horror Story" has always been about one freak show or another; it's just that this season actually takes place in the sideshow. The characters and events from the previous seasons sound like a club that Stefon from "Saturday Night Live" would make up: a murder house with a ghost who wears a rubber suit; a former Nazi scientist who experiments on his patients in an asylum; a beautiful swamp witch who listens to Stevie Nicks and can bring the dead back to life; a Louisiana grand dame who used to torture and kill her slaves and bathe in their blood; a sexy collegiate Frankenstein; a tragic take on E. Jane Cochrane; a psycho psychiatrist with a taste for wearing human skin and drinking breast milk; and So. Much More.

It's breathtaking, invigorating, and utterly bananas. It's frankly insane that it's on a basic cable network. And I love it. »

- Jenni Miller

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American Horror Story Freak Show episode 1 review: Monsters Among Us

8 October 2014 4:14 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

American Horror Show returns with a visually gorgeous episode that proves there's no other show like it on television...

This review contains spoilers.

4.1 Monsters Among Us

Tod Browning's 1932 horror film Freaks is a bonafide classic thanks in no small part to Browning's brilliant use of “us versus them.” On one side, you have the outwardly terrifying freaks and on the other side the so-called “normal” folks as represented by Cleopatra and Hercules. The freaks look scary, but deep down inside, they're the good people. They accept Cleopatra because Hans loves her, but when Cleopatra and Hercules betray the trust of the sideshow folks, the freaks protect their own in one of the most terrifying sequences in movie history. Terrifying yes, but also well-deserved in the end, as Cleopatra and Hercules prove themselves to be despicable.

Freaks is a film existing in a genre of one. If you've seen it, »

- louisamellor

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Ryan Murphy on 'Ahs: Freak Show': 'This season, once you die, you're dead'

15 September 2014 11:30 AM, PDT | EW - Inside TV | See recent EW.com - Inside TV news »

By now, avid TV watchers know that each season of American Horror Story is an entirely new plot but with much of the same group of actors. Each installment also most importantly stems from the brilliant and imaginative minds of co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. For EW’s Fall TV Preview, on stands now, Murphy offered up some details from the New Orleans set of Ahs’s latest installment, Freak Show—about the titular group of entertainers in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida—which premieres Oct. 8 at 10pm on FX.

EW: Where did this come from? I know it’s something »

- Tim Stack

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Ahs: The “Freak Show” has Pepper Pre-“Asylum”

12 September 2014 7:17 AM, PDT | Fangoria | See recent Fangoria news »

Following call sheet-based rumors earlier this summer, American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy has now confirmed the anthology series’ fourth run will make its first connection with another season: Naomi Grossman returning as Asylum favorite, Pepper.  If Asylum’s microcephalic character Pepper was a nod to Tod Browning’s classic Freaks—there’s never a shortage of nods on Ahs—then she’s […] »

- Samuel Zimmerman

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Tusk | 2014 Tiff Review

7 September 2014 5:30 PM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Another Tuskegee Experiment: Smith’s Latest Creation Odd But Not Audacious

Sure to garner all the Wtf exclamatory delights that it’s had its grotesque little heart set on since the initial inspiration, Kevin Smith’s podcast borne film project, Tusk, at last arrives with a queasy trill. Though it doesn’t live up to certain perverse levels of strangeness that it promises, it’s a wacky, weird, and fun jaunt, especially considering this was a film that originated off the cuff. Certainly the most successfully entertaining film from Smith in quite some time, it may turn off or underwhelm after the initial bloom passes, especially as it’s narrative is a familiar cobbling of certain well known titles that have attained cultural iconicity (for better or worse). Still, it’s a great piece of weird pie to watch with an audience hungry for its bizarre spoils.

Wallace (Justin Long »

- Nicholas Bell

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Watch ‘Pre-Code’ Hollywood films on TCM all month

3 September 2014 8:24 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Tod Browning’s “Freaks

Before R-ratings, anti-heroes and gratuitous violence and nudity in mainstream Hollywood movies, there was the Hays Code. As a form of self-policing the industry, virtually every movie released up until 1968 needed that stamp of approval if it wanted distribution. And while it helped produce all of Old Hollywood’s true classics for several decades, it often included ridiculous rulings like not being able to show or flush a toilet on screen, not allowing married couples to be shown sleeping in the same bad or always making sure criminals, even protagonists of the movie, got punished in the end.

But before the Hays Code was nothing, and it was a gloriously weird, scandalous time for the movies. Certain Hollywood films in the early ’30s as “talkies” were rapidly taking hold have since been labeled “Pre-Code” films that never received Hollywood’s stamp of approval.

Every Friday in September, »

- Brian Welk

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World's Smallest Woman Jyoti Amge Joins American Horror Story: Freak Show

14 August 2014 9:40 AM, PDT | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

Taking a page from Tod Browning's cult classic Freaks, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" has hired the shortest woman in the world, Jyoti Amge, to appear as a character in the upcoming series.

Per Wikipedia, Amge (born 16 December 1993), a resident of Nagpur, India, is the world's smallest living woman according to the Limca Book of Records and Guinness Book of Records. On her 18th birthday she was officially declared the world's smallest woman by Guinness Book of Records with a height of 62.8 cm (2'6").

Her restricted height is due to a growth anomaly called achondroplasia.

Showrunner/exec producer Ryan Murphy shared the news via Twitter, including a photo of Amge with "Ahs" star Jessica Lange.

Jessica and our newest cast member Jyoti Amge...the world's smallest woman. pic.twitter.com/SIPhd4V0pQ

Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) August 13, 2014

"American Horror Story: Freak Show" begins in October. Jessica Lange, Denis O'Hare, »

- Debi Moore

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Bound By Flesh

26 June 2014 9:00 PM, PDT | Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy | See recent Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy news »

Anyone who’s interested in vaudeville, burlesque, sideshows, and the fringes of 20th century show business will know of The Hilton Sisters, Violet and Daisy. These attractive “Siamese twins” (as they were called in those days) were headliners on stage, appeared in Tod Browning’s movie Freaks in 1932 and starred in their own exploitation feature Chained for Life twenty years later. But while they’ve long been on my radar, I must confess that I knew virtually nothing about their lives. Leslie Zemeckis, who explored the backstage world of burlesque in her last documentary, Behind the Burly Q, now offers a straightforward and thorough biography of Violet and Daisy. She has diligently...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »

- Leonard Maltin

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Exclusive Clip Bound by Flesh

26 June 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

It was back in 2012 when we first heard about Bound by Flesh, a documentary focusing on the lives of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who were featured in Tod Browning's classic film Freaks. Here we are years later with an exclusive clip and lots more.

From the Press Release

Sundance Selects will open the new documentary Bound By Flesh, about conjoined twin superstars Daisy and Violet Hilton, theatrically in Los Angeles on June 27 and on VOD. The award-winning film was directed by Leslie Zemeckis (Behind The Burly Q).

American sideshows were in fairs, circuses, and carnivals. There were acts such as glass blowers, musicians, and also the freaks. Most freaks just stood there while the audience wandered past. The Hilton sisters, however, were trained to put on a winning performance. They sang, danced, and played a variety of musical instruments. Once they quit the carnival world and started playing vaudeville houses, »

- Steve Barton

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Not Safe For Work: Top 13 Wtf Moments in Horror

22 April 2014 7:00 PM, PDT | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

The big payoff moment. The money shot. The Omg/Wtf/Nsfw scene in horror. These are the moments that define films. The moment that either grosses and disgusts or shocks the audience in such a way that they have to come back for the sequel. Here are our Top 13 Wtf Moments in Horror.

We're going to try to keep this to relatively mainstream films. That's not to say that some lesser known indies haven't had some shocking moments, but things seem that much more disturbing when the movie in question reaches a wide audience.

Beginning with our honorable mentions, we've got to include I Spit on Your Grave, one of the most censored and banned films of all times. Camille Keaton played Jennifer Hills who was raped for the better part of the first half of the film. Plenty of Nsfw moments there. Also those infamous shit-eaters in Salo: 120 Days of Sodom were certainly shocking. »

- Scott Hallam

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Magnetic Fields Frontman Stephin Merritt Will Return to Sf International Film Fest

20 March 2014 7:30 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The San Francisco International Film Festival, now in its 57th year, will pull several silent treasures out of the vault to accompany live performances by indie pop band Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt, and by Thao Nguyen of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.On Tuesday, May 6, Merritt will present a new original score to "Freaks" director Tod Browning's mind-bending, circus-set crime classic "The Unknown" (clip below). A match made in heaven for Merritt who, back in 2010, performed a wonderful live score to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." A week earlier, on Tuesday, April 29, Thao Nguyen and her band will perform alongside a selection of silent shorts, with a presentation of her own short films. Both musical events will go down at Sf's beloved Castro Theatre.This year's edition of Sfiff runs April 24 to May 8. We'll be there covering films and festivities. It was previously announced that Richard Linklater will »

- Ryan Lattanzio

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The Top 10 Carnival Horror Movies!

18 March 2014 1:08 PM, PDT | iconsoffright.com | See recent Icons of Fright news »

Word on the interwebs is that American Horror Story season 4 is going to be set in a Carnival or play with the idea of a Circus-theme.  I’ve been craving the Ahs touch on a carnival ever sense the appearance of ‘Pepper’ in Season 2.  If you don’t think she was modeled by something out of Tod Browning’s Freaks, you need to do your homework.  While there is still no “official” word from Ryan Murphy confirming the season’s theme, the Internet is already swarming with theories, fan art, and dream casts.  Circuses and Carnivals play a very prominent role in the history of American entertainment, but it’s sadly becoming a dying art form.  I can’t even remember the last time a carnival came to town and allowed me to get funnel cake drunk before trying to pretend I couldn’t see the missing screws on the Tilt-a-Whirl. »

- BJ Colangelo

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'American Horror Story' Announces the Season 4 Theme

17 March 2014 10:30 AM, PDT | FEARnet | See recent FEARnet news »

The rumors were right, or nearly so. Season four of American Horror Story will be: Carnival. 

Technically, it won't necessarily be called American Horror Story: Carnival. Writer/producer Douglas Petrie confirmed: "Yes. It doesn't have a title, but that's the idea. Very roughly, that's the idea."

Naturally, I am excited about the idea of setting the show in a carnival. Since this is Ahs, I imagine that they will take a path similar to Tod Browning's Freaks in that I suspect the show will be filled with real "freaks," humans with genetic anomalies. Let the casting calls for conjoined twins and glass eaters begin! Maybe we will see Naomi Grossman reprise her role of Pepper the Pinhead from Asylum.

Okay, let the theorizing commence!

»

- Alyse Wax

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