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She Freak (1967)

 -  Horror  -  3 May 1967 (USA)
3.0
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Reviews: 31 user | 18 critic

Claire Brennen stars as a waitress who leaves the greasy-diner business for the excitement of the carnival. She quickly discovers that she despises freaks and human oddities.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claire Brennen ...
Jade Cochran
Lee Raymond ...
Blackie Fleming
Lynn Courtney ...
Pat 'Moon' Mullins
Bill McKinney ...
Steve St. John
Claude Earl Jones ...
Greasy (as Claude Smith)
Ben Moore ...
Ben Thomas
Vanteen ...
Al Babcock
Madame Lee ...
Snake Charmer (as Lee)
Marsha Drake ...
Olga
...
Shorty
William Bagdad ...
Pretty-Boy (as Bill Bagdad)
Sandra Holcomb ...
Canival Woman
Edit

Storyline

Claire Brennen stars as a waitress who leaves the greasy-diner business for the excitement of the carnival. She quickly discovers that she despises freaks and human oddities. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the More Appalling in COLOR See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 May 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asylum of the Insane  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lee Raymond was actually a captain for United Airlines. See more »

Quotes

Pat 'Moon' Mullins: Hey Jade, I just heard something.
Jade Cochran: Word travels fast around this lot, doesn't it?
Pat 'Moon' Mullins: Look, it's none of my business, but did you have to run Shorty off? He's been with Steve for 12 years, and this carnival is the only home he has.
Jade Cochran: [cynical tone] Like I said, it's none of your business.
Pat 'Moon' Mullins: You know, I'm beginning to feel sorry that I ever met you.
Jade Cochran: Look cooch, I don't need you or anyone else to tell me how to run my new business. Now, why don't you screw on back to the girlie show and shake it for the ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Interesting but Weak Entry in Exploitation History
10 June 2003 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

_She Freak_ is certainly one of the more accessible of Friedman's post-HG Lewis movies. Obviously intended to target drive-ins, it lacks the more objectionable (and usually dull) `adult' material of his other pictures, and spends more time on the plot. Other strengths include actors that know their lines and location footage (at a carnival) that offers a bit more visual diversity than is usual in the extreme low-budget 60's field.

That said, however, the film is deeply flawed and far from a classic. It is frequently billed as a `remake' of Tod Browning's _Freaks_, which is true to an extent, but not in the way one would hope. Clearly the writer took the concept of a selfish carnival girl who is punished by the freaks for her ill-treatment of one of their number and ran with it. Unfortunately, it did not inspire him to particular heights.

The most notable difference between this film and its inspiration is the aspects of carny life upon which they focus. _Freaks_ focused on the title characters – showing their lives and loves, how sideshow freaks were people with feelings who banded together against a world that despised them. _She Freak_, by contrast, seems mostly concerned with the people behind the scenes: the concessioners and `ride boys' and the Grips (or whatever their called in carny talk) that set up and tear down the big show. Something like 10 minutes of footage is sweaty guys working with tent poles, so if that's your thing…As far as sideshow acts are concerned: there's a coochy-dancer (who goes `as far as the law allows,' evidently in a bible-belt state), a sword-swallower, a snake charmer and a fortune-teller. Even the one real `freak' of the film, the unfortunate `Shorty' the midget, gets very little screen time and never performs whatever act he is supposed to have.

The other glaring flaw is the character development. The main character, Jade, starts the movie as a bitch, then is re-introduced as a sympathetic character with high hopes, then spends the rest of the movie bouncing back and forth. It got so bad that I started to regard the movie as a Jekyll-and-Hyde tale, with the `bad' Jade progressively screwing up the aspirations of the `good' Jade. But, unlike Stevenson's story, there is no explanation for Jade's dual personality, and no way to predict which side of her would emerge. A more interesting take, had the writer and director been up to the challenge, would have been to portray Jade as starting out nice, but gradually becoming `jaded' (sorry, couldn't help that pun) over the course of events and hard knocks in the carnival, until she went too far and had to be destroyed. Frankly, the `crime' for which she is punished (firing Shorty) does not fit the punishment she earns, and there are other characters in the film that have far more justifiable grievances than the freaks do.

One interesting hallmark of the low-budget Friedman approach deserves note. The extended silent sequences, in which the audience is treated to musical montages of images that are supposed to suggest action. Aside from the aforementioned set-up, tear-down sequences, the entire courtship of Jade and her prospective husband is handled in this way. Up until his last two or three scenes, pretty much the only thing this actor says is `Hello.' On the whole, this is actually a good thing.

Overall, it's worth it for exploitation completists, and is a watchable film, but not generally recommended.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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