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I feel priveleged to have this obscure gem in my collection. A scant cruise through my grocery store video rental some six years ago had me rent two films (both with the Melissa Joan Hart-like Megan Ward, oddly enough): "PCU" and "Freaked". I enjoyed PCU, but was taken aback by the colorful crudeness of Freaked. From the opening ClayMation/Henry Rollins fusion to the numerous B cameos (find me another film with all of Brooke Shields, Morgan Fairchild *AND* Mr. T and I'll find you a kidney transplant), to the laugh-out-loud sight gags, this film is up there with the very best of 'em.
Freaked is without a drop of pretense. It offers no metaphorical politics, it doesn't use heavy music to influence your heartbeat, and unlike the ZAZ and Mel Brooks films, this one doesn't mug for the punchline. Pre-dating Trey Parker and Matt Stone, its knockdown-dragout consistency of it's joke takes you to a very satisfying end. Proud to know it'll never end up on a snobbish "Greatest Films Of All Time" list, I strongly suggest you experience this American Classic for yourself, regardless the toll it might take.
One good way to judge a film is considering if they had enough ideas to fill up a feature length film. Alex Winters's Freaked goes above and beyond that measuring system- every scene, every FRAME of this film has something clever or laugh out loud funny in it. To name a few of this film's throw-away gags- Mr. T in a dress, sideshow freaks playing Hollywood Squares (with the skeleton of Paul Lynde in center square), air stewardesses helping terrorists, a two headed chicken, a farting clown (classier than it sounds), Keanu Reeves as a Dogboy, and Calvert DeForest! And that's just the THROW-AWAY gags! The main jokes and characters are even funnier! Even a simple "I Like Ike" sign is used cleverly. The directors (who also created the best Mtv show ever, Idiot Box) are a wealth of idea, and it's a shame this didn't get a major theatrical release. The bad taste humor is actually kept to a minimum (at least by my standards) and I'd recommend this to comedy lovers and special effects make-up lovers everywhere.
The following is the first in a series I shall call: PASSAFIST: The Great
`.Repeat The Flying Gimp Has Been Destroyed, You May Return To Your Homes'
In 1994 I was plagued by the realization that I had not answered the age-old question: `How many feminist does it take to screw in a light bulb?' I figured if anyone could help me out maybe the god of cinema could help me. Unfortunately, all of Buster Keaton's films are silent. Then one afternoon in my television broadcasting class, I stumbled across the answer. I discovered Alex Winter and Tom Stern's FREAKED. The answer to my question and many more were now answered.
Alex Winter (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) plays Ricky Coogan, a Hollywood action comedy star, sent to Santa Flan (named for the Patron Saint of Creamy Deserts) South America to be the spokesperson for a `controversial new fertilizer called Zygrot-24.' He and His Buddy Ernie (Michael Stoyanov, TV's `Blossom') go there to check it out. There they meet Julie (The Under-appreciated Megan Ward, PCU) an environmental protestor whose come to Santa Flan to `Pelt Ricky Coogan with Cow [Dung].' The three of them meet up with Elijah C. Skuggs (Randy Quaid, in one of the best performances of his life), proprietor of `Freek Land.' And he turns them into freaks. Ricky, Ernie, and Julie join up with Skuggs' other Mutant creations, including a Bearded Lady (Mr. T, `Rocky III'), The Human Worm (Derek McGrath, Inherit the Wind), and Sockhead, the human Sock Puppet (Bobcat Goldthwait, Blow). Also, look and see if you can spot Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Reloaded), I won't even tell you who he is.
This is a great comedy. Sure the plot is paper thin, but like all great silly comedy's this one has real moxie (no, not the drink that tastes like tree bark). Jokes fly left and right and most if not all of them actually work. (Hey Rob Schnieder, watch this movie please!) I especially enjoyed the freaks Hollywood Squares, The origin of the freaky hammer, and finally another age-old question is answered, How many Milkmen can you have on one route? The answer is twelve, now thirteen that's just crazy.
Randy Quaid is incredible in this film. He embodies the villain with such force and style. He plays the character so straight; it's really great. Any lesser actor would have turned him into a cartoon. It's a shame his performance is so rarely seen. It's too bad the film got such lousy treatment from 20th Century Fox. (I say this and I mean it, so don't beat me up) His performance is Oscar caliber, I mean it, I'm convinced it one of the greatest comic performances of the 90's.
Alex Winter and Tom Stern (MTV's The Idiot Box) do a great job keeping the jokes coming. I also likes the small details, the quick jokes you don't even realize you looking at. For instances there is a tribute to Ray Harryhausen, in the appearcence of the Cyclops from THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, followed by Gumby and Pokey well doing something they shouldn't be doing. I didn't realize this until I watched for the third or fourth time. Great Stuff!
But not only that. The film has some really great visual and make-up effects. Screaming Mad George (who made me sick with his hideous make-up effect in Society) ups the ante with his freak make-up. They all look amazing, especially Ricky Himself and Cowboy. Gene Warren JR's (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) visual Effects team also does a bang up job. This film was made at the end of the golden age of real-life visual effects, I doubt computers would have improved this film at all.
FREAKED also has one of the best musical soundtracks I've ever heard. It's also a shame that the album was never released, original music by Henry Rollins, George Clinton, The Butthole Surfers, and Blind Idiot God, make for a really great soundtrack.
This film was caught in an upheaval when 20th Century Fox named a new president. Fortunately the studio allowed it to be finished, but then the studio forgot about it, barely getting a theatrical release, and then being dumped out onto video. What a shame, The film has never been released on DVD or Laserdisc either.
Did I mention that it also contains some of the best cameo's from early 90's, late 80's B-List Celebrity's Brooke Shield's (After Sex), Morgan Fairchild (Teddy Bears' Picnic), Calvert Deforest (Late Night with David Letterman), and David Bowe (UHF) all make an apperance.
If you're looking for a great night, Grab all your friends together, brew a big pot of CAFÉ BUSTILLO, and watch this movie. FREAKED is grade A+ Cult Classic fun.
Now my statement to 20th Century Fox: GIVE THIS MOVIE THE DVD RELEASE IT DESERVES. Thank You.
I can't give this movie a high enough rating! I was a fan of Alex and
Tom when they did the show "The Idiot Box" on MTV (one of the few who
saw this), and this movie was just a natural extension of that show. If
you have never seen this and have a twisted sense of humor like I do,
you will love this movie. I won't rehash the plot, but I think that for
me, every joke works and this is one of my all-time favorite cult
movies. Randy Quaid is brilliant as Elijah C. Skuggs, the redneck
proprietor of Freekland. And Alex Winter turns in a great performance
in his last starring role. Thankfully "Freaked" is going to be released
on DVD on July 12th. Thank you Anchor Bay! So, if you haven't been able
to find this movie or catch it on cable, you will have your chance soon
enough and I highly recommend it.
Oh yeah, how many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb? TWO: One to screw it in and one to ride my RODNEY!
Freaked is a prime example of what a studio will do to your movie. This movie would have been the vulgar, dirty, nasty rated R movie Americans would love 5 years later. Even in being reduced to pg-13 jokes, this movie is the greatest unreleased movie of all time, and one of my favorite movies of all time. Alex Winter and Tom Stern did a great job of directing such an elaborate film. Alex's performance as Ricky Coogan is amazing and the special effects make-up is as good as i've seen in any movie. The beast boy make-up for Alex winter is incredible. this 12milion dollar movie is ridiculously elaborate and packed with gags. it is in the realm of airplane or the naked gun series with non stop jokes. most of the jokes in freaked hit big time. it was only released in two theatres, it was discontinued on VHS. now its on DVD. rent it. it deserves a chance. it could have been a hit. and imagine if they could have made it how they really wanted, it would have been a cult classic. the acting in this movie is top notch by everyone on screen. randy quaid in his best performance ever and keanu reeves in his best performance ever as Ortiz the dog boy. 4 stars. word.
It's a very punk rock sort of film, not unlike something Alex Cox would
cook up. This film is essentially an environmentally-themed comedy
along the lines of THE APPLEGATES, only this movie is about toxic
chemicals and not deforestation (and there is a nice bit about
styrofoam). But watching this film made me a bit sad as well, because I
realized that Hollywood isn't going to give people the carte blanche
needed to realize unique projects like this again during this age of
endless remakes and sequels to films nobody liked in the first place.
The digital effects, although over 11 years old as I write this, still look great, and the make-up, especially close to the end, is very inspired, and resembles a live-action Basil Wolverton cartoon. I am eagerly anticipating the DVD, as well as watching Alex Winter's follow-up film, FEVER.
"Freaked!" is undoubtedly the funniest unknown movie of all time. It could
possibly be my all time favorite comedy, and I've seen a lot of them. It
a classic at the house I live in with three other college students; we've
watched it countless times and can recite entire scenes from
I can't even begin to name all of the hilarious gags in this film. Stuey falling out of the plane, the "13 milkmen" bit, and the macaroons scene are just the tip of the iceberg. I've probably watched this movie 20 times and I still catch something new every now and then. Usually, a film that squeezes as many gags as possible into every scene ends up with several horribly unfunny jokes. With Freaked, however, this simply isn't the case. I can count all of the jokes that I find even remotely unfunny on one hand.
Seeing Freaked always makes me wonder what Alex Winter is up to now. It's really a shame that he doesn't have movie studios lining up to get him to make more films. There are also great performances from Randy Quaid, Michael Stoyanov, William Sadler, and Megan Ward of "PCU".
If you haven't seen "Freaked", give it a rent (or better yet, buy it online), invite a few friends over, and get ready to laugh. Hard.
This movie probably didn't make much but this is funny & stupid at the same time. There are many camoes by famous stars. Keanu Reeves as the dog boy, once again, co-staring with A. Winter from BILL & TED movies. B. Shields appears in a weird role & R. Quaid is hilarious here. There's awesome make-up effects. MR. T in a bizarre role 2. this is a must see who like 2 see cheesy yet funny movies. Plus, 2 my delight, I found out that this movie is in THX. So if u can blast it in your Dolby Digital Surround Sound THX theater system. its a blast.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Freaked is a creative, original, and completely hilarious flick that I had never even heard of before. Thank God for the Sci-fi channel. They play the most bizarre movies sometime. Freaked stars Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston Esquire) as Ricky Coogan, a child actor who later becomes the spokesmodel for a Tromaville type toxic company, EES (Everything Except Shoes). And of course the EES is an evil company and their Zygrot 24 turns people into hideous mutants, didn't see that one coming did you? Sounds pretty standard huh? Well, it's not. This is one the funniest movies I've seen in a while, and I mean laughing out loud funny. The Christian Slater comment as well as every scene with Stuey the troll boy had me in tears. Look for cameos from Bobcat Goldthwait, Morgan Fairchild, William Sadler, Mr. T (hilarious) and yes Keanu Reeves (Ted Theodore Logan) is Ortiz the dog boy. So Bill and Ted are both in this movie. Rock on. The freak effects which come from Screaming Mad George are hysterical and very bizarre. By the way, Stephan Chiodo (Killer Klowns from Outer Space) is producing this one. So if you're looking for a serious flick, stay away. If you are looking for a awesome cult favorite pick Freaked.
"Freaked" is pretty abnormal slapstick; an exercise in bad taste and definitely not intended for all audiences to see. Only if you have high tolerance for vulgar pranks, over-the-top performances & effects and really dumb situations, you might end up liking probably LOVING this junk. This type of "humor", as we'll refer to it, can't really be compared to anything not even the "Bill & Ted" movies as it's obscene, mad as hell and extremely offensive. And yet, this is only obvious on the surface, since the screenplay also contains much more effective jokes and occasionally terrific satire towards showbiz and typically American vanity. Alex Winter plays the overly pretentious and greedy movie star Ricky Coogan, who reluctantly accepts a job as spokesman for a giant industrial company. His first mission is to travel to South Africa and promote this dubious company's most recent product a lethal chemical called Zyglot but, instead, he and his friends are captured by a grotesque freak-show owner and get turned into circus attractions themselves. Ricky and his partners in misfortune attempt to escape the mutant farm, which leads to all kind of indescribably insane situations. It's downright hilarious to see how major Hollywood stars parody themselves, like Mr. T as the bearded lady or Brooke Shields as the dumb talk show hostess. Several other gags made me laugh so hard I nearly had tears in my eyes! At one point, the freaks try to escape by ALL dressing up like milkmen! Can you imagine what a giant worm or a life-sized sock-puppet look like in a milkman outfit? Some of the grotesque special effects are courtesy of Screaming Mad George, so you can be sure they're impressive. Apparently it was Keanu Reeves underneath the wolf man make-up, yet I only discovered that after looking up the film here on this site. So, YES, the make-up is great! Excellent stuff, but be careful to whom you recommend it!
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