100 Years of Horror: Freaks (1996)

Video  |  Documentary, Horror
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100 Years of Horror looks at horror film portrayals of physical deformity including the Hunchback of Notre Dame.


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Credited cast:
Michael F. Blake ...
Himself - Lon Chaney Biographer
Gary Chaney ...
Himself - Lon Chaney's Grandson
Richard E. Cunha ...
Himself - Director - 'She Demons'
Himself - Host
Lori Nelson ...
Himself - Producer & Director
David J. Skal ...
Himself - Author - 'Dark Carnival'
Himself - Director. 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'


100 Years of Horror looks at horror film portrayals of physical deformity including the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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7 October 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

100 Years of Horror: Freaks (1996)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

This entry in the documentary series takes a look at the now politically incorrect term freaks. Back in the day many studios would use people's deformities in order to cash in on the horror genre and examples of this can be seen with Rondo Hatton and the films he did at Universal. The most famous example is of course Tod Browning's FREAKS, which was cut to pieces before eventually being released by MGM. Some of the lower budget stuff like CHAINED FOR LIFE are also discussed as are films like SHE FREAK and MARK OF THE DEVIL. We also get to see some clips from the work of Lon Chaney including THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME as well as stuff from his bio-pic MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES.

Once again those unfamiliar with these movies are certainly going to have fun tracking down all the titles because there's a pretty wide range of films in this genre. You get more serious and shocking stuff like FREAKS but then try watching something like SHE FREAK without smiling. The documentary talks about certain cases where the filmmakers were simply cruel, which is the best way to explain what happened to poor Hatton. Michael F. Blake is on hand to discuss the work of Chaney as is Chaney's grandson Gary. Richard E. Cunha tells a couple nice stories as does Robert Wise. Fred Olen Ray and David J. Skal are also on hand with Christopher Lee once again narrating.

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