Tod Brownings „Freaks“


(Vimeo Direktfreaks, via Dangerous Minds)

Tod Brownings „Freaks“ hatte ich zuletzt vor anderthalb Jahren gepostet, seitdem wurde der Film leider von Google Video gelöscht. Jetzt hat ihn dankenswerterweise jemand bei Vimeo hochgeladen, Downloads gibt's auf Archive.org. Wer sich auch nur halbwegs für Film- und Horrorfilm-Geschichte interessiert, kommt an diesem Werk hier nicht vorbei.

Tod Browning, Regisser des Universal-Klassikers Dracula, drehte 1932 den Film “Freaks”, der in England 30 Jahre lang verboten war, in den USA teilweise noch verboten ist und als einer DER Klassiker des Horrorfilms schlechthin gilt, denn Browning arbeitete nicht mit Tricktechnik, sondern seine siamesischen Zwillinge und beinlosen Menschen sind echt, was damals einen Skandal auslöste und Browning die Filmkariere kostete.

Die Story: Am Zirkus tummeln sich allerlei Zwerge, Behinderte, bärtige Damen, siamesiche Zwillinge und Artisten. Die schöne Cleopatra heiratet den kleinwüchsigen Hans, weil der Erbe eines Vermögens ist. Zusammen mit ihrem Stecher Hercules versucht sie nun, Hans zu vergiften, was misslingt, und die Freaks nehmen blutige Rache. Tatsächlich ist die Szene, in der die Freaks mit Messern bewaffnet durch den Schlamm auf den verwundeten Hercules zurobben eine der bedrohlichsten der gesamten Filmgeschichte.

Von Wikipedia:

Despite the extensive cuts, the film was still negatively received by audiences, and remained an object of extreme controversy. Today, the parts that were removed are considered lost. Browning, famed at the time for his collaborations with Lon Chaney and for directing Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931), had trouble finding work afterward, and this effectually brought his career to an early close. Because its deformed cast was shocking to moviegoers of the time, the film was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years. Beginning in the early 1960s, Freaks was rediscovered as a counterculture cult film, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the film was regularly shown at midnight movie screenings at several movie theaters in the United States. In 1994, Freaks was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It was ranked 15th on Bravo TV's list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

Among the characters featured as "freaks" were Peter Robinson ("the human skeleton"); Olga Roderick ("the bearded lady"); Frances O'Connor and Martha Morris ("armless wonders"); and the conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. Among the microcephalics who appear in the film (and are referred to as "pinheads") were Zip and Pip (Elvira and Jenny Lee Snow) and Schlitzie, a male named Simon Metz who wore a dress mainly due to incontinence, a disputed claim. Also featured were the intersexual Josephine Joseph, with her left/right divided gender; Johnny Eck, the legless man; the completely limbless Prince Randian (also known as The Human Torso, and mis-credited as "Rardion"); Elizabeth Green the Stork Woman; and Koo-Koo the Bird Girl, who suffered from Virchow-Seckel syndrome or bird-headed dwarfism, and is most remembered for the scene wherein she dances on the table.