I think I finally figured out something about myself. I’m starting to see a pattern in the movies I liked back in 2007. I had just graduated high school, had my first real job, and my parents couldn’t tell me anything. That horribly misguided attitude bled into my movie selections. I didn’t understand the value of acting, writing, and overall plot. Anything that had senseless gore and sex was Oscar material, in my opinion.
I say all that because that’s my best guess as to why I gave Freakshow 5 stars on Netflix. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is my first run in with The Asylum. If you don’t know who they are, you are one lucky bastard. They take any blockbuster or cult film, and make an insultingly cheap version that blatantly rips off the original. They don’t even bother to come up with a better title, so we’re left with things like Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies or Transmophers. Sometimes they do have a vaguely original idea, like Sharknado. I didn’t say they had good ideas.
Freakshow is an offensive attempted remake of the 1932 cult classic Freaks. It’s about a traveling circus and its performers, and a couple crooks who intend to rob them blind. It was actually quite controversial at the time, mainly because of Tod Browning’s decision to use real sideshow performers. As you might have guessed, Freakshow goes for that same shock value. It doesn’t work.
The acting is unbelievably bad. I think the main female villain thought she was going to get an award for her performance because it made soap operas look tame. And her crying face looks like a cat when it yawns. In between the poorly placed scene transitions, everything has a red or blue tinge to it. It’s like someone dipped the celluloid in ink during post production. There is only one sequence that shows where most of the budget went: the “new act”. Basically the performers maim and flay the female villain while she’s still alive.
I don’t know what they were going for, but they missed the mark. Yes, something like that does happen in the original, however it’s not to the extremes that Freakshow went to. This was just an excuse to dissect a person on camera without it looking like a snuff film. The hour and 10 minutes leading up to it are just padding that are a parody of a real movie.
This gets a 0. The Asylum isn’t a film company. They’re nothing but con artists who prey on people that don’t pay attention to film titles, and rely on cheap gimmicks to maintain what little fan base they have. Freakshow was the beginning of end of decent filmmaking. There are countless movies out there that are being overlooked or not even made because these jackasses are flooding the market with crap. I’m going to ask you to do two things: watch Freaks, and never watch a movie from The Asylum. I’m hoping if we collectively ignore them, they’ll eventually disappear.