Freaks: Everett Collection
Tim Purtell
May 20, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Why ”Freaks” is one of the top 10 cult movies

”The strangest…most startling human story ever screened.” For once the ad copy got it right. Tod Browning’s mesmerizing noir about the fate of an avaricious circus performer who tries to double-cross a lovestruck dwarf appalled critics and audiences when it was first released. (One patron claimed the film caused her to miscarry.) Even now it’s hard not to be jolted by the sight of real-life sideshow performers: pinheads gallivanting in the woods, the armless, legless Prince Randian demonstrating how he lights a cigarette with his mouth, and an over-the-top wedding banquet scene that positively revels in the grotesque.
SIGNATURE LINE ”Gooble gobble, gooble gobble… We accept her, we accept her…. One of us, one of us…”
REFERENCED BY The Ramones, who wrote ”Pinhead” as an homage.

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