Monday, December 14, 2009

Blood Sucking Freaks

Hausu (1977)

House is a japanese film directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi. The film was the feature-length directing debut for Obayashi, who based the film on an idea from his 7-year-old daughter. Before House, Obaysashi primarily directed television commercials (one of his earlier projects was a series of commercials for "Mandom" cologne featuring American actor Charles Bronson), which is reflected to a certain extent in the glossy directorial style of House.

In the hands of experimental Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi, the tale of seven “unmarried” young high-school girls who, during a school break, travel to a spooky, remote hilltop house to visit the reclusive, mysterious Aunt of one of their fold only to be consumed one at a time by the Ghost-House/Aunt in increasingly novel ways, is escalated into a spastic, phantasmagorical confetti burst of avant-garde techniques and tonalities. Not a minute goes by without some kind of imaginative and spirited experimental visual manipulation or interjection; from kaleidoscopic color schemes, to frame and time altering collage montage, to wild, high-concept mixed media integration (animation, mattes, props, sets, etc), to mini-movie injections (lovingly parodying/mimicking everything from silent film stylistics, to romantic fantasies to obligatory action scenes). Any and all workings of the film form are here incorporatedly warped; from imagery and editing to music and sound to content and presentation. Even the sketches of characters and their respective performances by the actors are hemmed in time with the overall off-the-wall configuration. (Example: Each girl is intentionally drawn with their stock personalities (the musician, the over-weight eater, the athlete, etc) novelly paraded in gleeful iconic irreverence.) The moods and tones of the film are equally melodic in their own discordant tangential way; seamlessly walking the line between comedy, horror and the deadpan aloof. It all adds up to a whole lot of fun. Where else could you see a girl eaten by a piano, an upright Bear having dinner at a roadside noodle-stand or a man turned into a pile of bananas because he doesn’t like melons? With all its packed in candy-colored confections and novel door prizes, “Hausu” is a cinematic surprise party all in one…just add you.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Vampire Hunter D Soundtrack (1986)

Tracks List:
01. mamono-tachi no yoru / Night of Demons 4:20
02. D fukkatsu / Resurrection of D 2:09
03. D zetsumei / Death of D 2:48
04. kyuuketsuki Lee hakushaku (toujou) / Earl Lee, the Vampire (Entrance) 4:15
05. kizoku no konrei / Marriage of Nobles 1:31
06. kyuuketsuki Lee hakushaku (shi) / Earl Lee, the Vampire (Death) 7:40
07. D no teema (toujou) / Theme of D (Entrance) 3:39
08. yakusoku (part I) / Promise (part I) 3:07
09. D no teema (Doris no ai) / Theme of D (Doris's Love) 3:22
10. Doris dakkai / Rescuing Doris 5:19
11. D no teema (wakare) / Theme of D (Parting) 3:26
12. yakusoku (part II) / Promise (part II) 3:10

Pass: his-elevator

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Quest (1983)

Quest is a visual spectacle written for the screen by Ray Bradbury and directed by Elaine & Saul Bass (yes, that Saul Bass - famous for creating the credit titles for such feature films as Man with the Golden Arm and Walk on the Wild Side) and released in 1983. It's a story of a race of people trapped on a strange planet where lack of sunlight and vegetation has reduced the life span to eight short days. From the children born to this doomed race, one child is selected to dispel the darkness. Following in the footsteps of others who have tried before, he must find and open a vast gate, letting in the "Light" which will bring peace and long life to his people.

There's Only One Sun (2007)

Set in a garishly lighted, yet otherwise ambiguous future (better to show off Phillips “ambilight” technology), the film focuses on “006”, a beautiful female agent of “Central Authority: Human Sanitation Division”. She is put on the case of a notorious figure known as “Light”, for whom she must pose as a blind person in order to gain his trust. The charismatic Light has a deep affect on the agent, and tension is derived from that classic spy trope—has 006 gone too deep?

Wong Kar Wai works well with the limitations of the medium while staying within the boundaries of his well-traversed tropes. If ever the auteur theory applied to a filmmaker it is Wong, as each of his films simultaneously draws from, and enriches those which came before. There is Only One Sun is no different, as it treads the familiar territories of love, trust, memory and disconnect that we have seen in films such as 2046 and Ashes of Time. More...


Evil Dead Trap

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Robot Carnival: Cloud (1987)

Directed by Mao Lamdo. This short features a robot walking through time, and the evoultion of man. The backdrop is animated with clouds that depicts various events of the universe. Such as the modernization of man, to the self destruction of man. Most the events in the backdrops takes place from Rome to present day society. Eventually the same angel who cries for his imortality, makes him human towards the end.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Keep OST

The Keep (1997) is the soundtrack to the movie The Keep (1983) by the German electronic music group Tangerine Dream. A limited run of 150 CDs were sold at a concert by the group in the UK in 1997. Virgin soon announced that the album would be available for general release in early 1998, but legal issues with the film studio stopped the release. In 1999, Tangerine Dream's own record label sold 300 copies of the Millennium Booster album set that included The Keep with a different cover.

01. "Puer Natus Est Nobis"– 3:09
02. "Ancient Powerplant"– 4:28
03. "The Silver Seal"– 3:07
04. "Voices From A Common Land"– 4:06
05. "Arx Allemand"– 4:24
06. "The Night In Romania"– 3:15
07. "Canzone"– 2:51
08. "Sign In The Dark"– 4:19
09. "Weird Village"– 3:23
10. "Love And Destiny"– 3:31
11. "The Challenger's Arrival"– 4:32
12. "Supernatural Accomplice"– 4:07
13. "Parallel Worlds"– 4:29
14. "Truth And Fiction"– 2:52
15. "Wardays Sunrise"– 3:20
16. "Heritage Survival"– 4:13

"Puer Natus Est Nobis" is a Christmas mass composed by Thomas Tallis around 1554 - this track is from the introit "Gloria" and is credited as "Gloria" from the "Mass for Four Voices". This theme appears in the film when the demon saves Eva from the soldiers. "Heritage Survival" and "The Night In Romania" first appeared in several live concerts during the 1982 "Logos" tour, but were not titled as such until the soundtrack release. The tracks appear in the film when Dr Cuza rejects the demon. "Canzone" appears to be an original composition for the film. None of the other tracks were included in the actual film score.

A rerecorded version of "The Challenger's Arrival" was released on the album Tangerine Dream Plays Tangerine Dream in 2006, and in 2007, "Ancient Powerplant" was included in the Ocean Waves Collection, available for download from the Tangerine Dream website.

Download links: Part 1 Part 2 or Part 1 Part 2

Friday, October 23, 2009

There Will Be Blood OST

It is rare that a movie soundtrack can be taken as a standalone. That is to say it is difficult to take a soundtrack without colouring your opinion with your knowledge of the story or of the movie experience.

But this is a rare beast. Entirely orchestral in its construct, immediately drawing you into the mood and mix of sinister and celebration, this is a soundtrack that takes you on an emotional journey all by itself. However, as the title of the Album intimates that journey is not full of green fields and dancing hobbits. Instead the mood is dark and often malevolent, which gives me to believe that the movie must be about the want of men and what they will do to obtain it.

Very much in the same mould as Michael Nyman soundtracks in the way it influences mood, this is not easy listening, but is very evocative and will take your mind on a journey while stimulating the imagination. Highly recommended !!!

download or download


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Збогум на 20-от век (1998)

"Goodbye 20th Century" is a unique, surreal and visionary film that's divided into three parts. The film's three stories take place in the future, past and the end of the twentieth century. Some parts reminded me of El Topo. Imagine, if you will, Road Warrior and Christmas Evil filmed by Kusterica and Jodorowsky. This was the first film I have ever seen from the country of Macedonia, and because of its atmosphere; it takes its viewers to another dimension. The two directors combine elements of mysticism, gypsy folk lore, sci-fi and surrealism for a bleak and bizarre view of the future. The first part of the film takes place in the 2019. A man is to be executed at gunpoint. Even when repeatedly shot at, the man cannot die. He continues to live. We later learn that he was cursed for having sex with a saint. He was impotent and could only get it up for this woman. The curse causes the town's children to die. He is now forced to go on living. A mysterious immortal prophet tells him a way to break the curse. There is also Lynch like elements such as a crazed green haired joker in the film who looks straight out of a batman comic. I know, it sounds strange. The bizarre costumes and abandoned environment is in a cinematic category of its own. The second part of the film takes place in the 1900's, Where we witness the first incestuous marriage and murder to be caught on camera. And finally, the film dives into the present which is New Years Eve, before the year 2000. A man in a Santa suit goes crazy at a funeral, or is it the family who's crazy along with their coke addicted relatives and farting grandmother. This is the chaotic event (not Y2K) that leads the world to a bleak future. This film defies description. "Goodbye 20th Century needs to be released on DVD. The low VHS quality doesn't do it justice. On another note, God can only imagine the horror stories that people could tell about living in war torn Macedonia. So the film may feel irrelevant to some western viewers. If you enjoy the films of Jodorowsky, Arrabal, Zulawski and Kusturica, then "Goodbye 20th Century" is for you. It would make a good triple feature with "The Holy Mountain" and Tekeshi Miike's "Izo" since all films have bizarre mystical imagery. And Remember, The future is as screwed up as the past.

Download links at Sunglasses After Dark

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cuadecuc, vampir (1970)

Description: Vampir-Cuadecuc (1970, 75 mins., 35mm) is a dreamlike combination of documentary, narrative, experimental, and essay film styles and is one of the key films of contemporary Spanish cinema. Shot on the set of Jesus Franco’s Italian horror film Count Dracula, and featuring the star of that film, Christopher Lee, Vampir is both a sly political allegory about generalissimo Francisco Franco, a gentle homage to early films about the vampire legend, particularly Dreyer’s Vampyr and Murnau’s Nosferatu, and a work of subtle beauty and great richness.

Review by Jonathan Rosenbaum:
The first word in the title of Pere Portabella's ravishing 1970 underground masterpiece, made in Spain while General Francisco Franco was still in power and shown clandestinely, means both “worm's tail” and the unexposed footage at the end of film reels. The film is a silent black-and-white documentary about the shooting of Jesus Franco's Count Dracula, with Christopher Lee, that becomes much more: the lush, high-contrast cinematography evokes deteriorating prints of Nosferatu and Vampyr, and the extraordinary soundtrack by composer Carles Santos intersperses the sounds of jet planes, drills, syrupy Muzak, and sinister electronic music, all of which ingeniously locate Dracula and our perceptions of him in the contemporary world. Moving back and forth between Franco's film (with Dracula as an implicit stand-in for the generalissimo) and poetic production details, Portabella offers witty reflections on the powerful monopolies of both dictators and commercial cinema. The only words heard are in English, spoken by Lee and written by Bram Stoker.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sinner Man


Inland Empire OST

Whether you believe "Inland Empire" is a great film filled with mystery, or a meaningless assemblage of unsettling scenes, you can't deny that it has a great soundtrack. Sound design has become so important to Lynch that all of his films since "Lost Highway" feature a constant extra-diegetic sound source of some sort. In "Lost Highway", there were obvious musical selections separated by ominous rumblings and barely audible industrial sounds. Now in IE, the distinction between what is "music" in the traditional sense and what is ambient sound is almost totally blurred. Not all music has melody, and not all ambient sound is without melody - even if only in an abstract sense. While I'm disappointed that Angelo Badalamenti didn't collaborate, Lynch seems to have taken on the task himself with great success.

In many ways, this is an interesting companion to the film. It appears that Lynch created lengthy selections, which he subsequently cut and arranged to work with the editing and flow of the film. Now, we're able to hear them in their entirety, as Lynch originally conceived them. To me, it's a fascinating window into his creative mind.

Beyond Lynch's original material, there are some interesting selections ranging from Beck to Penderecki's intense modernist works. The big disappointment for me was the curious omission of the music from the burlesque club scene. It was a great subversion of sleazy stripper jazz into something atonal, but still groovy.

Finally, many speculate that a lot of the film is explained in the lyrics of "Polish Poem", and this is an easy way to hear it. There do seem to be some answers, but as is typical for Lynch, they're clouded in vague, poetic language and end up raising more questions than they answer.

01. David Lynch - Ghost of Love
02. David Lynch - Rabbits Theme
03. Mantovani - Colors of My Life
04. David Lynch - Woods Variation
05. Dave Brubeck - Three To Get Ready
06. Boguslaw Schaeffer - Klavier Konzert
07. Kroke - The Secrets of the Life Tree
08. Little Eva - The Locomotion
09. David Lynch - Call From the Past
10. Krzysztof Penderecki - Als Jakob Erwachte
11. Witold Lutoslawski and Joey Altruda - Novele
12. Beck - Black Tambourine (film version)
13. David Lynch - Mansion Theme
14. David Lynch - Walkin' on the Sky
15. David Lynch and Marek Zebrowski - Polish Nig
16. David Lynch and Chrysta Bell - Polish Poem
17. Nina Simone - Sinnerman (edit)

download, download or download

Inland Empire (2006)

Inland Empire is a surrealistic, psychological thriller film, written and directed by David Lynch. It was his first feature-length film since 2001's Mulholland Drive, and shares many similarities with that film. It premiered in Italy at the Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2006. The feature took two and a half years to complete, and was Lynch's first film to have been shot entirely in standard definition digital video. David Lynch believes that his new film makes sense. In fact, that it makes perfect sense. And not only is he not joking; he’s saying this about the most screwed-up, far-out film he’s made since Eraserhead. It’s a three-hour psychotropic odyssey that throws conventional narrative out of the window. Characters mutate and morph, time zones overlap, and wormholes connect worlds within worlds within worlds. But through it all Lynch maintains an astonishing sense of commitment that almost dares you to keep up: if Mulholland Drive laid down the gauntlet, Inland Empire (Lynch insists the title be capitalised) is the duel that follows, a mystery like nothing you’ve ever seen before...

CD1: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
CD2: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

...stunning Laura Dern

Friday, September 18, 2009

The sleeper must awaken...

Darkened Room (2002)

Darkened Room is a short 8-minute film directed by David Lynch. It first appeared on Lynch's website, in 2002. It has subsequently been released on the DVD anthology Dynamic:01.

In the first half of the film, a Japanese woman shows us her apartment in Tokyo and muses on the amount of bananas produced worldwide. The woman then tells us that her friend next door is sad. In the second half, a blonde woman (Jordan Ladd) sits on a sofa and cries. Then a brunette woman (Cerina Vincent) enters and says cruel things to her, before threatening to tell her the truth. The film ends with a fade to black.

The film was shot on digital video. In an introduction that appears on the Dynamic:01 DVD, Lynch calls the film "an experiment based on some idea", and says the film "was always some kind of tie in to bananas, information concerning bananas, so we can all learn some things as we enjoy the shows". Then he laughs.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Cat People OST (1982) - Giorgio Moroder

Perhaps best known for his Oscar-winning "Midnight Express" score and his disco collaborations with Donna Summer, composer Giorgio Moroder's finest work can be heard on "Cat People" (1982). Like the Paul Schrader film it accompanies, Moroder's score remains a masterpiece of mood and atmosphere - featuring David Bowie's excellent title song (subtitled "Putting Out Fire"). It should be noted that Moroder utilized a different recording for the movie, which is equally memorable. Hopefully, the "Cat People" CD will be reissued with additional music from the film soundtrack.

01. Cat People ("Putting Out Fire") 6:46
02. The Autopsy 1:32
03. Irena's Theme 4:22
04. Night Rabbit 2:00
05. Leopard Tree Dream 4:03
06. Paul's Theme (Jogging Chase) 3:54
07. The Myth 5:13
08. To The Bridge 2:52
09. Transformation Seduction 2:46
10. Bring The Prod 1:57


Friday, September 4, 2009

The Lady From Shanghai

Обыкновенный фашизм (1965)

Obyknovennyy fashizm

... aka A Night of Thoughts
... aka Echo of the Jackboot (UK)
... aka Ordinary Fascism
... aka Triumph Over Violence (USA)

Using found footage from East German, Soviet and Polish archives, as well as some amateur photography, this documentary builds a picture of the culture of German Nazism, including some of the films of the Nazi ministry of propaganda. This analysis of fascism, its rise in Germany in the 1930's, culmination in World War II, and present day manifestations, is compiled largely from German news and archival footage. The film is divided into chapters depicting Hitler's early emotional appeal to the German people (mass rallies, Wagnerian torchlight parades, book-burnings, etc.); the conversion of "nice boys" into storm troopers (stressed by scenes of captured German soldiers with pictures of their loved ones juxtaposed with views of their atrocities); Hitler's eventual rise to absolute power (his conquests, policy of mass murder, crimes against the Jews, and the sealing of Mein Kampf in a vault designed to last 1000 years); and his defeat. (Deletions for the U. S. release include material from the final chapter depicting neo-Nazi movements throughout the world today and the training of U. S. Marines in a manner reminiscent of the indoctrination of Hitler's Brownshirts.)

Rapidshare: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15
Megaupload: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15

Mikhail Romm ... Narrator (voice)
Marlene Dietrich ... Herself (archive footage)
Josef Goebbels ... Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Göring ... Himself (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ... Himself (archive footage)
Jûkichi Uno ... Narrator (voice: Japanese version)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shinjuku Incident

Guinea Pig Reminder

The Guinea Pig films are a series of 1980's japanese horror films with extremely detailed special effects of gruesome crimes against people. The tapes gained notoriety in Japan during the late 1980s and early 1990s when the first five films of the series were found showcased in the 5,763 videotape collection of japanese serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki, who reportedly re-enacted scenes from the films as a part of his crimes. Because of the constant controversy surrounding the series, it has now been deemed illegal in Japan to produce any movies with the "Guinea Pig" label. According to Snopes, the films became infamous in the U.S. when in 1991 the actor Charlie Sheen mistook the second film of the series, Flowers of Flesh and Blood for a snuff film and contacted the FBI to report it.

1985 - The Devil's Experiment
1985 - Flower of Flesh and Blood
1986 - He Never Dies
1986 - Devil Woman Doctor
1988 - Mermaid in a Manhole
1988 - Android of Notre Dame
1988 - Slaughter Special Za ginipiggu 7: Zansatsu supeshyaru is the seventh and final movie from the series. It works primarily as a "best of" special, showcasing the most gruesome moments from the first several films.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Abyss - Alan Silvestri

Alan Silvestri   The Abyss (1989)   OST

01. Main Title
02. Search The Montana
03. The Crane
04. The Manta Ship
05. The Pseudopod
06. The Fight
07. Sub Battle
08. Lindsey Drowns
09. Resurrection
10. Bud’s Big Dive
11. Bud On The Ledge
12. Back On The Air
13. Finale


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Häxan (1922)

Häxan (English title: The Witches or Witchcraft Through The Ages) is a Swedish/Danish silent film written and directed by Benjamin Christensen. Based partly on Christensen's study of the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th century German guide for inquisitors, Häxan is a study of how superstition and the misunderstanding of diseases and mental illness could lead to the hysteria of the witch-hunts. The film was made as a documentary but contains dramatized sequences that are comparable to horror films. With Christensen's meticulous recreation of medieval scenes and the lengthy production period, the film was the most expensive Scandinavian silent film ever made, costing nearly two million Swedish krona. Although it won acclaim in Denmark and Sweden, the film was banned in the United States and heavily censored in other countries for what were considered at that time graphic depictions of torture, nudity, and sexual perversion.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Password: Firecloud

Witchcraft Through the Ages

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Falls (1980)

The Falls is a film directed by Peter Greenaway. It was Greenaway's first feature-length film after many years making shorts. It does not have a traditional dramatic narrative; it takes the form of a mock documentary in 92 short parts.

The premise of the film is that the world has been struck by a mysterious incident called the "Violent Unknown Event" or VUE, which has killed many people and left a great many survivors suffering from a common set of symptoms: mysterious ailments (some appearing to be mutations of evolving into a bird-like form), dreaming of water (categorised by form, such as Category 1, Flight, or Category 3, Waves) and becoming obsessed with birds and flight. Many of the survivors have been gifted with new languages. They have also stopped aging, making them immortal (barring disease or injury).

A directory of these survivors has been compiled, and The Falls is presented as a film version of an excerpt from that directory, corresponding to the 92 entries for persons whose surnames begin with the letters FALL-. Not all of the 92 entries correspond to a person - some correspond to deleted entries, cross references and other oddities of the administrative process that has produced the directory. One biography concerns two people - the twin brothers Ipson and Pulat Fallari, who are played (in still photographs) by the Brothers Quay.

In addition to the common VUE symptoms mentioned above, a number of themes run through the film. Among these are references to a number of bureaucratic organisations including the VUE Commission and the Bird Facilities Investments (a parody of the British Film Institute), the history of manned flight from Daedalus with the suggestion that birds may be responsible for the VUE (and that the film may thus be seen as a sequel to Hitchcock's The Birds), complex debates over the location of the epicentre of the VUE, and repeated references to Tulse Luper. Luper is a recurring off-stage character in Greenaway's early films, and would eventually appear on film in the epic series The Tulse Luper Suitcases.

Download links:
CD1- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
CD2- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Stille Nacht I (1988)

The Quay Brothers made their first foray into the world of the pop promo in 1986, when they were amongst a number of animators who worked on Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' video (d. Stephen R. Johnson). Although they had mixed feelings about their contribution, 'Sledgehammer' was one of the most influential videos of its era, and opened up new commissioning possibilities. In 1988, the US-based MTV cable television music network asked several animators to create a number of very short pieces that could be played as an 'Art Break' between the music videos that formed the bulk of the station's output. More...


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

La cabina (1972)

La cabina ("The Telephone Box") is an Emmy award-winning 1972 film directed by Spanish director Antonio Mercero and written by him and José Luis Garci.

In the 35-minute film, a man becomes trapped in a telephone booth, while passersby seem unable to help him. A truck from the telephone company arrives, loads the booth with its trapped occupant onto a truck, and takes it away. When the truck arrives at its destination, the horrified man finds that he has been offloaded into a large room with many phone booths, each one containing a dead person.

This short surreal Spanish film directed by Antonio Mercero is one of those films that you will never forget. The story is simple. A man (played by José Luis López Vázquez) takes his young son to school. On the way home he sees a telephone box with its door slightly ajar, as if it's a Venus fly trap, waiting to snare its victims. He enters the booth and tries to make a call, but he finds the phone is out of order.

When the man entered, the door closed behind him, he tries to open it, he cannot. He struggles inside and tries everything to get out. He shouts at passers-by, who glare at the poor man. They are helpless, too. Then a fireman gets a sledgehammer, and just has he attempts to hit the glass, a phone company truck appears with four men in it, honking its horn as if to say this man is ours, we have caught him.

They then put the telephone box on the back of the truck with the man still inside. They take him on a journey through the streets. While stopped at traffic lights, the man looks at the side and sees another man trapped in a telephone box on the back of a truck, just like him. The journey reaches its conclusion as the truck enters a huge underground factory complex. Inside the building the terror is revealed, as rows and rows of telephone boxes are lined up, each with a dead person inside; one has strangled himself with the phone cord. The man knows his fate is sealed and panic sets in.

The end shot is of the phone company men cleaning the phone box and putting it back in the same location and opening its door slightly ajar again. I first watched this film when I was about eight years-old and it's always stayed with me. I wouldn't go into a phone box for a while afterwards, in fear of being trapped inside.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 or 1 2 3 4

Friday, July 31, 2009

Freaks (1932)

Freaks is a film about sideshow performers, directed and produced by Tod Browning and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with a cast mostly composed of actual carnival performers. The film was based on Tod Robbins' short story "Spurs". Director Browning took the exceptional step of casting real people with deformities as the eponymous sideshow "freaks," rather than using costumes and makeup.

Browning had been a member of a traveling circus in his early years, and much of the film was drawn from his personal experiences. In the film, the physically deformed "freaks" are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the "normal" members of the circus who conspire to murder one of the performers to obtain his large inheritance.

In mid-1931, MGM production head Irving Thalberg summoned scenarist Willis Goldbeck to tell him the time had come for the prestige studio to take heed of much-smaller Universal’s success with Tod Browning’s Dracula. Browning had done many silents for MGM, so Thalberg commissioned Goldbeck to write a vehicle for Browning’s comeback, something "even more horrible than Dracula."

Drawing on a Tod Robbins novel called Spurs, Goldbeck created a world even more self-contained than that of Grand Hotel (made the same year) — the warped world of Freaks, the garish world of the circus sideshow, replete with bearded lady, vain acrobats, simpering pinheads, even a hermaphrodite. Thalberg’s reaction to the script was: "Well, I asked for something horrifying."

Tod Browning's FreaksFreaks was shot in 36 days on the sets still standing from Garbo’s Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise. Real freaks were brought to Culver City to populate this bizarre world, but the line between film and reality blurred when the freaks ate their meals in the MGM commissary. Even the most hardened showbiz veterans were "shocked and nauseated." Neither their complaints nor those of studio executives could stop Thalberg from completing the film. Its release was another matter. It received so much bad press and created such ill will that MGM was forced to withdraw it from circulation, suffering a loss of $164,000.

In the UK this film was banned for 30 years after it was first released. It is also still banned in Sweden to this day as well as being listed as banned in Finland and Ireland. It is still technically illegal to show it in some states and cities in the US, although the archaic laws regarding that are no longer enforced. One of the writers, Edgar Allan Woolf, also co-wrote the screenplay for The Wizard of Oz in 1939. The film's original ending showed Hercules singing soprano in Madame Tetrallini's new sideshow due to the fact that he had been castrated by the freaks, but due to intense reactions of disgust on the part of test audiences, this scene was cut from the final release of the film. The on-screen romance between Hans and Frieda was very subdued because the roles were being played by real life brother and sister Harry and Daisy Earles.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8