She Freak (1967)
February 27, 2012 Leave a Comment
director Byron Mabe
She Freak, which has a pretty good poster, is actually a re-make of sorts of Tod Browning’s classic Freaks (1932). Unfortunately, it lacks the titular stars of the original film in large part, the exploitative but compelling aspect of Browning’s cult masterpiece. Even though it’s a David F. Friedman production, it’s also pretty short on the gore and exploitation too.
So you take the Freaks of of Freaks and don’t replace it with a whole lot, you don’t end up with a particularly impressive movie.
Friedman had a long history with carnival life and one of the most interesting features of She Freak is actually the bulk of documentary-style footage of the day to day work of the carnival: hoisting the tents, erecting the rides, setting up the games of chance, and the deconstruction of it all as it moves to the next town. Set to a mod rock soundtrack, it is pretty interesting in itself, but not necessarily if you are looking for a “she freak” or “something barbaric…on the alley of nightmares”.
The story of a pretty blond waitress who hooks up with the carnival to get some kicks but who turns out to be a two-timing baddie isn’t quite as titillating as the similar tale from Browning’s film. In Browning’s film, the floozy marries and kills one of the “freaks”, the small man. So, when the freaks take their revenge, it’s a little more involved. In She Freak she hooks up with the normal-looking sideshow manager and brings about his death. Oddly enough, outside of being slow and lacking on exploitation elements, the film isn’t all that bad. Nor is it good necessarily.
The ending is the key. And the final image, the one used for the movie poster, the disfigured beauty turned to “She Freak” is nearly the lone perk in the 80 some odd minutes of the film.