Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day Forty-Eight: Freaked! (1993) - Rank 3.5/5


This is a film where I can't help but wonder: "How did this ever get made?" It falls into a subgenre of a subgenre of film where the movies are so utterly bizarre and beyond comprehension that it seems ludicrous to think that a studio executive ever gave it the go-ahead. Some prime examples from this realm would be "Reflections of Evil," "Street Trash," "Desperate Living," and "The Wizard of Speed and Time."

The premise is absurdly simple: a Hollywood hearthrob Ricky Coogan (Alex Winter - Bill of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" fame) and a pair of his friends take a wrong turn and end up at Elijah C. Skuggs' Freak Show. Skuggs (played with tongue-in-cheek glee by Randy Quaid) uses the same chemical that Coogan was in South America to promote as a mutagen to turn him into a disgusting freak (oh, novel irony). The rest of the film follows Ricky and the rest of Skuggs' homemade freaks as they attempt to escape the freak show. Delightfully absurd would be the best way to sum the entire premise.

What sells the film, pushing it from a C-grade to a B-grade film are the freaks. The Human Worm, Cowboy (half human/half cow) and even Ricky's ultimate transformation are fantastic, like something the Chiodo brothers would come up with while on acid (Skuggs' security guards, the Rastafarian Eyes, may be the most absurd of all the characters). Bobcat Goldthwait's appearances as Sockhead continuously take the cake throughout the film. Certainly the film is no masterpiece, but in the realm of mindless, guilty pleasure comedies, you could certainly do far worse.

Watch the Trailer

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