» » She Freak (1967)

Short summary

Claire Brennen stars as a waitress who leaves the greasy-diner business for the excitement of the carnival. She quickly discovers that she despises freaks and human oddities.

Felix Silla (Shorty) and his leading lady, the late Claire Brennen, met on the set of this movie. They began a nine-year relationship and managed to keep it secret for all of those years, despite the fact that it produced a son.

Film debut of Bill McKinney.

It took five hours to apply all the make-up on Claire Brennen for her last scene in the movie.

Angelo Rossitto was originally considered for the role of Shorty, but couldn't play the part because he had a previous commitment with another movie.

Shot in ten days.

Most of the movie was filmed during seven days in Bakersfield, California, at the Kern County Fair. Three additional days of filming occurred on a sound stage in Los Angeles. Some pick up shots were later filmed in Ventura during the Ventura County Fair.

The opening scenes were shot at the California State Fair in Sacramento.

Lynn Courtney learned a strip routine for her role as Pat.

Lee Raymond was actually a captain for United Airlines.

Byron Mabe: Police officer.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Cae
    Rotgut updating of Tod Browning's carny horror classic is actually not nearly as awful as it could have been...still, just about any quotidian viewer will refuse to endure it til the closing credits. Gorgeous, blonde Claire Brennan(sadly lost to cancer early in her life)portrays a complete and total bitch with a distinct "Bad Seed" approach to getting whatever she wants. When she brings her unscrupulous shenanigans to the mechanical wheel of a roadside carnival, she fitfully receives her come-uppance at the hands of the sideshow attractions. Her beauty is given way to monstrosity, as she is mysteriously transformed into a half-woman/half-beast with a fried egg eyeball, salaciously fondling a large snake(nice touch!).

    Examine the names associated to this one, then reference their other works...I'm sure you'll find that "She Freak" is a cut above most of those other entries. It's overall a fun bit of grindhouse nonsense, but could have benefited greatly from the more gratuitous sex and violence one might expect from a Mabe/Friedman epic.

  • comment
    • Author: Landarn
    _She Freak_ is certainly one of the more accessible of Friedman's post-HG Lewis movies. Obviously intended to target drive-ins, it lacks the more objectionable (and usually dull) `adult' material of his other pictures, and spends more time on the plot. Other strengths include actors that know their lines and location footage (at a carnival) that offers a bit more visual diversity than is usual in the extreme low-budget 60's field.

    That said, however, the film is deeply flawed and far from a classic. It is frequently billed as a `remake' of Tod Browning's _Freaks_, which is true to an extent, but not in the way one would hope. Clearly the writer took the concept of a selfish carnival girl who is punished by the freaks for her ill-treatment of one of their number and ran with it. Unfortunately, it did not inspire him to particular heights.

    The most notable difference between this film and its inspiration is the aspects of carny life upon which they focus. _Freaks_ focused on the title characters – showing their lives and loves, how sideshow freaks were people with feelings who banded together against a world that despised them. _She Freak_, by contrast, seems mostly concerned with the people behind the scenes: the concessioners and `ride boys' and the Grips (or whatever their called in carny talk) that set up and tear down the big show. Something like 10 minutes of footage is sweaty guys working with tent poles, so if that's your thing…As far as sideshow acts are concerned: there's a coochy-dancer (who goes `as far as the law allows,' evidently in a bible-belt state), a sword-swallower, a snake charmer and a fortune-teller. Even the one real `freak' of the film, the unfortunate `Shorty' the midget, gets very little screen time and never performs whatever act he is supposed to have.

    The other glaring flaw is the character development. The main character, Jade, starts the movie as a bitch, then is re-introduced as a sympathetic character with high hopes, then spends the rest of the movie bouncing back and forth. It got so bad that I started to regard the movie as a Jekyll-and-Hyde tale, with the `bad' Jade progressively screwing up the aspirations of the `good' Jade. But, unlike Stevenson's story, there is no explanation for Jade's dual personality, and no way to predict which side of her would emerge. A more interesting take, had the writer and director been up to the challenge, would have been to portray Jade as starting out nice, but gradually becoming `jaded' (sorry, couldn't help that pun) over the course of events and hard knocks in the carnival, until she went too far and had to be destroyed. Frankly, the `crime' for which she is punished (firing Shorty) does not fit the punishment she earns, and there are other characters in the film that have far more justifiable grievances than the freaks do.

    One interesting hallmark of the low-budget Friedman approach deserves note. The extended silent sequences, in which the audience is treated to musical montages of images that are supposed to suggest action. Aside from the aforementioned set-up, tear-down sequences, the entire courtship of Jade and her prospective husband is handled in this way. Up until his last two or three scenes, pretty much the only thing this actor says is `Hello.' On the whole, this is actually a good thing.

    Overall, it's worth it for exploitation completists, and is a watchable film, but not generally recommended.
  • comment
    • Author: Ferri - My name
    The fact that this movie is a rip-off of Tod Browning's "Freaks" should not be construed as a reason to see it. The photography and acting are bottom drawer, the direction is listless and unimaginative, and writing is rarely sly (or at least it's hard to get any good dialogue out of these actors' mouths). There isn't even all that much exploitation footage here.

    What is kind of interesting is the picture of carnival life in the 60s (a period of decline for that art form) it provides. Roustabouts, geeks, carneys, all are presented with some sort of versimilitude.

    With a stronger lead actress and a more competent cast/director, this film could at least have been a memorable shock-fest. Instead, it's ultimately forgettable.
  • comment
    • Author: Windforge
    A truly diabolical 60's remake of the legendary Tod Browning movie Freaks. Unlike the original film, this ultra low budget affair does not feature real 'freaks'. Also, unlike the original version, this film does not feature anything that can be vaguely described as interesting. An alarming percentage of the running time seems to be spent watching people putting up and taking down tents and other fairground attractions. We have seemingly endless scenes showing fairground rides and people frequenting side-stalls. We have a hugely unerotic striptease and many other sequences so tedious my mind has blocked them out as a suppressed memory. The acting talent and production values are nil. This movie must've been shot in a couple of days tops. The she-freak of the title only rears her ugly head in the last few seconds of this dreck and, needless to say, it isn't worth the wait.

    This is exploitation cinema at its worst. It exploits the viewer in such a way that it promises something and delivers less than nothing. This is as close to a non-movie as you can get. It's so bad I would wish it on my worst enemies.

    Absolute gash.
  • comment
    • Author: Karon
    Outstanding exploitation flick with a palpable sense of sleaziness...Feels like an old E.C. comic book story, one that would have been drawn by Graham Ingals...who cares if it's a "Freaks" rip-off: it has its own unique charm, with loads of authentic carney atmosphere (producer/writer David Friedman was a carny himself up until a couple years ago) and great performances from a cast of nobodies. Shorty is incredible, as is the fat, sweaty hash joint owner at the beginning. And David Friedman as a freak show barker is not to be missed. The genuinely unsettling make-up for the She-Freak is by Ed Wood's make-up man. Good stuff.
  • comment
    • Author: Ylonean
    Bored diner waitress Jade (Claire Brennen) joins the carnival in search of excitement, where she quickly worms her way into the affections of wealthy freak show manager Steve St. John (Bill McKinney), the carnival's most eligible bachelor. After a whirlwind romance, and a short engagement, the pair get married, but it's not long before Jade is out seeking thrills with loutish ferris wheel foreman Blackie (Lee Raymond), who happily gives her a ride for free. When Steve learns from pal Shorty that his wife is banging Blackie, he confronts the uncouth carnie, only to get a knife in the belly for his troubles. As a result, delighted Jade inherits her late husband's lucrative business, but her hatred and mistreatment of the sideshow's exhibits means it not long before the ruthless ex-waitress gets served her just desserts.

    She Freak, a virtual remake of Tod Browning's 30s horror classic Freaks, opens with a solid five and a half minutes of carnival footage—shot after tedious shot of carnies plying their trade to happy punters—before eventually getting down to telling a story. Throughout the film, director Byron Mabe continues to make maximum usage of his carnival setting, regularly interrupting the action with further prolonged shots of people risking their lives on rather precarious looking fairground rides while eating unwholesome food purchased from dodgy concession stands. Strip this excess of colourful padding from this cheapo drive-in garbage and there really isn't a whole lot left—certainly nothing to get your average exploitation/horror fan excited about.

    Considering the film was produced by trashmeister David F. Friedman, whose filmography boasts such legendary titles as Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs!, Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, and Love Camp 7, it should come as no surprise to find that, in terms of style and atmosphere, She Freak is no match for the masterpiece that inspired it; however, it is rather shocking to discover that the film is remarkably light on both sleaze and gore. The bloodletting is limited to an unconvincing screwdriver through the hand during a fight between carnies and there is no sex or nudity to speak of (unless you count off-screen nookie and a few brief glimpses of skin from sexy sideshow stripper Moon, played by Lynn Courtney). Worse still, the film's genuine 'freaks' are limited to one dwarf (Felix Silla, Twiki from Buck Rogers), a sword swallower, and a June Whitfield lookalike who plays with snakes—no match for the collection of genuinely disturbing human oddities that helped make Tod Browning's Freaks such a memorable movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Gagas
    A waitress who has dreams of a better life decides she'd have more fun working for a traveling carnival. Weird choice for a better life, but whatever. Once there, it isn't long before she's courting the rich owner of the carnival freak show. After marrying him, she carries on an affair with the ferris wheel operator behind his back. Everything ends badly for all involved.

    This is a pretty poor attempt at a remake of Freaks. Instead of actual character development, the film feels content to give us countless scenes via musical montage. The entire courtship between the lead and the freak show guy is a wordless series of scenes set to music. We also have several lengthy scenes of the carnival being set up and then even more of it being taken down. This is sort of neat to see, but it takes up way too much time. The pointless scenes don't stop there, as we also get a cheesy fight midway through. One guy gets a screwdriver through the hand, which would seem pretty serious, but there are no repercussions.

    Leading lady, Claire Brennen (who unfortunately passed away ten years after this film), was actually quite good in the movie. The ending is decent too as the freaks have their revenge and we see what's become of her. I was really surprised to read that Claire had a romantic relationship with the actor who played the sideshow midget that her character is so disgusted by in the film. Good for them.

    The film itself is absolutely nothing to write home about. For a better freak-oriented movie, check out Jack Cardiff's The Freakmaker.
  • comment
    • Author: Funny duck
    I guess I can't complain too much, because for all intents and purposes, I got this movie for free. It came with a 'freaks' boxed set through Something Weird video, along with, among other movies, the classic 80's cheesefest BASKET CASE. At the time, purchasing BASKET CASE in this boxed set actually cost less than it did alone, so hey, a good deal is a good deal. And since I bought it, I gave SHE FREAK a day in court and watched it. Unfortunately, it isn't nearly as interesting as BASKET CASE. It's really only slightly more interesting than watching paint dry.

    SHE FREAK is, near as I can tell, the 1960's remake of the classic freak film FREAKS, directed by Tod Browning. Unlike Browning's movie, however, SHE FREAK contains almost no freaks at all. The biggest problem with this movie is that a grand majority of it contains stock footage of carnivals being set up and taken down, shots of random people on rides, and other such mundane images of fair grounds and carnies.

    What little story there is revolves around Jade Cochran (the late Claire Brennan), an average-to-homely woman who begins the movie as a coffee shop waitress with high aspirations. After getting fired from her job for not being appreciative enough (if you know what I mean), she finds work at the local carnival, becoming good friends with one of the strippers. She eventually meets and seduces Steve St. John (Bill McKinney) and marries him, although it's made very plain that she's a bit on the easy side, as prior to the marriage she has a little bedroom bam-bam with Blackie Fleming (Lee Raymond), a man egotistical enough to decorate the walls of trailer with his own name in spray paint.

    Steve St. John, Jade's new husband, is in charge of the freak show, something that deeply disturbs Jade. See, Jade is a bit on the shallow side, thinking more about the material advantages of marrying a man with money and less about the human side of his work trying to make a life for people who might not otherwise have one. Since Steve isn't the most attentive of husbands, Jade's little fling with Blackie continues despite the marriage. Then, one night, the only freak in the movie--a little person named, appropriately, "Shorty"--sees Jade getting it on with Blackie, and while he says nothing, he makes his dislike of Jade as clear as this script is capable of making it.

    Things escalate (so to speak) from here, with Jade becoming increasingly open about her dislike of the unseen freaks. Unfortunately, as an actor, Claire Brennan was as talented as she was attractive, and when she expresses her disgust she does so with a smile that she holds back with painful difficulty. Soon, Steve St. John catches Blackie after one of Jade's indiscretions, the two of them have a fight, and Blackie stabs Steve to death in a very brief and tame fight scene. Jade then inherits the freak show, and runs it with a cold heart, in contrast to Steve, who considered the freaks close friends of his.

    Anyway, eventually the freaks catch up to her and deform her in ways that are only possible in the movies, and she ends up becoming the bizarre and twisted creature shown in the SHE FREAK trailers and posters, and the movie ends. That's it. And believe me, this review is far more interesting than the actual movie itself, which should tell you something.
  • comment
    • Author: Cashoutmaster
    This daring flick tells the sordid tale of Jade, a devious, unlikable tramp who's our main character, making this movie so much fun to watch. You see, Jade has a depressing job as a waitress in a greasy diner so greasy the cook is named "Greasy". She dreams of something better, so gets an even more depressing job as a waitress at a greasy carnival. But still she aims higher, so she seduces and marries the owner of the freak show!

    While this is going on we're treated to lots and lots of footage of the carnival being set up and taken down and set up again (I actually enjoyed that stuff, being a fan of "Death Mask" and "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies).

    The film-makers were so busy showing how much fun carnivals are that they forgot to have an interesting plot- the freak show owner that Jade seduces hardly has any lines or character, and we never even see the freaks until the very end. The story moves incredibly slow for an hour and twenty minutes, then the freak show owner dies, Jade reveals herself as the bitch she is, and the freaks take their revenge- all in the last five minutes. They saved all the interesting stuff for the end, and then just rushed through it.

    The "surprise" ending is a surprise only to those who haven't seen Tod Browning's "Freaks", which is superior in every way to this chunk of crap. The freaks take their revenge on Jade by gluing a googly eye to her face and making her wear a Mr. Spock ear, and then spraying her with silly string. Actually, the resulting "She-Freak" is much more attractive than the way Jade started out, as the actress resembles a leathery skeleton in a blonde wig.

    Did I mention that I hated this movie? I did. Some of it looks neat, and it was probably an influence on Alex Winter's brilliant "Freaked", but overall it's too slow, dull, cheap, poorly acted, and unimaginative to be of any interest. Dullsville, baby, strictly Dullsville.
  • comment
    • Author: Shistus
    She-Freak is a remake of Todd Browning's "Freaks" in a way. If you are at all interested in carnivals, carnies, or freaks, I recommend this film. It has a great soundtrack, and hilarious fight scenes. The star is incredibly sexy (until she becomes the She Freak). This is a fine film, and I highly recommend it for any fan of low-budget 1960's horror films.
  • comment
    • Author: Roru
    She Freak begins with a good five minutes worth of footage of a carnival & it's everyday goings on as the crowds flock & enjoy the attractions it has to offer, this dull as dishwater montage of footage is accompanied by some of the worst music the filmmakers could have chosen. Eventually the film cuts to the freak show, a barker (writer & producer David F. Friedman in a small uncredited cameo) introduces one of the exhibits "there are only two kinds of freak... those created by God... & those created by man... she is a bit of both!" The film then goes into flashback as the barker begins his story. Jade Cochran (Claire Brennen) leads a miserable life working as a waitress in a roadside café on a terrible wage (oh stop! My hearts bleeding for her!). But Jade has ambitions, she is determined to make something out of her life & become someone. One day a carnival advance man named Ben Thomas (Ben Moore) walks into the café & asks the owner & head chef Greasy (Claude Smith), so-called for good reason, to put one of his posters up. Jade begins to talk with Ben & asks if there are any jobs vacant at the carnival, Ben says maybe & she should talk to the owner Al Babcock (Van Teen). Babcock sorts her a job out as a waitress, great career move Jade. Anyway, Jade befriends a stripper named Pat 'Moon' Mullins (Lynn Courtney) & attracts the attention of the local carnival stud Blackie Fleming (Lee Raymond). But Jade wants more & decides to date the owner of the freak show, the rich Steve St.John (Bill McKinney). Oh, & there's a dwarf named Shorty (Felix Silla) who wears a cowboy hat straight out of Dallas that's almost as big as he is! He doesn't have much to do with the plot but I thought I should mention him. Where was I? Right yes, so Jade marries Steve for his money & business interests as she also begins to look down on the ordinary carnival people who befriended her (& she sacks Shorty!). However, Steve's freaks from his show don't fall for Jade's charm quite as easily & decide to dish out some just deserts! Edited & directed by Byron Mabe who also has an uncredited cameo as a police officer, She Freak is pure rubbish from beginning to end. The script by Friedman is a complete waste of time & the lasting impression I got from the film was don't treat people badly & women in awful dead end jobs shouldn't try to better themselves! The film does not contain much dialogue but it's pretty bad when it occurs with male characters saying things like "you got yourself a great little broad there" after Jade has just served the drinks! She Freak is incredibly boring & features long sequences that are totally pointless, there is lots of footage of the carnival (& people looking & staring directly into the camera) with awful music playing in the background. In fact at times She Freak comes across like a documentary on carnival life from the late 60's! She Freak also makes the fatal mistake of being utterly boring throughout, I mean this is the kind of film that depicts a romance between two people by having them sitting on a park bench together, nothing happens of any note until the last five minutes when the 'twist' ending is revealed which you can probably guess anyway from the opening scene. The acting is terrible from everyone involved in a significant role, what little their given anyway. There is no blood, gore or nudity so as an exploitation film it's completely worthless too, in fact I think I'd probably struggle to even call She Freak a horror film either as it contains virtually no horror elements at all. She Freak is an absolutely terrible film on a technical level to, photography, music, editing & sound (the dialogue is muffled throughout) are below acceptable. So why the two stars you ask & not one? Well, there are a few unintentional laughs in here & that dwarf with the large cowboy hat is just cool & he even gets to play around with a flick knife towards the end! Basically steer well clear of this piece of crap, I can't see anyone obtaining any kind of entertainment from it & I certainly didn't.
  • comment
    • Author: Impala Frozen
    It makes carnivals really, really, really dull. Really. The most interesting thing for me, a boomer kid, was reminiscing about the fashions and decor of the era, and noticing how freak-show signs never seem to change.

    We didn't need the extolling at the outset of the film to realize that the producer probably was getting a big chunk o' change from the West Coast Shows carnival to make this film. I mean, for pity's sake, as has already been mentioned here, the scenes of the carnival in which NOTHING HAPPENS are mind-bogglingly frequent and long. But it certainly did the carnival no favors to have five minutes here and seven minutes there and another five minutes here of these scenes, because they're things like the same shots of the same rides, or the same shots of the same signs, or people standing next to trucks and smoking, or people putting ride parts on trucks or taking them off, or even, heaven help me, Jade, the main character, clearing debris off picnic tables. If this had been my experience of the carnival when I was a kid, I'd have been in tears asking my parents to take me home NOW.

    And for the grownup seeking some titillation in Moon's "topless" dancing, well, caveat emptor. There's a question mark on her sign for a reason.

    If anyone wants to know what it was like working in the actual West Coast Shows, there is a site by the (late) Amazing Vanteen, who played Mr. Babcock and also one of the killers, which details his life with that show. He briefly discusses the making of this film as well.

    The attempted rip-off of Browning's "Freaks" is shameless and futile. For all of Jade's trembling hatred for the freaks, we don't see many of them. We have the odd-talent people, who only marginally qualify for this sad label. The closest to the classic definition of a sideshow freak is Shortie (and the oddest thing to me about Shortie is that he didn't grab that bottle of booze while Blackie and Pretty-Boy were duking it out by the trailer under which Shortie was hiding). The finale, of course, is total theft, although the details of the transfiguration constitute a more plausible end to Jade than the Browning ending provides. Whatever revolted viewer satisfaction there might be in the revenge is, however, I think undone by Greasy's reveling in Jade's undoing. We have no reason to think he is not as despicable as she is, after all.

    Anyway, save yourself a wasted afternoon. This is no cult classic, kids.
  • comment
    • Author: SARAND
    There are some films that are bad, and there is this film which is BAD! Wow! I thought I was getting a horror film but instead I got a docudrama on carnival life. The story picks up a bit at end, and it is really nothing more than a cheap imitation of Tod Browning's Freaks minus credible acting, reasonable storytelling, atmosphere, and class. In fact, the one thing this film could have had going for it was the female lead and another beautiful blonde in a supporting role. They are very attractive women, and just when you think they might drop their top and save this film fiasco, they don't. What more can I say about this film? If you like to see people on rides whilst real bad music plays in the background for what seems an eternity, then She Freak is for you. Watch for producer David Friedman in a small role as a barker.
  • comment
    • Author: NiceOne
    Brash and slinky small town dinner waitress Jade Cochran (a nicely sassy performance by fetching blonde Claire Brennen) gets a job with a traveling carnival. Jade hooks up with sideshow exhibit owner Steve St. John (Bill McKinney in his sturdy film debut), has a steamy fling with cocky stud Ferris wheel operator Blackie (handsome Lee Raymond), and torments sideshow midget Shorty (an excellent turn by Felix Silla). Director Byron Mabe, working from a compact script by David F. Friedman (who also appears as a carnie barker), relates the sordidly engrossing story at a steady pace, presents a flavorsome seedy atmosphere, neatly captures the restless peripatetic nature of carny life, and grounds the premise in a believable workaday reality. The footage of actual carnival workers and performers provides a certain compelling authenticity. The last shot of Jade as a hideously disfigured freak is quite chilling and horrific, thanks mainly to the convincing grotesque make-up by Harry Thomas. Moreover, the solid acting by the capable cast holds the movie together, with especially commendable work by Brennen, McKinney, Lynn Courtney as friendly dancer Pat 'Moon' Mullins, and Claude Earl Jones as scruffy diner owner Greasy. William G. Troiano's vibrant color cinematography gives this movie an attractive bright look. William Allen Castleman's groovy score hits the swinging spot. A cool item.
  • comment
    • Author: The_NiGGa
    Celebrated "Nudie Cutie" producer and exploitation film genre pioneer from Alabama David F Friedman's labour of love, SHE FREAK concerns a waitress from an unspectacular café in Texas who joins a traveling carnival hoping to find a rich man to provide her with the finer things in life, unlike her mother whose existence was unfulfilled and miserable. She indeed finds her man, invested in the carnival, Steve St. John (Bill McKinney, whose notoriety derives from making Ned Beatty squeal like a pig before raping him in the backwoods in DELIVERENCE), and this woman, Jade Cochran (Claire Brennen) exploits their marriage by allowing the newfound power he gives her to mistreat the workers, particularly the freaks she finds repulsive, paying a dear price for her misdeeds. Friedman's movie dedicated to carnivals and Tod Browning's FREAKS was for me a tedious bore, but it does give us a look inside the construction of the a Bakersville, California carnival, showing the hired help breaking down and setting up tents and rides, the locals who attend them arriving with happy smiles. Claire Brennen is featured prominently in the film often with men eyeballing her as she shakes her ass and shows off her curves. Many might recognize Claude Earl Jones (the café owner who promises Jade that she will pay for her sins) from lots of television and the made for TV horror classic, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW. Lee Raymond is Blackie Fleming, the "ferris wheel foreman" Jade has sex with while Lynn Courtney is the stripper Pat "Moon" Mullins who befriends Cochran before the power goes to the new Ms. St. John's head. The ending, where the freaks get their revenge, is right out of FREAKS, practically a shot-for-shot remake of that infamous scene. While I found the plot uneventful and plodding, the make-up from Harry Thomas is wonderfully grotesque when Jade gets her makeover as a result of her tyranny.
  • comment
    • Author: Adoraris
    "She Freak" is a very low-budget remake of the classic Tod Browning film "Freaks" (1932). Considering "Freaks" might be one of the scariest and most arresting horror films ever made, doing a sequel is a tall order. And, with a budget of only about $65,000 it's a sure bet it's not even close to the great quality of the original. But, despite its obvious deficits, is this a good film to watch? Well, let me get to a few other things--then tell you about the value of the movie as entertainment.

    As for me, I had a bit more interest than the average person because of its connections to where I live. The film talks about Tampa and Sarasota (the home of many, many freak show and circus entertainers) and even though it was filmed in California locations, it talks about folks who, in some cases, still live within minutes of my home. Too bad you really only get to see the general trappings of the carnival--not the acts.

    One thing you might want to know before you watch it. While "She Freak" is a low-budget film marketed by Something Weird Video, it has no nudity and the film is acceptable viewing for just about anyone. I say this because many of the Something Weird films have a lot of 1960s soft-core nudity. This film does talk about strippers and has a few racy scenes but you really don't see anything more than you'd see on a beach.

    And, finally, the diminutive star of the film, Felix Silla, is still alive and travels occasionally to nostalgic conventions--such as comic book, sci-fi, horror and fantasy conventions. And why do folks want to see him? Well, it's NOT because of "She Freak". He was the guy underneath all the hair playing Cousin Itt on TV's "Addams Family" as well as in the movies.

    As for the quality of the remake, it is an obviously padded film. There are WAY too many musical montages that are obvious filler and make the film look cheap (which it is). However, oddly, the acting is not at all what you'd expect from this sort of film. Now I am NOT saying that you'll see a Laurence Olivier-type of performance here by any of the actors--but for the money, it's actually quite good.

    The film stars Claire Brennan as a conniving lady who is bent on striking it rich but has very humble origins. When the movie starts, she's working as a waitress in a greasy spoon (a cheap diner). Then, she gets a chance to work with a traveling show--and she very deliberately looks for a man with money to marry. Now you'd THINK that a lady who is this driven to make money would pick something better than a traveling carnival! Regardless, despite her marriage to the guy running the so-called 'freak show', Claire is wild and spends a lot of her free time having sex with a variety of guys. And, she treats the guy she marries like dirt, as she's basically a selfish and nasty lady--and she has contempt for the folks working for her husband. Eventually, her sleeping around leads to disaster--the husband is killed and his 'freaks' are angry and exact revenge on her for her wicked ways.

    While this film superficially is "Freaks" it is different in several important ways that destroy the film's impact. First, although this was made with a traveling carnival, very few 'freaks' are in the film. Aside from Silla, everyone else looks pretty normal and they use makeup to make them appear abnormal. "Freaks" deliberately showcased some of the most distasteful and frightening sideshow acts--human torsos, 'pinheads' and the like. So, there is no emotional impact--especially at the end. Second, and to me this is the most serious problem with the remake, the entire plot involving the horrible woman marrying one of the 'freaks' has been eliminated--sanitized and dull is the result. This is odd considering that in real life, Brennan WAS sleeping with Silla--they had an affair that lasted many years and she bore his child! Incorporating this would have been fascinating. Instead, there is no love interest between her and a midget.

    So is it worth watching? Well, maybe. While I STRONGLY recommend the original, for what it is, "She Freak" is entertaining and well done considering the budget. Not great...but of interest to bad movie buffs and those who love low-budget schlock.
  • comment
    • Author: Kaim
    DO YOU LIKE CLASSIC 60'S TRASH?/THEN THIS ONES 4 U!. An affectionate reworking of the classic FREAKS from producer David F. Friedman ,who also plays the sideshow barker, Horror lurks behind the cheerful facade of a travelling carnival. Fed up slinging hash at a roadside diner, slinky Jade Cochran{Claire Brennen},takes a job with a passing show and soon sinks her ambitious hooks into Steven St. John, owner of the sideshow exhibit. She also has an affair with Blackie, the Ferris wheel stud, and makes life miserable for Shorty, the sideshow midget. But When Blackie kills her hubby and Jade inherits the sideshow, Shorty and his fellow "oddities" seek revenge. Features another bizarre makeup creation by Harry Thomas who designed some of Hollywood's looniest monsters {Frankenstein's Daughter, House on Bare Mountain}.also can b found 4 as little as 1p on ebay,as these little gems are out there amongst the poop!u just got to spend all night searching 4 them wot with all the "A.K.As" they acquire but well worth it....THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!!!
  • comment
    • Author: Beahelm
    Complete, total crap. Truly awful. I'd rather ingest my own excrement than sit through it again. Redefines the meaning of the word "bad" (Leonard Pynth- Garnell never endured this). I'd say that watching it was cruel and unusual punishment, but I don't want to give cruelty a bad name. Seriously, we're talking Amateur Hour at the Film School for Living Brain Donors from frame one. The story begins about ten minutes before it ends -- and even then, nearly every shot crosses the line or is awful in some other way. A pathetic, pointless, incompetent waste of celluloid. Other than that, not too bad.
  • comment
    • Author: Linn
    Running away from her dead-end job, a woman's new job as a waitress for a traveling carnival allows her to meet her husband, though the remaining members of the show aren't impressed with the events and try to bring out her real personality.

    Actually, this turned out to be quite the disaster of a film that serves as a real remake of the earlier classic that has the same overall plot. That really makes this quite distracting when it's so unoriginal that there's no point in hiding where it got it's influences from and showcases them so readily without the slightest remorse or even attempts to change it at all. By focusing on being so close to the source material, it doesn't develop anything of interest or surprise throughout this as nearly everything that plays out, her mistreatment that causes her to join the troupe to begin with, the budding romance and even how she continually cheats on him during the course of their romance and eventual marriage as well as the rather tired way this is discovered, as all of this is just given such a lame feel overall that there's hardly any suspense driven from this overt story and never gives off anything close to suspense. That the majority of the other screen-time is generating on overlong and exceptionally tedious sequences involving the crew for the circus putting up the festivities themselves, taking down and setting up shops, supports and rides throughout the film that these become the most featured type of scene in the whole movie such is their over-use throughout. All of this makes what should be the film's biggest shock scene, the revenge by the deformed performers for their mistreatment and cruelty, seem like an afterthought in here with the ho-hum manner in which it's dealt out with hardly any effort to build up to this sequence, to deliver it in any way that showcases any suspense at what they're going to do or even any sense of righteousness from it because it's all based on such lame motives it's not worth caring about. About the only thing saving this one is the one female support constantly stripping for her show or shown in states of undress, but not even that can save this one.

    Today's Rating/PG-13: Violence and Brief Nudity.
  • comment
    • Author: Umrdana
    This film has absolutely nothing to recommend it. Bad acting, an even worse script, poor cinematography ... you name it, it all flops. Many of the extras were not even aware they were taking part in a film as is evidenced by their staring curiously at the cameras. Unlike even PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, which is so bad it's at least worth some good laughs, this bomb doesn't even rate a good chuckle. An utter waste of celluloid.
  • comment
    • Author: Risa
    I won't waste any more time on this, but don't think that it has any sort of artsy freaky weird '67 trippy horror vibe... it sure don't.

    They actually fill/waste so much footage in the thing: there's a 6-minute montage (complete with bad lo-fi jazz) of the circus guys taking down and setting up in the next town. SIX MINUTES!!!

    Totally stupid. Awful writing, thinner-than-cardboard characters, UGLY photography/editing, no plot, painful acting, STUPID.
  • comment
    • Author: Rigiot
    Opening as it does with an encomium for Bobby Cohn, one of the leaders of the North American Carnival Industry, 1967's "She Freak" at times comes off more as a tribute to life on the midway than a grisly horror film. In it, we are introduced to Jade Cochran (lamely portrayed by Claire Brennen), whose waitressing job in a jerkwater greasy spoon is so dispiriting that her new gig cleaning tables at a traveling carnival seems like a step up. Jade soon sets her sights on the owner of the carnival's freak show, despite her aversion to those poor people, and with her curvy figure, toothy smile and blonde good looks (indeed, Brennen here looks very much like the young Joni Mitchell), has no trouble roping him in. But anyone who has seen Tod Browning's 1932 masterpiece "Freaks" and knows of Olga Baclanova's fate in it (or who has seen the trailer reel that precedes every movie from Something Weird) can guess what happens next. "She Freak" is only 83 minutes long, but at least half its running time consists of padded footage of roustabouts setting up the carnival or tearing it down, or of customers walking around or Jade wandering about. Unlike "Freaks," which shocked and amazed audiences with its large cast of real-life biological sports, "She Freak" offers basically only one of "Nature's mistakes" in the form of Shorty (!), a Stetsoned little person. Still, somehow, the picture manages to barely hold one's interest, and features beautiful color photography (well captured on this surprisingly pristine-looking DVD from those miracle workers at Something Weird) and even some interesting directorial touches from Byron Mabe. Basically, though, the film is junk. Viewers interested in seeing a superior updating of "Freaks" would be better off checking out the British film "The Freakmaker" (1973), which is much more, uh, freaky and a lot more fun.
  • comment
    • Author: Frei
    She Freak (1967)

    1/2 (out of 4)

    Exploitation master David F. Friedman was a big fan of Tod Browning's FREAKS and decided to remake it but the end results are quite horrid for several reasons. As in the original film, we're warned about a "freak" who was once normal but before seeing her we get the backstory. Claire Brennen plays a small town waitress who gets a job in a traveling sideshow where she decides to go after the big boss man, which eventually costs him his life. The carnival sideshow freaks decide to take revenge. This is a very painful 85-minute movie to sit through because it moves extremely slow and after a while you can't help but want to turn the thing off. There are a few good moments but there's no denying that the greatest thing about this movie is the fact that it makes FREAKS look even better than it already is. It's funny that FREAKS was hidden from the public for decades because of its controversial nature and it's even funnier to think that this film here is a lot tamer than that 1932 film. The only "freaks" on display here is a sword swallower as well as a woman who puts a snake in her mouth. The rest don't show up to the final scene. The entire film centers on Brennen as she never gets what she wants. It's just too boring. We get countless scenes of the circus being put together, which is fun for a minute but this film just drags the scenes out. What does work is Brennen who is fairly good for this type of film and of course that ending when we see what's happened to her. The make up job was quite good and makes for a smile. Character actor Bill McKinney made his debut here.
  • comment
    • Author: Arthunter
    Someone had the brilliant idea to remake Todd Browning's "Freaks" in an updated version.

    Of course, there were two huge problems with that. First, by 1967, the Freak Show had all but disappeared, falling victim to political correctness making the display of people with birth defects and the fact most carnivals found rides to be more economical than hiring said people. So really, by 1967, there were no freaks to be found, save one little person.

    Second, no one involved in this movie could act worth a darn.

    Further complicating matters is that there was not 83 minutes worth of movie here. So they filled it out with footage of people taking down and putting up the circus.

    The real problem is, unlike the other fetishists here, Brownings original material was really awful, and it didn't deserve a remake. Browning was trying to shock with his images, the plot was just an excuse to hang the freak footage on.

    Here they had no freak footage, so they were hanging material on an empty line.
  • Complete credited cast:
    Claire Brennen Claire Brennen - Jade Cochran
    Lee Raymond Lee Raymond - Blackie Fleming
    Lynn Courtney Lynn Courtney - Pat 'Moon' Mullins
    Bill McKinney Bill McKinney - Steve St. John
    Claude Earl Jones Claude Earl Jones - Greasy (as Claude Smith)
    Ben Moore Ben Moore - Ben Thomas
    Vanteen Vanteen - Al Babcock
    Madame Lee Madame Lee - Snake Charmer (as Lee)
    Marsha Drake Marsha Drake - Olga
    Felix Silla Felix Silla - Shorty
    William Bagdad William Bagdad - Pretty-Boy (as Bill Bagdad)
    Sandra Holcomb Sandra Holcomb - Canival Woman
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