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Last night Lisle’s own classic horror film enthusiast, Richard Flint, shared his insights on another Tod Browning film, Freaks. He pointed out that while current horror film buffs praise this film, it was the film that pretty well ended Browning’s career. The subject matter was just too dark, too real, and featured people that society at that time pushed to the side. He pointed out that the people who ended up in the circus as “freaks” or even “monsters” were too reminiscent of damaged soldiers and bombing victims from World War 1. (Note: Some of the slides from Richard’s presentation that illustrated this point may be disturbing to sensitive viewers. Click on the film clip graphic to go to the slides.) He also pointed out the there weren’t other forms of financial or medical support available at the time.
Attendees, some who were not sure what they would think of this film, ended up appreciating it, and the chances Browning took presenting the “freaks” as essentially the good guys, and a pair of the “normal” people as the monsters. There were some concerns about the vengeance taken on the nasty trapeze artist who had mistreated the “little man” (as she calls him). Overall though, the film was seen as a thoughtful, thought-provoking look at a segment of society not often seen in even today’s films – although progress has been made in the treatment of people with similar conditions both medically and socially.
Horrorween will be taking a break next Thursday while the library has its Fall Book Sale in the meeting rooms. The final feature for this year’s Horrorween will be The Raven, on Thursday, Oct. 24th. Richard’s presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. and the film begins at 7:00 p.m. Don’t miss the chance to see Bela Lugosi face off with Boris Karloff!