By: Oddly Dreamlike
A bodily malformation, distortion, or disfigurement.
misfit, eccentric, curiosity, abnormality, rarity, strangeness, peculiarity, eccentricity, weirdness
An abnormally formed organism, especially a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity.
"Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.
— Diane Arbus
Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe.
— Diane Arbus
“The true freak, however, stirs both supernatural terror and natural sympathy, since unlike the fabulous monsters, he is one of us, the human child of human parents, however altered by forces we do not quite understand into something mythic and mysterious, as no mere cripple ever is. Passing either on the street, we may be simultaneously tempted to avert our eyes and to stare; but in the latter case we feel no threat to those desperately maintained boundaries on which any definition of sanity ultimately depends. On the true Freak challenges the conventional boundaries between male and female, sexed and sexless, animal and human, large and small, self and other, and consequently between reality and illusion, experience and fantasy, fact and myth.”
— Leslie Fiedler, Freaks: Myths and Images of the Secret Self (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), p.24.
""I’ve wished I had two heads. Or that I was invisible. I’ve wished for a fish’s tail instead of legs. I’ve wished to be more special."
— Geek Love
-Missing from Mubi-
Chained For Life
I’m having a hard time remembering any others, but I’m sure they’re out there!
I was originally going to try to make this list with only real human marvels, but it was a short list, I couldn’t think of many films!
Anyway, feel free to leave comments on other films featuring human oddities that I’ve missed, forgotten or haven’t seen yet! ♥
Before proceeding with the showing of the following
HIGHLY UNUSUAL ATTRACTION,
a few words should be said about the amazing subject matter.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT…. STRANGE AS IT SEEMS.
In ancient times anything that deviated from the normal was considered an omen of ill luck or a representative of evil.
Gods of misfortune and adversity were invariably cast in the form of monstrosities,
and deeds of injustice and hardship have been attributed to the many crippled and deformed tyrants of Europe and Asia.
HISTORY, RELIGION, FOLKLORE and LITERATURE
abound in tales of misshapen misfits who have altered the world’s course.
GOLIATH, CALABAN, FRANKENSTEIN, GLOUCESTER, TOM THUMB and KAISER WILHELM
are just a few, whose fame is world wide.
The accident of abnormal birth was considered a disgrace and malformed children were placed out in the elements to die.
If, perchance, one of these freaks of nature survived, he was always regarded with suspicion.
Society shunned him because of his deformity, and a family so hampered was always ashamed of the curse put upon it.
Occasionally, one of these unfortunates were taken to court to be jeered at or ridiculed for the amusement of the nobles.
Others were left to eke out a living by begging, stealing or starving.
For the love of beauty is a deep seated urge which dates back to the beginning of civilization.
The revulsion with which we view the abnormal, the malformed and the mutilated
is the result of long conditioning by our forefathers.
The majority of freaks, themselves, are endowed with normal thoughts and emotions.
Their lot is truly a heart-breaking one.
They are forced into the most unnatural of lives.
Therefore, they have built up among themselves a code of ethics to protect them from the barbs of normal people.
Their rules are rigidly adhered to and the hurt of one is the hurt of all, the joy of one is the joy of all.
The story about to be revealed is a story based on the effect of this code upon their lives.
Never again will such a story be filmed,
as modern science and teratology is rapidly eliminating such blunders of nature from the world.
With humility for the many injustices done to such people, (they have no power to control their lot)
we present the most startling horror story of the
ABNORMAL and THE UNWANTED.
34Brian De Palma