Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

Midgets & Freaks



Being Different
Directed by Harry Rasky
1981 -- 100min

Don't confuse Being Different with those exploitational "freak show" documentaries of the 1950s. This is a sensitive—but never sentimental—study of persons whose physical deformities and mental handicaps have not stood in the way of their positive self-images or personal success. Filmmaker Harry Rasky follows these quietly courageous individuals at work and at home. After ten minutes or so, the audience is barely conscious of the fact that these folks are "different" in any way. Being Different benefits from the calm narration of Christopher Plummer.

I Am Not A Freak

Untold Desires

Crazy Documentary


Carny
Directed by Robert Kaylor
1980 -- 102min

In Robert Kaylor's Carny, the world of the carnival is an illusion manipulated by the carnies to fleece the suckers. The marks generally deserve what they get, because of their greed, corruption, or just plain stupidity. It's share and share alike for Frankie (Gary Busey) and Patch (Robbie Robertson), partners in a dunk-the-bozo act in a carnival travelling through the American South. At one of the small-town stops, Donna (Jodie Foster), an alienated teenager, dumps her obnoxious boyfriend and, with Frankie's encouragement, joins up and moves into their trailer (and Frankie's bed). Feeling displaced, Patch schemes to get Donna out of the carnival. However, the carnival's owner needs Donna to foil a loathsome pair of local officials who demand payoffs. She plays her part perfectly and is accepted by all, although she moves into another trailer.

The Kids of Widney High "Rockin With Santa"

Review coming soon

Kids of Widney High: Record Store Performance, Interviews, "New Car" video

Review coming soon.

How's Your News?

Rundown coming soon

Kiss My TV Show (3 Episodes)

(Description taken from www.5minutestolivevideo.com).I think it’s safe to say that this is the first and only TV show written by, produced by, directed by and starring retarded people. Yep, you read it right, this is a Chicago public access show that showcases the ample talents of the windy city’s mentally challenged population. See on the street interviews, helpful question and answer segments, commentary on the state of the nation and even a retarded girl in a giant Christmas present falling over and eloquently stating “I fell down, yeah, I fell down”.


The Eighth Day

Directed by Jaco van Dormael
1996 -- 114min
(3.5)

Two men with seemingly nothing in common become unlikely friends in this drama from France. Harry (Daniel Auteuil) is a salesman working for a large but faceless corporation, where he's become a success at the expense of his personal life. His wife Julie (Miou-Miou), frustrated by his lack of concern for his family, has divorced him, and while he still has visitation rights to his children, he manages to forget when it's his weekend with his daughters, and he neglects to pick them up at the train station. Harry is depressed and nearly suicidal; while driving late one rainy night, he accidentally hits a dog who is walking with Georges (Pascal Duquenne), a personable young man with Down's Syndrome. Georges lives in a mental institution, where he's happy and well cared for, but when several of the other patients leave for a weekend visit, Georges decides that he should leave too, and he sets out to visit his mother. Harry can't bring himself to leave Georges behind, so after burying the dog, he offers to drive him to his mother's home, which becomes the start of a complicated odyssey for the two of them, especially after Harry finds out that Georges' mother is no longer alive. Actor Pascal Duquenne actually does have Down's Syndrome. One of the highlights is when Georges and all of his "slow" friends steal a bus and break into a shut down amusement park.

Crippled Heroes
1982

The Chinese-produced Crippled Heroes was also released as Crippled Masters. Either way, we grasp the concept. This is a martial-arts epic about kung-fu masters with physical handicaps. The film demonstrates that punishment can be induced from any body extremity if you're skilled enough. Peter Shen heads this cast. Crippled Heroes is one of a group of chopsocky efforts packaged together for American TV airplay in late 1980s.


For Y'ur Height Only
1980 -- 88min

In this offbeat action/adventure story, a group of gangsters, under the instructions of their leader Mr. Giant, ambush a scientist and steal the formula for a powerful new weapon, the N-Bomb, which he was about to turn over to the government. It's imperative that the N-Bomb be recovered as soon as possible, so the world's greatest secret agent is put on the case — Agent 00 (Weng Wang), who is a skilled martial arts fighter, a cool hand with a gun, and has a way with the ladies. There is one thing about Agent 00 that is a bit unusual, though — he's three feet tall. For Your Height Only was shot in the Philippines by first-time director Raymond Jury

It's A Small World
Directed byWilliam Castle
1950 -- 74min

Obviously designed as an exploitationer, It's a Small World isn't bad within its own limits. Paul Dale, a real-life radio disc jockey, stars as midget Harry Musk, who is met with cruelty and insensitivity wherever he goes because of his small stature. Unable to adjust to the "big" world, Harry falls in with bad company and becomes a criminal. Redemption comes in the form of midget Dolly Burke (Anne Sholter), who convinces Harry to go straight and pursue an honest living as a performer with the Cole Bros. circus. The "normal-sized" cast is populated with such familiar faces as Will Geer, Steve Brodie, Todd Karns and Margaret Field. Director William Castle also shows up in a cameo role as a police officer.

Little Cigars
Directed by Chris Christenberry
1973 -- 92min

The "little cigars" are five midget criminals, masterminded by Billy Curtis. They team up with full-sized Angel Tompkins, a gangster's girlfriend who's on the lam from her homicidal "protector." Tompkins and the five little people form a travelling carnival as a front for their crooked activities. Two of the midgets kill off the mobsters who've been sent to rub out Tompkins; in gratitude, she begins an affair with Curtis. At first planning to desert the other midgets and abscond with their hard-earned stealings, Tompkins and Curtis have a change of heart, return the money to their chums, and ride off together for a most unusual romantic rendezvous. Though Little Cigars has been unfairly maligned by such "authoritive" books as The Golden Turkey Awards, the film is actually quite entertaining, and not nearly as exploitive of Little People as might be expected. Among the other well-known Hollywood midgets and dwarves in the cast are Angelo Rossitto, Felix Silla, and Jerry Maren.


Even Dwarfs Started Small
Directed by Werner Herzog
1971 -- 96min
(4)

Even viewers who've seen Freaks won't be completely prepared for Werner Herzog's bizarre Even Dwarfs Started Small. The film is set in a dismal mental institution, wherein dwell several midgets, dwarfs and other "oddities." Sick of being tormented and exploited by the so-called normal people of the world, the inmates stage a coup, taking over the asylum and utterly reversing the status quo (Herzog's apparent attempt to draw parallels between the events on screen and such real-life upheavals as Vietnam). As in his other films, the director imbues his misshapen characters with a sort of regal grandeur, as if to purge the German wartime atrocities against "underdesirables." Herzog also produced, wrote and provided the musical arrangements for Even Dwarfs Started Small.


The Terror of Tiny Town
Directed by Sam Newfield
1938 -- 65min.
(4)

This film is, as far as is known, the world's only western with an all-midget cast. The conventional plot — about a cowboy helping out a beautiful ranch-owner menaced by local thugs — is an excuse for the filmmakers to show cowboys entering the local saloon by walking under the swinging doors and pint-sized cowboys galloping around on Shetland ponies. Many of these same actors were part of a performing troupe called Singer's Midgets who also played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.


Chained For Life
Directed by Harry Fraser
1951 -- 61min
(4)

The conjoined twins Violet Hilton and Daisy Hilton, also seen in Tod Browning's classic Freaks and the smarmy Slash of the Knife, star in this interesting melodrama about love, betrayal, and murder. They play Vivian and Dotty Hamilton, joined-at-the-spine singers in a vaudeville show managed by the unscrupulous Ted Hinckley (Allen Jenkins). Hinckley pays a sharpshooter named Andre Pariseau 100 dollars a week to date Dotty as a publicity stunt. When the pair are married, Dotty's desire to be surgically separated from her sister leads the panicked Violet to shoot Pariseau dead, and she stands trial (with Dotty, naturally) for murder. Despite the exploitative ad campaign, this is a well-done melodrama presenting a realistic (?) situation in an engaging way. Viewers may still get the feeling that they might go to Hell for watching it, but at least it avoids the sleazy implications of Slash of the Knife. The British-born Hilton sisters were exploited in real life from a very early age, with their mother pimping them to various carnival freak shows around Britain and the U.S. Aside from their film and nightclub work, they were best known for an actual trial in which they were named as "the other women" in a divorce case. Their Pittsburgh hotel went belly-up in the 1950s and they ran a fruit-stand in Florida until they died in 1964 at the ages of 56.