Review: Freaks VS The Reich
What a shame this has been called ‘Freaks Vs The Reich’ here in the UK (it’s called “Freaks Out” elsewhere, which I think is a much better title), because you immediately think of some dire sci-fi channel film that has terrible special effects and a stupid story, when in fact you’d be missing out on a film that could have been written by Guillermo del Toro, and directed by Terry Gilliam.
This has had some scathing reviews from the mainstream press, and yes, of course it has, because they’re too busy being posh and ‘correct’ about nazis and Jews rather than talking about a fantasy film.
In Italy 1943, Israel (who is Jewish and played by Giorgio Tirabassi) runs a circus with 4 ‘freaks’ in it; Matilde (Aurora Giovinazzo), a girl who produces electricity and electrocutes anyone who touches her, Cencio (Pietro Castellitto), an albino who can control all insects, Fulvio (Claudio Santamaria ), a sort of wolfman who’s covered in hair and has superhuman strength, and Mario (Giancarlo Martini), a dwarf who is literally a magnet.
During a show the Nazis blow up the tent, and on escaping Israel suggests they all move to America. Taking their life savings to buy papers to travel, he disappears. Meanwhile Franz (Franz Rogowski), a stoic Nazi pianist with six fingers on each hand who has the gift of premonition thanks to his drug use, sees the future of the Reich and knows that four beings with superhuman powers that could save Germany.
What you have here is a rather delightful adult fairytale (there is some wolfman/woman shagging in it, plus a scene where Mario shows his other hidden asset too!), that entertained me hugely and with the added attraction of evil Nazis…I mean even Spielberg knows they can be a magic ingredient.
So forget the name of the film and don’t believe the terrible reviews, this is a little gem that should be seen by as many people as possible.