I want you to pause for a moment and think just how crazy the story of Freaked is. And if you think that this title is pretty strange you should know that the previous one was Hideous Mutant Freekz. Now if that doesn’t scream the nineties, I don’t know what is? This was a huge project that was way ahead of its time. With a PG-13 rating, it wasn’t really a horror, a genre quite popular at the time. And also its content wasn’t exactly perceived as something kids would like. Mostly by grumpy old men like Rupert Murdoch who found the movie to be too weird. I still don’t get how they were able to secure a PG-13 rating.
Audiences didn’t like the movie as they were looking for the next Bill and Ted. And because of them, we lost about eleven minutes of footage. After all, this and much more, Freaked was finally released on VHS in 1994 and soon gained cult status. I mean the very fact they’re blending claymation, CGI, practical and make-up effects with such ease is enough for that. It’s still, to this day, one of the most underrated movies of the nineties. It offers non-stop laughs, great special effects, and an intelligent script. The jokes are witty and yet they smell of toilet humor, and that’s part of their charm. I mean, what do you say about a line like: “Those who dare oppose us, we will stand knee deep in the blood of their children.”
Outrageous and sometimes even offensive, this is not a movie that everybody will like. However, I have a feeling that if you’re reading this, you will. Freaked is bursting with unbridled creativity and black humor. Every scene is full of small details showing all the hard work the crew has put into this. The rapid-fire jokes just add to the already frenetic pace that will definitely keep you entertained for just over seventy minutes. The only ones that will be a bit harder to get are all the nineties references. So, let’s just dive into this glorious mess.
Meet Ricky Coogin, a former child star, desperate for some lucrative contracts. So desperate that he’s willing to become the new spokesman for a large corporation. Their new chemical invention, Zygrot 24, is definitely not toxic and Ricky travels to South America to promote it. This is the part where things get tricky.
One of the best things about Freaked is its insane replay value. There’s just so much stuff here that each new viewing will make you notice something new. And this is not happening just because I was high for most of those times. Directed, written, and starring Alex Winter, better known as Bill from Bill & Ted, the cast of this movie is simply amazing. Alex even brought in his old buddy Keanu Reeves to play Ortiz the Dawg boy. We also have Brooke Shields, Randy Quaid, and motherfucking Mr. T! And to see just how creative the art department was you just need to look at some of the characters featured here. Mutated, deformed, and sometimes disgusting, they are all very memorable.
Freaked is not only a story about show business, greed, and friendship but it also features a strong corporate theme. You should check out Dark Waters based on a true story about a chemical manufactured by DuPont. However, I think that here they were more aiming towards Monsanto, known for manufacturing toxic chemical products. And the name of the chemical in this movie, Zygrot 24 is similar to the infamous pesticide Zyklon B, used in both world wars by Germans. More than a million people were killed by it in gas chambers during WWII. So, not only this is a fun and entertaining movie but it also has a socially conscious message. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies I recommend you check out Joe’s Apartment.
Directors: Tom Stern, Alex Winter
Cast: Brooke Shields, William Sadler, Morgan Fairchild, Randy Quaid, Megan Ward
Fun Facts: The film’s budget was 12 million dollars, most of which went towards the film’s special effects.