Film (1973). Getty Picture Corp/Columbia. Directed by Jack Cardiff. Written by Robert D Weinbach, Edward Mann. Cast includes Tom Baker, Michael Dunn, Julie Ege and Donald Pleasence. 92 minutes. Colour.
In this scientifically ludicrous UK film a Mad Scientist (Pleasence) attempts to combine plant with animal life, aided by the dwarf owner of a carnival freak-show (Dunn), who obtains human guinea-pigs for his experiments and exhibits the results. Tom Baker plays the sadistic, deformed assistant. The results of these experiments (one is a Venus Flytrap Man) carry out the inevitable revenge on their creator. As in Tod Browning's Freaks (1932), real circus freaks (human pincushion, pretzel boy, lizard lady) were used to make the film, but, where Browning used them sympathetically, here they are only for sensationalist voyeurism. Director Cardiff was usually more reputable than this. [PN/JB]
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