Fun Freak-Filled Comedy – FREAKED
FREAKED is a guilty pleasure that works thanks to its sheer audacity.
Here’s a cult comedy from 1993 that’s entertaining as all Hell. Alex Winter, the other dude from the Bill & Ted films, co-directs (with Tom Stern) and stars in this mishmash of genre homage and lowbrow comedy that came out of the short lived Idiot Box MTV show and was originally supposed to be a horror vehicle for the Butthole Surfers. Freaked tells the story of child actor Ricky Coogan (Winter), who becomes spokesperson for a toxic chemical company named E.E.S. (the ‘Everything Except Shoes Corporation’) and starts promoting “Zygrot 24.” Concerned over his image, he travels to South America to investigate claims by environmentalists concerning the dubious sounding chemical. There he’s captured by freak-show ringmaster Elijah C. Skuggs (Randy Quaid) and turned into a half man-half mutant monster. When the execs from the mega-corporation (led by scene stealing William Sadler) arrive, things get crazy, and Coogan and the rest of the “Hideous Mutant Freakz” plan their escape. The movie thrives on its love of freak show and horror conventions, a plethora of sight-gags (including twin machine-gun-toting “Rasta-Far-Eyes” who spout Yellowman) and some inventive art department concoctions. It’s full of zany, over the top sequences, crazy characters, and liberal skewering of memes such as child actors, social consciousness, corporate greed and Hollywood shallowness. Best of all it never takes itself too seriously and features the talents of some fantastic actors having a ton of fun and a slew of hilarious cameos (including Morgan Fairchild, Mr. T, and even an uncredited Keanu Reeves). It’s one of the very first comedies for the ADD generation, overflowing with eye-candy and fueled by an exuberant energy, and it’s definitely worth your time – like watching an entire season of sketch comedy rolled up into one insane feature!