She Freak (1967)

A side show features a number of attractions but, as one patron complains, no geek show. Turns out the law won't allow it. However, this side show has something to make up for it. In a special pit is the star of the freak show.

Jade Cochran (Claire Brennen) is a small-town waitress with dreams of seeing the world. She sees her chance when Ben Thomas (Ben Moore) shows up at her cafe. Soon, she is working as a waitress for a traveling carnival, and quickly strikes up a friendship with stripper Moon (Lynn Courtney). She also starts an on-again, off-again romance with bad-boy ferris wheel operator Blackie (Lee Raymond).

Her sights are set still higher. Steve St. John (Bill McKinney) owns the side show, and is one of the most profitable men in the carnival. He also happens to be a widower. Jade and Steve strike up a romance and are soon married. However, Jade is still carrying on with Blackie, a fact that Shorty (Felix Silla) brings to Steve's attention. Steve confronts Blackie outside the motel room where he and Jade met for a rendezvous, and Blackie stabs Steve numerous times. Instead of calling an ambulance, Jade watches Steve die - and inherits the side show. Only thing is, she finds the freaks disgusting. Too bad for her they find her the same.

Sound familiar? Yes, this, especially the last few minutes, is a blatant ripoff of Todd Browning's Freaks. Only where that movie had style and atmosphere, this one is excruciating. I would seriously rather endure an OSHA training meeting on ergonomics at work than sit through this again. The fight scene is laughable, Jade is absolutely ugly and unbelievable as someone that men would fall over. The only two good things are some of the documentary footage, as this was filmed with a real traveling carnival, and the makeup job on Claire Brennen at the end.

If you are needing circus-themed fun, stick with Freaks or Berserk. Hell, even Carnival Magic is better than this thing.

She Freak (1967)
Duration: 83 minutes
Starring: Claire Brennen, Lee Raymond, Lynn Courtney, Bill McKinney
Director: Byron Mabe

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