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The Freakmaker

20 customer reviews

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(Sep 27, 2005)
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(Jun 08, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A Frankensteinian twist on Tod Browning's classic FREAKS.

THE FREAKMAKER (aka The Mutations) stars Donald Pleasence (Cul-De-Sac, Fantastic Voyage) as Professor Nolter, a college science professor who believes it is man's destiny to survive an uncertain future by evolving into a hybrid plant/human mutation. To test his theories, Nolter supervises the abduction of young co-eds and fuses them with mutant plants he has developed in his laboratory, placing his rejects in a neighboring freak show (which stars such real-life oddities as the Alligator Lady, the Frog Boy, the Human Pretzel, the Monkey Woman, the Human Pincushion and the unforgettable "Popeye".

Not available on video since the 1980s, this classic also features such cult favorites as Academy Award nominee Tom Baker (Nicholas and Alexandra), Julie Ege (Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires), Jill Haworth (Tower of Evil), Brad Harris (Samson), and the extraordinary Michael Dunn (Ship of Fools, The Wild Wild West's "Dr. Loveless") in one of his final film roles. As with all Subversive releases, THE FREAKMAKER has been painstakingly restored and supplemented with numerous extras for its DVD premier.

"With its cast of 'human oddities', bizarre makeup effects and avant-garde music score, THE FREAKMAKER is a hothouse of horror that will grow on you!" –Tim Lucas, VIDEO WATCHDOG magazine


...A unique cult film that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout its running time. --

Subversive Cinema has done an outstanding job with this release. . .definitely a new cult DVD label to watch closely. --

Subversive's DVD sports an excellent transfer and plenty of extras that should make fans of the film very, very happy. --

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with writer/producer Robert Weinbach and actor/associate producer Brad Harris, moderated by Norman Hill
  • 2nd commentary with director Jack Cardiff and Norman Hill
  • Featurette: How to Make A Freak: including interviews with Jack Cardiff, Brad Harris, and Robert Weinbach
  • Still gallery
  • Talent bios
  • Trailers
  • Special packaging includes:
  • lobby card reproductions
  • original poster art reproduction
  • reversal jacket with photo montage on the inside cover

Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege, Michael Dunn
  • Directors: Jack Cardiff
  • Writers: Robert D. Weinbach, Edward Mann
  • Producers: Brad Harris, Herbert G. Luft, J. Ronald Getty, Robert D. Weinbach
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Subversive Cinema, Inc.
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AS1KWE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,648 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Freakmaker" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on March 18, 2011
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie in the early 1970s at the Belmont Drive-In in Greenville SC under its original and much better title of THE MUTATIONS. Imagine an updated color version of Tod Browning's FREAKS that borrows its principal plot device from H. G. Wells' THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. Add more than a touch of David Cronenberg style body horror (three years before Cronenberg's first movie) then combine it with the unmistakable look of the British horror films of the time and that will give you some idea of this unique and periodically disturbing film. I had not yet seen the Tod Browning film so the idea of sympathetic carnival oddities was new to me. I did, however, know the plot of DR MOREAU from the 1932 film ISLAND OF LOST SOULS with Charles Laughton one of the creepiest films to come out of the 1930s.

Donald Pleasance nicely underplays the quintessential mad doctor who wishes to create a race of biologically superior life forms that combines elements of both plants and animals. The experiments that don't quite work out wind up as sideshow attractions at a local carnival headed up by a pre-DOCTOR WHO Tom Baker looking for all the world like a tall version of John Hurt's ELEPHANT MAN and dwarf actor Michael Dunn only a few years removed from THE WILD WILD WEST. The rest of the cast of young British talent and a somewhat stiff hero played by Brad Harris fufill their roles in the necessary manner for this type of film which is basically a B movie with a pedigree. That pedigree is director Jack Cardiff, one of the world's greatest cinematographers and an occasional director of fascinating films (THE LONG SHIPS, DARK OF THE SUN, SONS AND LOVERS). His knack for interesting visuals makes this movie a hard one to forget. If only they had kept the original title.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on October 12, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Is there any more enduring stereotypical character within the horror genre than the mad scientist with altruistic visions of improving the overall lot of mankind? And they always seem to share the same philosophy of in terms of the `need to break a few eggs to make an omelet', or, the need of the many outweighs the need of the few as an impetus for their actions...The Freakmaker (1973), aka The Mutations, co-written by Edward Mann (Island of Terror, Hot Pants Holiday) and Robert D. Weinbach (Hot Pants Holiday), and directed by Jack Cardiff, whose better know for his cinematography on such films like The African Queen (1951) and Death on the Nile (1978), stars Donald Pleasence (Circus of Horrors, Halloween, Escape from New York) as Professor Nolter, teacher, scientist, and all around first class nutter. Also appearing is Tom Baker (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, "Doctor Who"), Brad Harris (Goliath Against the Giants, King of Kong Island), Julie Ege (The Final Programme, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires), Scott Antony (Dead Cert), Jill Haworth (The Haunted House of Horror, Tower of Evil), Olga Anthony (Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter), and the diminutive (only in size) Michael Dunn, who played Dr. Miguelito Loveless in the 60s television show "The Wild Wild West".

After a brief intro from the director, the film starts proper with about five minutes of footage featuring sped up visuals of plants growing, accompanied by some really odd music. After this we're in a lecture hall where Professor Nolter is discussing mutations, both of the natural and induced kind, along with providing examples in terms of carnivorous plants (there's an exceptionally strong sense of foreshadowing going on here).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Wren Jr. on December 19, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Somebody found a time laps camera for this film and made a movie around it. Freak meets girl, Doctor turns girl into plant. A movie like this couldn't be made today because of the exploitation of the handicapped, which I fully support. All in all it was an ok movie even though I hope I have better friends than the ones that were abducted, missing for a week and no one comes looking. I did enjoy the fact that the police weren't contacted since most movies just have the cops thinking they are crazy are that they were the killers.
I do recommend this movie for all you classic horror fans.
There is lots of skin, bad acting, clueless characters and mostly shot at night. Have fun with this one.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel on February 11, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Known by another name in the UK this is a gloriously mish mash of Browings "The Freaks" remade in the early 70's. It can't be rated higher but is still worth a look with some of the daftest monsters ever and enough nudity and flared trousers to make up for the plot holes.

Insane in the best possible's a personal favourite any a truly top 10 guilty pleasure
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 18, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE FREAKMAKER is the touching tale of a mad scientist named Norter (Donald Pleasence from RAW MEAT, HALLOWEEN 1 and 2, ALONE IN THE DARK) who is determined to create a human / plant hybrid (!!). This means that a few people must disappear, winding up on Norter's laboratory table. Meanwhile, a freak-show thrives next door, w/ a steady supply of new and unusual attractions. Tom Baker is great as Norter's henchman, Lynch. This cries out to be watched as part of a double-feature w/ its contemporary, spiritual twin, SSSSSS! Wondrously weird!...
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