Reel/Real Impact: Freaks–Scariest, Influential Movie

Tod Browning’s 1932 horror film has had huge filmic and cultural influence.

Frank Zappa used images from the film on the sleeve of his album Tinseltown Rebellion, as it inspired his vision of freaks versus hippies.

The Ramones’ song “Pinhead” was inspired by a screening of the film.

In the final episode of Clerks: The Animated Series, characters that resemble Pip and Zip interact with Dante and Randal.

The film was parodied in the 25th season of The Simpsons, “Treehouse of Horror XXIV.”

South Park episode “Butters’ Very Own Episode” spoofed the film.

The famous line “We accept her, one of us,” was referenced in Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, with the scene from the original movie alternating as the characters in The Dreamers said it.

In Altman’s 1992 The Player, Detective DeLongpre (Lyle Lovett) mentions watching Freaks the previous night while he and his partner (Whoopi Goldberg) question Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins). As DeLongpre repeats the line “One of us. One of us,” Mill’s gets anxious, which the detectives interpret as guilt.

Characters in Scorsese”s  The Wolf of Wall Street also reference the famous “One of us” chant from the film.