Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Season 4 of American Horror Story

This year's American Horror Story is about circus freaks.  The show takes place during the 1950's in Jupiter, Florida.  Jessica Lange is the ringleader of a bearded lady (Kathy Bates), a man with a clawed hand (Lobster Boy nickname), a three-boobed woman (Angela Bassett), Siamese twins (Sarah Paulsen), world's tiniest woman, and many more.  

Jessica Lange's character is an amputee who wants to become a famous singer.  She hopes her freaks will attract people from Hollywood.  She wasn't always an amputee.  Her character started off as a French woman living in Berlin during World War II.  She worked as a dominatrix and starred in rough pornos.  In one of her films, the director drugged her and then hacked off her legs, leaving her for dead.  One of her best customers saved her.  Years later, she turned to alcohol, depression, and her freaks, choosing to live a life as an outcast.

The season begins with a killer clown on a murder rampage.  He is not affiliated with the freak show.  He soon gets a fan who wants to follow his footsteps.  His fan is a good-looking, rich, spoiled sociopath who wants in on all of the bloody fun.  The rich kid has been practicing to be a serial murderer for years by killing animals all over the property of his mansion.  (I think the actor who takes the part of the killer clown's sidekick was also the actor in a made-for-TV movie about another rich kid who killed his girlfriend and then video-taped himself with other friends bragging about it and even re-enacting it with a Barbie doll.)  My point is this-the perfect actor to make your skin crawl.  Anyway, his mentor, the killer clown, gets killed during one of his murders and now it's up to the rich kid to continue what was started.  He begins by slashing up his maid.  His mom is upset, but covers his tracks by getting rid of the body.  He then hits a gay bar and picks up a male prostitute.  His paid escort is also his next victim.  Shades of Jeffrey Dahmer? This story line has lots of blood.
The Siamese twins were hidden away until their guardian is murdered.  One of the twins tried to kill the other one which landed them in the emergency room.  The news covers the story.  Jessica Lange reads about it and then recruits the twins into her freak show. They are the starring attraction.  Although the money starts rolling in, Jessica Lange is jealous because she always wanted to be star.

Lobster Boy, the man with the pincher claw hand, is one of the most complicated characters.  He knows that he is a freak, yet wants a normal life.  Early in the season he gets a side job jamming his claw up womens' vaginae.  He's got the magic touch.  His mother, the bearded lady, and father, the new husband to the 3-boobed lady, are also freaks.  He might not remember, but his mother flashes back with a ghost about how her son was born into exploitation.  As she gave birth, her husband charged people to watch.
My Review: Writers of Freak Show American Horror Story prove that the imagination is truly limitless when it comes to horror.  Asylum, Coven, and Haunted House look like children's stories.  The two serial killer clowns freak me out the most.  I also like the con-artist who is trying to kidnap the Siamese twins for money.  Jessica Lange is one of the finest actresses the world has ever known.  Love, love, love her!  She might be old, but she is still one hot mama.  The director maximizes the creepy factor throughout the show.  My only complaint is the music.  David Bowie and Fiona Apple were not around in the 1950s.  I do not like it when cultural time lines are blurred.  Otherwise, if you like violence, emotional discomfort, twisted people, and revolting scenes, then this show is for you!  So far, Freak Show is the freakiest of all the American Horror Stories.  5/5 Stars

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