Three of them almost drown.
Meanwhile, in a scene that was very much not cut from the film, Cleopatra is turned into Bird Girl, the circus' newest attraction. We're told that her hands were melted, her legs were cut off, and her body permanently tarred and feathered, leaving her unable to do anything but try to squawk "help me" with her mutilated tongue.
So essentially a deviantART piece come to life.
To be fair to the film, it does go out of its way to portray the "freaks" as human beings. They're missing limbs and are uncomfortable to look at, but they're not monsters. Well, not for most of the runtime, anyway. The movie also employed a bunch of deformed performers, and they were treated well on set. Still, the image that was seared into everyone's memory was of the "freaks" crawling through the mud to butcher the normal people. Oddly enough, that didn't go over too well with audiences. Reviewers didn't make things any better, insisting that one of the film's failings was the fact that "it is impossible for the normal man or woman to sympathize with the aspiring midget."
It was banned from the United Kingdom for 30 years and ruined the director's career, although nowadays it's considered a horror classic. And we can almost guarantee that if you watch it, you'll be horrified. For one reason or another.
Adam Koski's short film may not be as creepy as some of these movies, but it tries, dammit!
We're pretty sure older folks only lived to terrify future generations. If you need further evidence, please check out 16 Real Old-Timey Photographs That Will Give You Nightmares and 13 Old-Timey Photos That Prove History Was Haunted, and then never sleep again.
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What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong's John Dies at the End series, is available now!