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This Week in Horror: 'Army of Darkness', 'Freaks', 'The Hitcher'

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Army of DarknessArmy of Darkness really needs no introduction here. The third installment of the Evil Trilogy, it had the largest budget and picks up where Evil Dead 2 ended, telling the story of Ash in King Arthur’s realm. Ash faces many ridiculous foes including a band of tiny versions of himself, the wily Necronomicon, and of course, an army of undead soldiers.

Freaks, not to be confused with Alex Winter’s Freaked which also centered around a sideshow and was conceived as "Beach Blanket Bingo meets The Evil Dead", is Tod Browning’s story of a lovely trapeze artist who falls for a little person from the circus side show. Can a grown woman love a midget? Why, yes she can, and they love her too, at least until she has an affair, as reflected in the famous “Gobble gobble. One of us.” clip (watch it below). Cast with people with real deformities, and including both fictional and real footage, Freaks caused quite a stir in 1932, prompting certain countries to ban it and stunting Browning’s career.

The Hitcher is a movie that is far scarier in my memory than in actuality. It stars ‘80s heartthrob C. Thomas Howell as Jim who is stalked and taunted by a menacing hitchhiker played by the always-disturbing Rutger Hauer. It’s a classic movie plot – no one believes Jim’s tales of the hitcher until many, many people have been slashed – and we are left with an ambiguous ending meant to pave the way for a sequel. The film was treated to an uninspired remake in 2007.

Title: Army of Darkness
Released: February 19, 1993
Tagline: Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.
 


Title: Freaks

Released: February 20, 1931
Tagline: Can a full grown woman truly love a MIDGET?
 

Title: The Hitcher
Released: February 21, 1986
Tagline: The terror starts the moment he stops.

 
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