This time Breaking the surface with...
Full Moon Productions
Directed by Fred Olsen Ray
In the briefest of moments I spent researching this I found the director to be a man of many talents having even more credits on IMDB. Mr. Olsen Ray has directed over one hundred and forty features (quite the impressive resume), sure, not all of them are outstanding feats of cinematic brilliance, but buried deep amongst the schlock & cheese and blindingly obvious “T&A” flicks are genre classics such as Scalps and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and others including (IMHO) the laughable and near unwatchable Evil Toons. So what about Sideshow?
I can sense you, the reader, internally screaming... Get on with it, Damn You Cult!
In a word it is... Fantastic! It contains everything a quality 'B' must. A contradiction in terms, I'll give you that, but first let me explain. Sideshow is first and foremost very entertaining while still boasting a small budget (a staple of any B movie), a pleasing array of female nudity, surprisingly decent special effects and at times acting abilities that are dangerously close to being OTT (over the top).
Dr. Graves, Phil Fondacaro (whose credits include Willow and Ghoulies 2), steals the show as the dwarfen carnival “ringmaster”. He creepily introduces the “Oddities of Nature” to the small group of awkward teens (comprised of a double date and a fifth wheel, quite literally) and that's where the fun begins.
I refuse to give the story away, think Todd Browning's Freaks and you won't be far off, but I will say that this is a movie from the golden age of Full Moon Productions (famous for the Puppet Master franchise *one of Feind’s favorites) which I can't recommend enough. Keep in mind that this is a low budget feature and not a widely released and advertised blockbuster though it still demands a viewing. It also deserves a place near the peak of B Mountain, into which I occasionally blindly dive into like a virgin sacrificed to a volcano! I would recommend a double billing with Time Bandits (*another Feind’s fav fromMonty Python’s own Terry Gilliam) because you seriously can't not enjoy (double negative!) films that exploit the sheer spectacle and lovable talents of mischievous and/or sinister little peeps. Gotta love em'!