"We'll make her one of us"- say the Freaks, yet ironically that statement is already true as it is the "normals" who are the real freaks.
When Hans the midget first catches sight of the lovely Cleopatra, he thinks she is the most beautiful "normal" he has ever seen. She treats it as joke and flirts with him to poke fun at him, but when she finds out he has inherited a large sum of money, she hoodwinks him into marrying her, and with the help of Hercules her strong man lover, she plots kill him. All the other freaks, including; Frieda the dwarf, the Bearded Lady, the half boy, the living torso, the half woman/half man,the pin heads, Koo-Koo the bird girl, the stork woman, the living skeleton and the armless wonders can not except her as one of them.
It is finally on their wedding night, when the Freaks learn that the whole thing is a hoax, when Cleo is repulsed and insulted by the freaks' propsition she is now one of them having married Hans. The following evening the Freaks witness her trying to poison Hans, and plot a shocking, terrifying revenge, in an attempt to really make her one of them which is the code of the freaks: "offend one, you offend them all".
The wedding scene is a prime example of excellent use of "mise en scene", with the bird girl dancing atop the table, and the Freaks' chanting of " one of us, one of us...gooble, gobble..." while passing round "the loving cup of wine".
The revenge scene however has to steel the title of one of the best scenes in cinematic history, with the freaks crawling in the pouring rain, chasing Cleo and Hercules through the woods. What makes it even more scary is that the viewer sees hardly anything, therefore the terror relies solely on imagination to decide what happened.
To conclude, this is a cult/horror/drama classic which needs a place in all DVD collections and proves tht you should'nt judge a book by its cover.